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An Experimental and Analytical Study

of Slope Stability by Soil Nailing

S. Rawat

Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering

Jaypee University of Information Technology, Waknaghat, Solan – 173234

Himachal Pradesh, India

e-mail: saurabh.rawat@juit.ac.in

A. K. Gupta

Professor, Department of Civil Engineering

Jaypee University of Information Technology, Waknaghat, Solan – 173234

Himachal Pradesh, India

e-mail: ashok.gupta@juit.ac.in

ABSTRACT

In the present study, the response of the unreinforced and soil nailed slopes under a gradual increasing

surcharge load is carried out experimentally and using finite element method. The slopes are

constructed of sand size soil with two different soil slope angles of 45° and 60° with the horizontal. A

gradual increasing load at the crest is applied to observe the load vs. settlement behavior and failure

pattern for each slope angle. These soil slopes are then reinforced by installing soil nails at three

different inclinations of 0°, 15° and 30°. The failure pattern and load- settlement plots for the various

unreinforced and reinforced slopes are analyzed using finite element software PLAXIS 3D and a

comparable study with the experimental data is carried out. From the analysis, it is observed that the

failure mechanism for the various slopes is similar to the failure pattern from the model testing.

However, the maximum load carrying capacity of the slopes and the settlement of the crest of the

slopes under the surcharge load are found to be different from finite element and model testing. It is

found that soil slope of 45° with nail inclination of 0° shows the maximum increase in load bearing.

KEYWORDS: model testing, surcharge load, finite element, soil nail inclination, failure

pattern, load carrying capacity

INTRODUCTION

In recent years, soil nailing has been widely used to stabilize the steep slopes or carryout ground

improvement. It involves the use of passive inclusions, usually steel bars (known as soil nails), to

reinforce in-situ retained ground. The installation of the soil nails is progressive and is carried out

simultaneously with soil excavation in front of the retained wall. This takes place in a series of

successive phases (US Federal Highway Administration, 1999). The majority of slope stability

analyses performed in practice still use traditional limit equilibrium approaches involving methods of

slices and calculating the factor of safety. Documented failures of soil – nailed systems for the most

part are non – existent in the literature, and a few full – scale and model testing research programs has

been conducted. (Kitamura et al. 1988) studied the effect of steel bar reinforcement in vertically

- 5577 -

Vol. 21 [2016], Bund. 17 5578

loaded reinforced sand slopes. A number of small-scale model tests of reinforced slopes are

conducted by (Gutierrez and Tatsuoka 1988) to measure the tensile reinforcement forces and strain

fields. Similarly a series of model tests are performed by (Hayashi et al. 1990) to investigate the

failure mechanism of steel bar reinforced cut slopes. (Huang and Tatsuoka 1994) analyzed the results

of a series of plane strain model tests for both reinforced and unreinforced sand slopes loaded with a

10 m wide strip footing. Model tests to investigate the effects of surcharge loading on the failure

mechanism of soil-nailed structures are performed by (Drabkin et al. 1995). (Long et al. 1990) studied

the importance of variables like the shape of the assumed failure surface, wall height, inclination,

length of nails and global stability of nailed soil wall.

Researchers have employed kinematical limit analysis to study the failure surface, load transfer

mechanism of the soil nailed slopes (Juran et al. 1992). A comparison between the kinematical limit

equilibrium and the model test has also been carried out which resulted in study of parameters like

nail stiffness, nail inclinations, soil stiffness and boundary conditions (Juran et al., 1992). (Juran and

Chan 1989) developed a strain compatibility approach which is based on the analogy between the

plain strain shear mechanism that develops along a potential failure surface in the actual structure and

the response of the reinforced soil materials to direct shearing. For the verification of the design

assumptions, numerical simulation of the construction process was done and the numerical results

were compared with failure observed in reduced scale laboratory model walls. (Asoka et al. 1994)

studied the development of internal force in the reinforcement using rigid plastic finite element

method. A new approach to analyze soil nailed walls using a trial wedge method is presented by

