An improved method to increase the load-bearing capacity of strip footing resting on geotextile-reinforced sand bed
School of Engineering
The experimental and numerical studies have continued to develop the cost-effective and convenient approach of using the geosynthetic reinforcement to increase the load-bearing capacity of shallow foundations. In the previous studies reported in the literature, the geosynthetic reinforcement has been used as a horizontal layer within the soil mass underlying the footings. This paper presents the details of the laboratory model strip footing load tests considering different relative densities of sand bed, focussing on the sand beds reinforced with a single layer of the woven geotextile reinforcement with wraparound ends. The experimental results of the study are compared with the numerical findings based on the finite-element analysis carried out using the software PLAXIS 2D (version 9.0). The results show that the proposed method of wrapping around the ends of the geosynthetic reinforcement brings three additional advantages: 1. increase in the ultimate load-bearing capacity, 2. significant increase in the stiffness of the sand bed in terms of its modulus of subgrade reaction, and 3. saving in the land space to construct a reinforced sand bed system. This study clearly demonstrates that by adopting the new practice of using the geosynthetic reinforcement with the wraparound ends in foundations, it is possible to support relatively heavier structures without allowing large settlements.