Experimental Study on Bearing Capacity of Geocell-Reinforced Bases

Laboratory tests show that Neoloy® Geocells increase bearing capacity, stiffness and reduce permanent deformation

In this study, laboratory tests were conducted to investigate the behavior of Neoloy Geocell-reinforced bases under static and repeated loading. The bearing capacity and stiffness improvement provided by Neoloy reinforcement and the effect of infill materials were investigated.

  • Plate tests evaluated the influence factors on a single geocell on sand – geometry and material.
  • The geocell with a higher elastic modulus had a higher bearing capacity and stiffness for the reinforced base.
  • Neoloy increased bearing capacity and stiffness and reduced settlement of the compacted sand base course significantly more than geocells fabricated from HDPE.

Geocell, a three-dimensional interconnected geosynthetic made of polymer, has been used to improve base course properties by providing soil confinement to increase its stiffness and to reduce its permanent surface deformation. Research conducted in the past on Neoloy Geocell-reinforced base courses has shown apparent benefits over unreinforced ones. However, the use of geocell reinforcement for base courses on soft subgrade is limited due to lack of established design methods. In this study, laboratory tests were conducted to investigate the behavior of geocell-reinforced bases under static and repeated loading. Two base course materials, Kansas River sand and quarry waste, were used as infill materials. This study investigated the bearing capacity and stiffness improvement provided by geocell reinforcement and the effect of infill materials. This study also evaluated the permanent deformation and the percentage of elastic deformation of geocell-reinforced Kansas River sand and quarry waste compared with unreinforced bases. The test results show that the single geocell reinforcement can increase the bearing capacity, stiffness, and percent of elastic deformation for each cycle and reduce the permanent deformation.

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