Volume 45, N. 3

July-September 2022

An evaluation of reinforcement mechanical damages in geosynthetic reinforced piled embankments


Volume 45, N. 3, July-September 2022 | PDF (22 downloads)


The use of geosynthetic reinforcement in piled embankments over soft soils is an effective solution for the reduction of settlements and to increase the embankment stability. The most efficient position for the reinforcement layer is on the pile cap or head. However, a direct contact of the reinforcement with sharp edges may damage it, compromising its efficiency to transfer loads to the piles. This paper investigates the possibility of mechanical damages in geosynthetic reinforcements on pile caps by large scale laboratory tests. Tests with and without pieces of nonwoven geotextile protective layer between the caps and the reinforcements were executed. Wide strip tensile tests were performed on exhumed reinforcement specimens after the tests to assess tensile strength and stiffness variations. A statistical analysis of the results shows reductions in tensile strength of unprotected reinforcement layers of up to 28%. A mechanical damage index is introduced and its correlation with calculated reduction factors is investigated. The use of a piece of a thick geotextile layer to protect the reinforcement against mechanical damage can be effective. However, the geotextile product must be properly specified and installed with due care.

Keywords: Geosynthetics, Reinforcement, Piled embankments, Mechanical damage,

Submitted on January 11, 2022.
Final Acceptance on May 21, 2022.
Discussion open until November 30, 2022.
DOI: 10.28927/SR.2022.000522