Analysis of an adaptive foundation system for embankments on soft soils by means of physical and numerical modelling
A new innovative foundation system for embankements on soft soil is currently being analyzed at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. Germany, in cooperation with the company HUESKER Synthetic GmbH. The system consists of two parallel vertical walls (e.g. sheet pile walls), which are installed into the soft subsoil and connected at their top via a horizontal tension m.embrane (e.g. geotextile).The embankment is then constructed on top of this tension membrane.The aim of this research project is to demonstrate the applicability of the system and to develop an analytical calculation algorithm for serviceability and ultimate Iimit state of the system. To study the complex interacti.ve system behaviour a strategy is followed using geotechnical centrifuge technology and numerical modelling. Measurement data from the centrifuge wall tests will be used for the validation and calibration of the numerical model.
The paper describes the theoretical behaviour of a new foundation system for embankments on soft soils. The system consists of two parallel vertical walls, which are installed into the soft subsoil and connected via a horizontal tension membrane. The embankment is constructed on top of this membrane. It was found that the understanding of the earth pressure distribution along the walls, which is time and deformation dependent, is a key factor for the design. Due to the complex interaction between the system components a strategy was developed to analyze the system. Numerical simulations offer a very efficient method to perform comprehensive parametric studies for analyzing the impact on the system behaviour of the different system components. For the validation and calibration of the numerical model measurement data from the system behaviour is required. It was concluded that centrifuge tests are the most beneficial technique for gaining this required data.
From a practical point of view it was found that the installation of the system is not difficult. A key factor is the connection of the tension membrane to the vertical walls, which has been previously realized in different applications.