Effect of reinforcement geometry on the performance of a reduced-scale strip footing model supported on geocell reinforced sand



Geocell is an effective type of geosynthetics for improving the performance of reinforced soil foundations due to provision of lateral confinement for the infill soil. In this research, in order to study the bearing pressure-settlement response of geocell reinforced sand, a reduced-scale physical model is developed and geocells with various geometrical dimensions (height, pocket size and width) produced from woven geotextile are used to reinforce sand bed. Strip footing model is then loaded monotonically to ultimate failure level and the influence of geocell geometrical properties on the improvement in bearing capacity and settlement of footing is described. The results show that by increasing height and decreasing pocket size of geocell, the beneficial effect of geocell reinforcement increases substantially. For the highest geocell used in the tests at settlement level of 6%, improvement in bearing capacity and percentage reduction in footing settlement is obtained as 2.1 and 48% respectively. The optimum width of geocell is determined five times the foundation width beyond which the improvement effect is negligible. It is also concluded that substituting a single layer of geocell reinforcement with 2 half-height and 4 quarter-height geocell layers results in 10% and 22% decrease in the ultimate bearing capacity respectively.