(Sheahan and Carlton 2003) on the Amherst Test wall in clay and the Clouterre test wall in sand. The

failure surface of these walls indicated evidence of relatively steep and approximately linear slip

surfaces instead of the more complex surfaces. (Patra 2005) proposed the use of optimization

technique in the design of nailed slope as the stability analysis is carried out by choosing the vertical

and inclined slices regardless of the shape of the slip surface. Study of circular wedge type failure in

soil nailed cuts by friction circle method is done by (Biswas et al. 2006). Finite element model has

been also used to study the slope failures which occurs `naturally' through the zones in which the

shear strength of the soil is insufficient to resist the shear stresses (Griffiths and Lane, 1999).

Researchers have employed model testing programmes and numerical modelling methods to find

out the most critical failure surface and factor of safety of a soil nailed slope, cut or retaining wall.

The load transfer mechanism of a soil nailed slope, the bending stiffness of the nails, orientation, nail

length, nail diameter, nail inclination, wall inclination and angle of soil friction is also analyzed to

determine the factor of safety of nailed slopes. However the verification of these parameters is only

made by carrying out a comparable study between the analytical and model testing results. With the

recent advances the validation of soil nail models can be done using Finite Element software

packages like PLAXIS 3D, GEO5, ABACUS etc.

In the present study, sand size soil is used to construct soil slopes with two different slope angles

of 45° and 60° respectively. The failure surface pattern and the load- settlement studies are carried out

for these slopes by applying an increasing surcharge on the slope crest. The soil slopes of 45° and 60°

are reinforced with the nails at three different nail inclinations of 0°, 15° and 30°. The behavior of

reinforced soil slopes are studied under the increasing surcharge loading until slope failure. The

failure slip surface and the load carrying capacity of the nailed slopes are observed during the testing

program. The unreinforced and reinforced slopes are also analyzed by using a Finite Element package

PLAXIS 3D (Brinkgreve 2001). The results obtained from the model testing are validated by the

analytical results from Finite Element Method.

Vol. 21 [2016], Bund. 17 5579

Instrument

Universal Testing Machine

Servo hydraulic Universal Testing Machine (UTM) with a load frame capacity of 2000 kN is

used to apply an increasing surcharge load on the crest of soil slopes. The continuous application of

the surcharge load is simulated by applying the load at a rate of 10 N/s.

Model Box

A box of dimension 50 cm x 22 cm x 35 cm is fabricated by using perspex sheets of 4mm

thickness as shown in Fgure 1. The dimensions of model box are determined by the maximum

vertical and horizonatal test space available in the UTM. Perspex sheets are transparent sheets used to

observe the failure pattern of the slopes.

Backfill Material

The backfill material used for the slopes is collected from Nalagarh, District Solan (Himachal

Pradesh). Preliminary tests of soil identification are carried out in the laboratory to determine the

backfill properties. The properties of the backfill material are summarized in the table 1.

Property Result

Material Sand

Grain size distribution Well graded sand (SW)

Specific gravity 2.67

Realtive Density % 33.5%

Cohesion (c) 1.37 kN/m2

Angle of friction (ϕ) 30°

Vol. 21 [2016], Bund. 17 5580

Hollow aluminium tubes of specified length are used as nails for the soil slopes is shown in Fgure

2. The properties of the nails are given in Table 2.

Property Value

Material Aluminium

Cross-setion area, A 78.5 mm2

Length of the nail 150 mm

Modulus of Elasticity of nail 69 GPa

Strain gages of type BKCT-3 (resistance 119.2± 0.2 ohms, gage factor: 1.92± 2% and gage length

3 mm) as shown in Fgure 2 are attached to the nails for measuring the local strain. A multimeter is

used for finding the valaues of strain measured by the strain gages.

Figure 2: Aluminium hollow nails Figure 3: Stain gages used for the test

SOIL SLOPES

Well graded sand size soil is used to prepare slopes at predetermined slope angles of 45° and 60°

respectively by adding 5% water to the soil. The slope is prepared in layers of thickness 50 mm each

as shown in Fgure 4. A layer 50 mm thick is made as the base layer completely along the length of

model. The layer is formed by placing soil in box and lightly compacting it after every 20 mm. A fine

layer of red dye (Gulal) is used in between the layers for identification of failure pattern of the

slopes. The procedure is repeated till a complete height of 300 mm is achieved as shown in Fgure 5.

