Visualisation and quantification of geogrid reinforcing effects under strip footing loads using discrete element method

F. Jacobs, G. Yang, M. Ziegler, Z. Wang
Geotextiles and Geomembranes
Discrete element modelling, Geosynthetics, Quantification, Reinforcing effect, Strip footing, Visualisation

Geogrids have been commonly used in reinforced soil structures to improve their performance. To investigate the geogrid reinforcement mechanisms, discrete element modelling of unreinforced and geogrid reinforced soil foundations and slopes was conducted under surface strip footing loads in this study. For unreinforced and reinforced soil foundations, the numerically obtained footing pressure-settlement relationships were validated by experimental results from the literature. In the numerical modelling of unreinforced and reinforced soil slopes, identical models and micro input parameters to those used in the numerical modelling of unreinforced and reinforced soil foundations were used. The geogrid reinforcing effects under strip footing loads were visualised by the qualitative contact force distributions in the soil structures, as well as the qualitative and quantitative tensile force distributions along the geogrids. In addition, the qualitative displacement distributions of soil particles in the soil structures and the quantitative vertical displacement distributions along soil layers/geogrids also indicated the geogrid reinforcing effects in such practical reinforced soil structures. The discrete element modelling results visualise and quantify the load transfer and spreading behavior in geogrid reinforced soil structures, and it provides researchers with an improved understanding of geogrid reinforcing effects at microscopic scale under strip footing loads.

Keywords: Geosynthetics, Reinforcing effect, Strip footing, Visualisation, Quantification, Discrete element modelling

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