Volume 13, Issue 3 (September 1990)
Effect of Backfill Thrust on Vertical Pressure Distribution in Reinforced Soil Model Walls
The magnitude and distribution of vertical stress are required for the design of reinforced soil wall. A laboratory investigation utilizing a physical model of reinforced soil wall was performed to determine the effect of backfill thrust on the vertical pressure distribution within the reinforced zone. Results obtained were compared with those predicted by the theoretical vertical pressure distribution (uniform, trapezoid, and Meyerhof's).
The model wall behavior, particularly the distribution of vertical stress within the reinforced zone of the structure, was investigated in four series of tests with different boundary conditions and construction procedures. The results obtained were, as expected, different from either of the three theoretical pressure distributions. It was found that thrust of backfill material placed at the back of reinforced zone reduces the vertical pressure near the end of reinforcement strips while increasing it in the remaining part of the reinforced zone. The reduction of pressure near the strip ends conforms to the trapezoid theory. However, the maximum increase in pressure does not occur at the facing as predicted by the theory.