A crest width of 150 mm and the base width of 500 mm is maintained for all the slope angles.

Vol. 21 [2016], Bund. 17 5581

For the modeling of reinforced slopes, the above procedure is carried out to prepare the slope at

predetermined slope angles. The nails are installed at predetermined inclination of 0°, 15° and 30°

with the help of a protactor as shown in Fgure 6. Six hollow nails, each of length 15 cm are inserted at

the face of the slope in an arrangement of 3 rows x 2 columns. Care is taken to maintain constant

vertical and horizontal spacing between nails and from the slope edges as shown in Fgure 7. Before

the nails are inserted into the slope face, strain gages are glued to the nails and connections are made

with connecting wires by soldering process.

150 mm

300 mm

50 mm

50 mm

50 mm

500 mm

50 mm

Figure 6: Nail inclination using Protactor Figure 7: Completed soil nailed slope

TESTING PROCEDURE

The constructed soil model is mounted on the universal testing machine. A bearing plate of size

150 mm x 20 mm x 4 mm is placed on the crest slope for uniform load distribution. A gradual

increasing surcharge load is applied by the UTM at a loading rate of 5 kN/s. The load and the

corresponding settlement of the crest at which the slope fails is observed from the computer installed

with the UTM software. The slopes are then installed with nails at different inclinations and load is

applied at the crest.

Vol. 21 [2016], Bund. 17 5582

UTM

In addition to the load – settlement measurement, the deflection of the nails under the increasing

surcharge load is also measured. For finding the strain in nails on loading, multimeters are used which

measure the resistance on strain gages glued to nails in unstrained and strained positions. The

gradually increasing surcharge is found to induce tensile forces in nails and a change in nail strains is

observed, which is detected by strain gages. For the calculation of nail forces, strains on nails is

measured in unstrained and strained positions. After measuring resistances in strain gages, the

following formula is used to calculate strain as given by (1).

where, GF = gage factor of 1.92

∆𝑅𝑅𝑔𝑔 (1)

�𝑅𝑅

𝑔𝑔

∈= 𝐺𝐺𝐺𝐺

∆𝑅𝑅𝑔𝑔 = change in resistance from unstrained to strained condition, and

∈ = strain.

After calculating strain, stess- strain graphs are plotted for nails at 0°, 15° and 30°. The maximum

force on the nail is determined from nail force vs. load graphs plotted for top, middle and bottom nails

for both 45oand 60o reinforced slopes.

The unreinforced and reinforced slopes are found to have a circular slip surface failure under the

surcharge loading. From Fgure 10 and Fgure 11, it is observed that the unreinforced soil slopes

initially have a settlement of the crest which ultimately leads to the failure of the slope. A slope

failure is observed for 45° slope angle whereas 60° slope angle is found to have a toe failure.

Vol. 21 [2016], Bund. 17 5583

Circular slope

Figure 10: 45o slope at failure Figure 11: 60o slope at failure

The 45° reinforced slope and the 60° reinforced slope are also observed to have a circular slip

failure pattern as shown in Fgure 12 and Fgure 13 respectively. The failure pattern for both reinforced

slope angles is found to have the settlement of slope crest similar to unreinforced slopes. It is

observed from the deformation of tracer layer that the similar settlement of the slopes has occurred.

However, displacement of toe of the slopes incase of reinforced slopes is found to be smaller as

compared to unreinforced slopes.

