Volume 2, Issue 2 (February 2005)
Spatial Variations in Material Properties of Segmental Retaining Wall (SRW) Units, Part I: Observed Variations
An experimental program was conducted to examine the variations and distribution of measured properties in Segmental Retaining Wall (SRW) units. Flexural strength, flexural elastic modulus, and rate of absorption tests were conducted on specimens extracted from various split face SRW units and whose locations within the parent blocks were known. In general, material existing in regions at the bottommost layer of a block (i.e., material first deposited during casting) and farthest away from the split face displayed highest flexural strengths and elastic moduli and lowest absorptions out of all sampling locations considered. On the other hand, material in the middle layer and closest to the split face displayed lowest flexural strength and elastic moduli and highest absorptions. In addition, the SRW material also exhibited anisotropy with respect to flexural elastic modulus among samples taken at the same location within a block. These observations suggest that the blocks cannot be considered homogeneous throughout and that attention must be paid to possible spatial variations in measured properties when sampling specimens for testing.