Reinforced earth wall system has become very popular because of its aesthetic value and ease of construction. In order to optimize the design, it is important to understand its behavior during and after construction. This can be achieved either through field instrumentation or numerical simulation. In this paper, a numerical simulation of a reinforced earth wall construction is described and a parametric study using a finite element method is conducted to investigate the performance of the wall during and after construction. Different types of boundary conditions are imposed and the behavior of the wall is evaluated based on certain stress and deformation criteria. The results show that if the wall is allowed to move laterally, horizontal pressures at the connection increases with the depth of overburden until a depth of 0.6 H (height of wall) is reached. Beyond 0.6 H, the horizontal pressure starts to reduce with further depth. If no lateral movement is allowed, the horizontal pressure line follow more or less the KO line until a depth of 0.6 H is reached. Below 0.6 H, the horizontal pressure starts to drop rapidly. The increasing compressibility of the foundation soil induces redistribution of stresses that results in larger tensile forces in the reinforcements at lower levels and smaller tensile forces at around 0.6 H depth of overburden. As the foundation becomes more compressible, the horizontal displacement of wall facing increases.
Key words: Anchor blocks, computer simulation, instrumentation, reinforced earth.
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