Circular slope

Circular Toe

Figure 12: 45° reinforced slope at failure Figure 13: 60o reinforced slope at failure

As shown in Fgure 14 and Figure 15, it is observed from the load vs. settlement curves of

unreinforced slopes, load carrying capacity of 45o and 60o slopes are found as 13200 N and 11600 N

respectively. Settlements in the slopes are found out to be 9.4 mm and 11.3 mm for 45o and 60o

unreinforced slopes. The values of load carrying capacity of reinforced 45o and 60o slopes are

observed as 19400 N and 17300 N. For reinforced slopes of 45° and 60°, the settlement of slopes is

found out to be 11.7 mm and 10.6 mm. It is observed from the load – settlement behaviour of

unreinforced slopes and reinforced slopes that there is an increase in the load carrying capacity of soil

nailed slopes for all soil nail inclinations of 0°, 15° and 30°.

The maximum load carrying capacity is observed for 45° slope angle with a nail inclination of 0°.

The reinforced slope is found to carry a load of 19400 N in comparison to 13200 N which is the load

Vol. 21 [2016], Bund. 17 5584

carrying capacity for the unreinforced slope of 45°. It is also observed that the settlement of the crest

for a reinforced 45° slope is 11.7 mm whereas for the same 45° unreinforced slope angle a settlement

of 9.4 mm is reached. From the load - settlement response of the slopes, it is observed that

reinforcement of soil slopes have a very little influence on the slope settlement for all soil nail

inclinations. The summary of the results is given in table 3.

Figure 14: Load – settlement of unreinforced and reinforced slope (slope angle of 45°)

Figure 15: Load – settlement of unreinforced and reinforced slope (slope angle of 60°)

The summary of the results is given in table 3. It is observed that there is an increase of 46.9% in

load carrying capacity for 45o slope when reinforced with nails at 0° and 49.1% increase for 60o slope

reinforced with 0° nail inclination.

Table 3: Summary of the results for unreinforced and reinforced slopes

Unreinforced Nail Reinforced

Slope Angle Load Settlement Inclination Load Settlement (mm)

(N) (mm) (N)

0° 19400 11.7

45o 13200 9.4 15° 17682 11.3

30° 15340 10.8

0° 17300 10.6

60o 11600 11.3 15° 16774 10.2

30° 14400 9.5

Vol. 21 [2016], Bund. 17 5585

The nail force variation with increase in surcharge loading is observed for 0°, 15° and 30° nail

inclination for slopes of angle 45o and 60°. The maximum load carrying capacity is observed for nail

inclination of 0°, so the nail forces are calculated for both the slopes angles of 45° and 60° with nails

inclined at 0° as shown in Fgure 16 and Fgure 17 . The stresses on the nails are calculated from

elastic modulus of aluminium is 69 GPa and measured strain from model testing. The force on the

nail is calculated by finding the stress per unit area (78.5 mm2) of the nails.

Figure 16: Nail forces in 45o model slope with nail inclination of 0°.

Figure 17: Nail forces in 60o model slope with nail inclination of 0°

From the above graphs, it is seen that maximum nail forces are reached at a surcharge load of

18600 N and 16100 N for 45o and 60o slopes respectively. It is also seen that top nails bear the

maximum load followed by middle nails and minimum forces are generated in bottom nails with nail

inclination of 0°.

Vol. 21 [2016], Bund. 17 5586

Modelling of the slopes

The model tests are simulated in the FEM package PLAXIS 3D (Foundation v1.5) for slope

angles 45º and 60º. These soil slopes are analyzed under unreinforced and reinforced condition with

three different nail inclinations of 0°, 15° and 30° for each slope angle. The failure pattern,

deformed mesh, the load-settlement curves for unreinforced and reinforced slopes, the nail forces for

different soil nail inclinations is obtained from the FEM analysis. The modeling and analysis is

carried out by simulating a non-linear and time-dependent behavior of soil. The geometry is modelled

with the dimensions of 500 × 220 × 350 mm as per the dimensions of the tank used for model testing.

The boundary conditions used in modeling has the base of model fixed in all three directions x, y and

z whereas in the vertical direction, the displacements are considered free. This is simulated by

applying the Standard fixities to the geometry. The slope angle to be modelled is written in the form

of x and y coordinates. The soil nails are also placed at specific locations and inclinations using the

coordinates. For the simulation of the interaction between the soil and the nails, interface is given

along the soil nail length with a roughness factor R = 1. The surcharge load is then applied to the

geometry. A load in the range of 10000 N to 30000 N is applied on the slope crest. The material

properties assigned to the models and soil nails are taken from the experimental data used in model

testing are given in Table 4.

