3Reinforced Soil and Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil (GRS) Walls

The idea of incorporating tensile inclusion to reinforce a soil mass is not at all new; it is known to have existed for at least 6,000 to 7,000 years. Modern reinforced soil technology was reintroduced in the early 1960s. Since then, many reinforced soil wall systems have been developed for earthwork construction where a sudden change in grade is necessary or desired. To date, about 200,000 reinforced soil walls have been constructed worldwide, and the number is growing at an increasing rate. These reinforced soil wall systems can be grouped into two categories: externally stabilized reinforced walls and internally stabilized reinforced walls. For the former, the tensile inclusion embedded in the fill material serves primarily as frictional quasi‐tiebacks, and the fill is retained by facing that is connected to the tensile inclusion to form a stable system. If facing fails, failure of an externally stabilized reinforced wall would generally be imminent. For the latter, on the other hand, the tensile inclusion embedded in fill material serves to improve the properties of the soil so that and the soil–geosynthetic composite would be stable by itself. Facing, in this case, is mostly just a façade.

The underlying design concept of externally stabilized reinforced walls is somewhat similar to that of conventional earth retaining walls (such as gravity or cantilever reinforced concrete walls), except that instead of relying ...

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