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Title: Horizontal arching of earth pressures on retaining structures
Author: Chua, H. Y.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2006
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The horizontal arching mechanism transfers horizontal earth pressures acting on a retaining wall panel to neighbouring elements via soil shear stresses. In this research, the horizontal arching mechanism and lateral deformations of fixed cantilever walls are investigated using centrifuge tests. A 300mm high, L-shaped model basement comprising separate but contiguous wall panels of different widths and stiffnesses was built to accommodate this purpose. A re-entrant corner was included as part of the basement geometry, in order that an idealization of the stress distribution at such corners might be made. The model basement retained dry sand poured within an external confining steel tub of 850mm in diameter. Heavy fluid was contained within to generate stress conditions similar to those found in-situ after casting a wall. The fluid was then drained in-flight to simulate an excavation sequence. A series of six tests were carried out at 45g where the panel widths and thicknesses around the model basement were varied, so that the effects of panel geometry and stiffness on horizontal arching could be studied. Displacement distributions at the re-entrant corner were investigated with the help of Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV), a programme that tracks object movements in patches through a series of still digital images. Photogrammetric calibration was then applied to establish the soil and panel movement vectors in object space. Results indicate that the magnitude of horizontal arching reduces with increasing panel width and stiffness. The equivalent earth pressure coefficient, K, was established through the superimposition of predicted and measured panel displacements and bending moments. Data obtained showed that the earth pressure dropped to below active values, represented by a new coefficient Kmin, as the wall rotation exceeded 10-3 radians.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available