Table 4: Material properties of soil slope and nails

PARAMETER VALUE UNIT

Material model Mohr-Coulomb -

Type of material behaviour Drained -

Unit weight of soil above phreatic line (γunsat) 13.60 kN/m3

Unit weight of soil below phreatic line (γsat) 19.68 kN/m3

Young’s modulus of soil (constant) (E) 50000 kN/m2

Poisson’s ratio (constant) (υ) 0.3 -

Cohesion (c) 1.73 kN/m2

Friction angle (constant) (φ) 30 º

Dilatancy angle (ψ) 0.0 º

Length of Soil Nail (L) 150 mm

Young’s Modulus of Elasticity of Soil Nail (Enail) 69 GPa

When the cross-section model is complete, a 2D finite automatic mesh generation is carried out.

The 2D mesh generation process is based on a triangulation principle that searches for the optimized

triangles and results in an unstructured mesh formation. After the 2D mesh is generated, the model is

extended to a fully 3D mesh composed of 15 - node wedge element is created as shown in Fgure 18.

Vol. 21 [2016], Bund. 17 5587

Before starting the calculations, the initial water conditions, the initial geometry configuration

and the initial effective stress state are also simulated. The analysis generates the initial effective

stresses by means of the K0- procedure. The K0 procedures considered only soil weight and calculate

only effective stresses and pore pressures in soil elements and interfaces. Since the material defined in

the model has drained behaviour, excess pore pressure is not generated. Thus only the total stress

parameters are considered in the FE analysis. When plasticity is involved in the Finite element

analysis the equations become non – linear which means that the problem should be solved in a series

of calculation steps. The Plaxis program has convenient procedures for automatic load stepping (load

advancement) and for the activation and deactivation of loads and geometry parts (Staged

construction). The calculations are carried out in a single phase. In this phase the materials, loads

and the soil nails on the geometry are activated. The surcharge loads activated so that the load

settlement curves can be obtained for the unreinforced slopes of 45º and 60º. Similarly for reinforced

slopes the soil nails at desired locations are activated. For the load settlement of reinforced slopes

surcharge loads are applied whereas to simulate the distribution of nail force along its length

predescribed displacement is activated in this stage. The staged construction analysis is executed

using plastic calculations. The deformed mesh in the output gives the failure of the soil model. The

total displacements both in the horizontal and vertical direction are obtained with the extreme

displacement value.

During the calculation phase points for the load – settlement curves are selected at the centre of

the crest of the modelled slopes. The settlement of this point is determined from the load – settlement

curve obtained from the finite element analysis.

From the displacement obtained from FE analysis, it is observed that both the unreinforced and

reinforced slopes have a circular slip failure as shown in Fgure 19, 20, 21 and 22. Due to the circular

slip the slope is observed to have move out of plane resulting in the bulging of the slope. The crest of

the slope is also found to have undergone settlement for both the cases of unreinforced and reinforced

Vol. 21 [2016], Bund. 17 5588

slopes with all the nail inclinations of 0°, 15° and 30°. The nails of the reinforced slopes are found to

get displaced from their original position due to slope deformation. Some nails are observed to have

been pulled inside slightly from the slope face as shown in Fgure 23 (a), (b), (c), (d), (e) and (f). The

soil nails are not observed to have undergone any bending as compared to the bending of nails which

occurred in case of model testing.

