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Publication Number: FHWA-RD-03-048
Date: September 2003

Effects of Geosynthetic Reinforcement Spacing on The Behavior of Mechanically Stabilized Earth Walls

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Chapter 6. Implications To Design

The existing design methodology of MSEWs is based on internal and external stability analysis using limit state methods. Internal stability calculations are based on the assumption that the most critical slip surface will develop through the reinforced soil. This can happen only when the reinforcement spacing is relatively large, and the reinforced soil does not behave as a solid coherent block. However, the relation between the reinforcement spacing and the failure mode is not considered in current design.

With respect to existing design methods for MSEW with modular block facing and geosynthetic reinforcement, the numerical results imply the following:

It must be noted that the design implications mentioned above are based on the numerical results of current study. Further parametric studies that implement experimental data from laboratory and large-scale testing must be conducted to quantify the effects of connection strength, reinforcement stiffness and soil properties on the behavior of MSEWs.

 

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