Improvement evaluation of subgrade layer under geogrid-reinforced aggregate layer by finite element method

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Abstract

When geogrid reinforcement is used as a treatment method for improving soft subgrade as a roadway foundation, a top layer of subgrade is usually excavated and backfilled with geogrid-reinforced aggregates. This treatment method produces an adequate platform for the planned roadway construction site, where heavy traffic loading is constantly moving. This paper presents a quantitative assessment of subgrade improvement by geogrid reinforcement based on numerical modelling and parametric studies. First of all, the preliminary numerical models were verified by comparing the analysis results with previous studies. Secondly, the major numerical models in this study were assumed to be a simplified simulation of a geogrid-reinforced two-layer system with an aggregate layer above a subgrade layer. The numerical models were applied a quasistatic loading and unloading cycle, in order to monitor the permanent deformation at the surface of the models. Afterwards, thickness of aggregate layer, and subgrade CBR values were varied in order to summarize the outcomes of each case. This approach makes it possible to quantify the effects of geogrid reinforcement and aggregate material in terms of an enhanced California Bearing Ratio (CBR) of a single subgrade clay layer. Results have shown that when the aggregate thickness is up to 450mm, the contribution of enhanced CBR is mostly from aggregate material. However, when the aggregate thickness is about 150mm with a relatively weak subgrade material, the inclusion of geogrid material can contribute about 50% of the enhanced value.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-403
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Civil Engineering
Volume12
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2014

Keywords

  • Aggregate layer
  • California bearing ratio
  • Finite element method
  • Geogrid reinforcement
  • Roadway
  • Subgrade layer

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