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A tensile test device for evaluation of load-strain behavior of geosynthetics under operational conditions of reinforced soil walls

In many cases, design of geosynthetic-reinforced soil walls requires analyses involving de-formation that are supplied by deformation parameters of the geosynthetic, soil and/or geosynthetic-soil systems. The load-strain characteristics of geosynthetic reinforcements should be measured under the soil-confinement condition. Most of the research studies reported in literature revealed the effect of soil con-finement on the tensile strength and deformability of geosynthetic reinforcements by means of laboratory tests devices in which the load is directly applied to the geosynthetic. However, little research has been focused on devices that properly reproduces the typical operational conditions of geosynthetic-reinforced soil walls, in which load is transferred to the geosynthetic through the surrounding soil. This paper de-scribes a tensile test device for evaluation of load-deformation responses of geosynthetics based on a load-transfer mechanism from surrounding soil to reinforcement. The tensile load and deformation captured by the test device consider the interface soil response with the elongation of the reinforcement during loading transfer and reflect the strain compatibility between the soil and the reinforcement. A reinforced layer composed of a geogrid reinforcement and sand as backfill soil was tested. The device allowed to reveal that confined geogrid modulus is twice of unconfined. The novel tensile test device demonstrates to properly simulate an operational condition of geosynthetic-reinforced wall layer in terms of displacement and strains distributions and mobilized tensile loads.