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# The University of Queensland CIVL3210 Geotechnical Engineering Retaining walls

## Retaining wall design

Codes of practice - standards
AS4678 Earth Retaining structures
AS5100.3 Bridge design code
EN 1997-1 Eurocode 7: Geotechnical design rules
Text book (Craig) is English and refers to English and European codes and practice

Design requirements
Stability sliding, overturning, bearing capacity, structural, global stability
Deflection
Unplanned excavation (0.5m)?
Often dont rely on passive pressure (future excavation?)

## Two accepted methods

Limit state method All design standards (codes) in Australia, UK and Europe

Gravity walls
V

## Applied forces are: V and H

The resisting force, R, has components RH and RV H
For equilibrium V = RV and H = RH
RH
Sliding

## Maximum horizontal resisting forces

F of S =
Horizontal disturbing forces R
Rv
Max shear force + passive force
= 2
H

Work in terms of effective stress for calculation of maximum shear force, T, on the
base. If B = width of base then, for example, T = B = Rv tan + Bc

If necessary, use a key to increase the passive resistance and hence the F of S

Overturning
Take moments about toe (need line of action of earth force)

Resisting moments
a) F of S = 2
Disturbing moments

## b) Reaction acts in middle third whole base in compression

Some designers like to satisfy both a) and b) but satisfying one is usually sufficient.

## Dr Robert Day, The University of Queensland, 2009

The University of Queensland CIVL3210 Geotechnical Engineering Retaining walls

## Dont forget water pressure:

Adds to resisting force (will it always be there?).
Acts on base and so reduces the effective stress and hence frictional resistance.

Bearing pressure
Assume linear stress distribution.
Find eccentricity of R from moment equilibrium. Then max and min bearing stress
By direct analogy to combined bending and axial stress in a beam.
Pmax R v 6e
= 1 B
Pmin B B

## Check factor of safety on bearing capacity.

(Bearing capacity is affected by the presence
Pmin

## bearing capacity Pmax

F of S = 3
max bearing stress RV

## Limit state design

Different philosophies in different codes:
Australian code - retaining wall code (different to bridge code)
Overseas codes (European, British)

## R* S* Design Resistance > Design action effects (force, moment, etc)

Requirements
Serviceability
Stability
o Overturning (Bearing capacity)
o Sliding
o Global
Structural strength
o Bending
o Shear

## Australian draft code

Surcharge 5 kPa (multiplied by load factor)

## Use 1.25 Earth Pressure

1.0 Water pressure

## Dr Robert Day, The University of Queensland, 2009

The University of Queensland CIVL3210 Geotechnical Engineering Retaining walls

Do not factor the unit weight. The load factor is applied to the horizontal earth
pressure.
Strength
1.25 G + 1.5 Q + 1.25 Fep + 1.0 Flp
0.8 G + 1.5 Q + 1.25 Fep + 1.0 Flp
+ others eg. Wind, Earth quake etc.

## G Gravity, Q Surcharge, Fep Earth pressure, Flp Liquid (water) pressure

Stability
1.25GC + 1.5 QC + 1.25 Fep + 1.0 Flp < 0.8GR + (R)
Cause instability Resist instability
+ others eg. Wind, Earth quake etc.

Serviceability
Unfactored loads with long and short-term LL factors from AS1170.

## Superstructure, Overburden, Supported structures

1.5 Q 1.5 Q
1.25 G

1.25 G
1.25 Fep
0.0 Q
0.8 G

strength limit state

## 0.0 Q 1.5 Q 0.4 Q 0.7 or 0.4 or 1.0 Q

0.8 G 1.0 G

0.8 G 1.0 G
1.25 Fep 1.0 Fep
0.0 Q 0.0 Q
0.8 G 1.0 G

stability limit state serviceability limit state

## Dr Robert Day, The University of Queensland, 2009

The University of Queensland CIVL3210 Geotechnical Engineering Retaining walls

## Design soil strength

Material factors
n - Structure classification factor
0.9 Significant damage
1.0 Moderate damage and loss of services
1.1 Minimal damage and loss of access

