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Reinforced soil walls: Investigation of the prediction capabilities of the design methods under working stress conditions

The prediction capabilities of the AASHTO simplified (AASHTO 2014), K-stiffness (Bathurst et al., 2008; Allen et al., 2004), simplified stiffness (Allen and Bathurst, 2015), and EM (Ehrlich and Mirmoradi, 2016) methods are investigated under working stress conditions using data obtained from experimental and numerical studies. For the experimental evaluation, the reinforcement loads measured from two physical model studies constructed at the Geotechnical Laboratory of COPPE/UFRJ were used. Numerical analyses were carried out to evaluate the combined effects of facing stiffness, reinforcement stiffness, toe fixity, and wall height on reinforcement loads. The analyses’ results are compared with the reinforcement requirements determined using the design methods. This comparison shows that the meth-ods may overestimate or underestimate the magnitude of the maximum reinforcement load Tmax, in rein-forced soil walls, depending on the reinforcement stiffness, wall height, facing stiffness, and toe restraint.