Model Tests on Performance of Embankment Reinforced with Geocell Under Static and Cyclic Loading

  • Zhiheng Dai
  • Mengxi ZhangEmail author
  • Lei Yang
  • Huachao Zhu
Conference paper


Geocell, a honeycomb geosynthetics, has been widely used in geotechnical engineering to improve the performances of embankments. A useful method, particle image velocimetry (PIV) technique which could track motion of soil grains, was used to determine the displacement field and the slip surface progressively. A series of experimental and analytical investigations on geocell-reinforced embankments were presented. This study focused on revealing the mechanics response and failure process of embankment under static and cyclic loading. The embankments were reinforced with geocells. And the experiments were scheduled to demonstrate the effect of the burial depth of the geocell layer, such as 0.83B, 1.67B and 2.50B (B, width of loading plate). Based on the sand displacement field, the deformation mechanisms of embankments were analyzed. Under the static loading, the steel plate would be forced down into the embankment, which made the large lateral deformation develop and progressively caused the collapse of embankments. Comparing the failure modes of different embankments, it could be found that the slip region area of reinforced embankments was wider than unreinforced embankments. Moreover, the similar phenomenon occurred in stress distribution. Under the cyclic loading condition, the results suggested that geocell-reinforcements provided more lateral confinement and reduced the cumulative plastic settlement. Analyzing the influence of burial depths, it could be concluded that shallower the geocell was embedded, the better stability of the embankment was.


Geocell Model test Failure surface PIV Reinforced embankment 



This study has been supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (No. 41372280). The authors would like to express their gratitude for these financial assistances.


  1. 1.
    El-Naggar, M.E., Kennedy, J.B.: New design method for reinforced sloped embankments. Eng. Struct. 19(1), 28–36 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gao, A., Zhang, M.X., Zhu, H.C., et al.: Model tests on geocell-reinforced embankment under cyclic and static loadings. Rock Soil Mech. 37(7), 1921–1928 (2016)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gao, A., Zhang, M.X., Liu, F., et al.: Model experimental study of embankment reinforced with geocells under stepped cyclic loading. Rock Soil Mech. 37(8), 2213–2221 (2016)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Latha, G.M., Rajagopal, K., Krishnaswamy, N.R.: Experimental and theoretical investigations on geocell-supported embankments. Int. J. Geomech. 6(1), 30–35 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Yoo, C.: Laboratory investigation of bearing capacity behavior of strip footing on geogrid-reinforced sand slope. Geotext. Geomembr. 19(5), 279–298 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hyodo, M., Yasuhara, K.: Analytical procedure for evaluating pore-water pressure and deformation of saturated clay ground subjected to traffic load. In: Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Numerical Methods in Geomechanics, pp. 653–658. A. A. Balkema, Rotterdam (1988)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Saad, B., Mitri, H., Poorooshasb, H.: Three-dimensional dynamic analysis of flexible conventional pavement foundation. J. Transp. Eng. 131(6), 460–469 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ling, J.M., Wang, W., Wu, H.B.: On residual deformation of saturated clay subgrade under vehicle load. J. Tongji Univ. 30(11), 1315–1320 (2002)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    He, G.J.: Laboratory test and research on the settlement of soft foundation under low embankment considering the influence of traffic load. M.A. thesis, Hehai University, Nanjing, China (2015)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hanazato, T., Ugai, K., Mori, M., et al.: Three-dimensional analysis of traffic-induced ground vibrations. J. Geotech. Eng. 117(8), 1133–1151 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Luo, Q., Zhou, H., Wang, Z.J.: Test study on geocell-stabilized railway subgrades. J. China Railway Soc. 26(3), 98–102 (2004)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Terrel, R.L., Awad, I.S., Foss, L.R.: Techniques for characterizing bituminous materials using a versatile triaxial testing system. In: American Society for Testing and Materials, Philadelphia, ASTM STP 561, pp. 47–66 (1974)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhiheng Dai
    • 1
  • Mengxi Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lei Yang
    • 1
  • Huachao Zhu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringShanghai UniversityShanghaiChina

Personalised recommendations