u - Uncertainty factor

## Controlled fill Uncontrolled In situ

Class 1 Class 2 fill material
- u
Strength 0.95 0.90 0.75 0.85
Serviceability 1.00 0.95 0.90 1.00
c - uc
Strength 0.90 0.75 0.50 0.70
Serviceability 1.00 0.85 0.65 0.85
u (= 0) - u
Strength 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Serviceability 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
cu - - uc
Strength 0.6 0.5 0.3 0.5
Serviceability 0.9 0.8 0.5 0.75

r - Reduction factor. This factor is applied to any soil reinforcement elements that
are buried in the retained soil.

Design strength

= n u r

The capacity factor, , gives the design strength parameters of the soil: c* and *

c* = c
tan * = tan

Note: c and used in this equation are the characteristic values of the soil. The
definition of which is not very clear in the Australian Standard.

## The capacity factors , are determined from:

Lab and/or field testing
Geological conditions on site, history and likely soil behaviour
Engineering judgement

## Dr Robert Day, The University of Queensland, 2009

The University of Queensland CIVL3210 Geotechnical Engineering Retaining walls

## Sheet pile walls

(CJ Padfield and RJ Mair, Design of retaining walls embedded in stiff clay. Construction Industry
Research and Information Association. CIRIA report 104, 1984.)

## Typically flexible walls

Rely on embedded part for stability

Cantilever walls
Stability only from passive pressure in front of wall
Exhibit large deflections (OK for temporary works)
Failure by rotation about some point above the bottom of the wall

## Earth pressure distribution is very complex and unknown

Use simplifications for design

h
Active Active

Passive Point of
Pa Lp
rotation Passive
d do Pp la
Active Passive R

## Geotechnical limit state

R is the net force on the lower part of the wall that is ignored

## Take moments about base of simplified wall

Include a lumped factor of safety (Fs, Fp, or others)
M = 0 gives do
Pp l p
ie = Pa l a Factor of safety on passive pressure Fp 1.5 2.0
Fp

## d = 1.2 do This is an allowance to account for the approximations

Alternatively,
Factor of safety on strength, Fs 1.2 1.5

## Dr Robert Day, The University of Queensland, 2009

The University of Queensland CIVL3210 Geotechnical Engineering Retaining walls

1
tan * = tan (Or use AS Material factors)
Fs

## Structural limit state

Calculate maximum bending moment from factored loads or material
properties. Ie use the simplified pressure distribution (factored as above) and
calculate the BM and shear.
OR

For the length of wall required for Factor of safety = 1. calculate the maximum
BM and shear. (These are close to the actual values in service) and multiply by

## Serviceability limit state

Estimate deflections using:
Material factor from Australian code (usually = 1.0)

Anchored walls
Additional stability from anchor or prop
Higher walls
Less deflection
More complex soil-structure and earth pressure

## Geotechnical limit state d Pa

passive resistance exceeded rotation about anchor Pp

## Structural limit state

structural failure of wall (bending) or anchor (axial capacity / pull-out)

Serviceability
delfection limit exceeded

## Use the free earth method

Technique similar to cantilever walls
Assume simplified pressure distribution (linear active and passive) derived
from load factors and/or material factors
Take moments about anchor force to get embedment depth (geotechnical
LS)
Horizontal force equilibrium gives anchor force (add 20% ??)
Calculate moment and shear in wall
May also calculate BM for unfactored loads and increase by load factor

## Dr Robert Day, The University of Queensland, 2009

The University of Queensland CIVL3210 Geotechnical Engineering Retaining walls

Braced walls
Increase stability
very little deflection
Rankin theory not applicable insufficient movement
Coulomb difficult to apply
Strut force depends on construction sequence and installation method
Use empirical method of design Terzaghi and Peck (See text book)
o Apparent pressure distributions

Other problems
Stability of base of excavation
o bearing capacity
o liquification (inflow of water)