Vertical loading on PRS-Neoweb™ infilled with compacted granular material creates a semi-rigid slab or “beam effect” over soft soils, as shown in the figure below. Also known as the tensioned membrane effect, this refers to the tension developed in the curved geocell-reinforced mattress to resist the vertical load (Rajagopal, et al 1999).
This effect, however, is dependent upon significant deformation of the pavement structure (Han 2004). As the geocell-reinforced section is stiffer than the surrounding soil, the curved surface exerts upward reaction and reduces the net stress to the subgrade (Pokharel 2010). The beam effect distributes the load evenly and effectively over a wider area, thereby increasing bearing capacity and decreasing differential settlement.
The zone of influence created by the geocell is higher than the cell wall height. The beam effect on the PRS-Neoweb reinforced base was verified in lab studies and field tests by Han et al, 2011, and Kief and Rajagopal 2011.