Volume 33, Issue 5 (September 2010)
Experimental and Theoretical Studies of Vertical Piles Reinforced Sand Slopes Loaded with Strip Footing
This paper presents the results of a series of plain strain model tests of strip footing adjacent to sand slopes reinforced with piles. The main objectives of this study are to determine the influence of piles reinforced sand slope on the bearing capacity characteristics of the footing on slope, to suggest an optimum geometry of piles placement, and to understand the failure mechanism of reinforced sand slopes with piles. The investigations were carried out by varying the piles row location relatively to the slope crest, piles head conditions, piles length, piles spacing, row inclination of piles, and the edge distance of the footing relative to the slope crest, as well as by considering the relative density of sand. The test results indicate that this type of reinforcement significantly increases the confinement of the soil and successively raises the ultimate bearing capacity of the strip footing. In addition, critical values of the parameters for maximum reinforcing effects are established. A numerical study using finite element analyses was performed on a prototype scale model slope. A close agreement between experimental and numerical results was observed. The scaling and size effects of the small-scale model tests can be readily evaluated by means of finite element analysis.