Vol. 21 [2016], Bund. 17 5589

Vol. 21 [2016], Bund. 17 5590

(a) (b)

(c) (d)

Vol. 21 [2016], Bund. 17 5591

(e) (f)

Figure 23: (a) Failure pattern of reinforced slope with 0 ° nail inclination for 30° slope; (b)

Failure pattern of reinforced slope with 0 ° nail inclination for 60° slope; (c) Failure pattern

of reinforced slope with 15 ° nail inclination for 30° slope; (d) Failure pattern of reinforced

slope with 15 ° nail inclination for 60° slope; (e) Failure pattern of reinforced slope with 30 °

nail inclination for 30° slope; (f) Failure pattern of reinforced slope with 30 ° nail inclination

for 60° slope

From the FE analysis, it is observed that the load carrying capacity of the unreinforced slopes

shows a small increase in comparison to the experimental values. A similar pattern is observed in the

load carrying capacity reinforced slopes. The nail inclination of 0° with slope of 45° is found to give

the maximum increase in the load carrying capacity of the slope as compared to the model testing

values. From the Fgure 24 and 25, it is observed that the settlement values obtained from the FE

analysis have a large variation as compared to the settlement values from model testing. The FE

analysis is found to give small settlement values for all slopes with different inclination. The

summary of the results is shown in table 5 and table 6. The stress pattern obtained for the reinforced

slopes clearly shows that the entire slope is stressed under the surcharge loading. The stresses are

found to be maximum near the crest and minimum at the toe as shown in Fgure 26 (a) and (b).

Table 5: Summary of Experimental and Finite Element analysis for unreinforced slopes

Experimental results Finite element analysis

Slope Angle

Load(N) Displacement (mm) Load(N) Displacement (mm)

45o 13200 9.4 15662.34 1.8

Vol. 21 [2016], Bund. 17 5592

Table 6: Summary of Experimental and Finite Element analysis for reinforced slopes

Experimental results Finite Element analysis

Slope Angle Nail inclination Failure load Settlement Failure Settlement

(N) (mm) load (N) (mm)

0° 19400 11.7 25450.20 4.94

45 15° 17682 11.3 24220.11 3.83

30° 15340 10.8 20130.45 3.80

0° 17300 10.6 23990.00 2.88

60 15° 16774 10.2 21820.60 2.60

30° 14400 9.5 19688.70 2.50

The nail force observed from FE shows a complex pattern of force variation. However, the

top row of nails is found to bear the maximum force in FE analysis which is similar to the nail

behavior during model testing. The nail forces decrease from top to bottom in both the experimental

and finite element analysis. The variation of nail forces from FE analysis is shown in Fgure 27 and

28. The maximum nail force by FE analysis is observed for 0° nail inclination in 45° soil slope which

coincides with the pattern observed in model testing.

Load (N)

0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 30000

0.00

2.00

4.00

Settlement (mm)

6.00

Nails at 0 deg (FE analysis)

10.00 Nails at 15 deg (FE analysis)

Nails at 30 deg (FE analysis)

nails at 0 deg (Experimental)

12.00

Nails at 15 deg (Experimental)

nails at 30 deg (Experimental)

14.00

Figure 24: Load – Settlement response of unreinforced and reinforced slope of 45° from

experimental results and Finite Element analysis

Vol. 21 [2016], Bund. 17 5593

Load (N)

0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 30000

0

4

Settlement (mm)

6

Experimental vs. FE analysis

nails at 0 deg (FE analysis)

8

Nails at 15 deg (FE analysis)

Nails at 30 deg (FE analysis)

10 Nails at 0 deg (Experimental)

nails at 15 deg (Experimental)

Nails at 30 deg (Experimental)

12

Figure 25: Load – Settlement response of unreinforced and reinforced slope of 45° from

experimental results and Finite Element analysis

(a)

Vol. 21 [2016], Bund. 17 5594

(b)

Figure 26: (a) Stresses in the reinforced slope with 0° nail inclination for 30° slope;

(b) Stresses in the reinforced slope with 0° nail inclination for 60° slope

14000

Nail force vs. Surcharge Load

12000 Top nails

Middle nails

10000

Nail force (N)

8000

6000

4000

2000

0

0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 30000

Load (N)

Figure 27: Nail forces in 45o slope with nail inclination of 0° by FE analysis

Vol. 21 [2016], Bund. 17 5595

Figure 28: Nail forces in 60o slope with nail inclination of 0° by FE analysis

CONCLUSIONS

From the present study it can be concluded that reinforcing soil slopes leads to an increase in the

load carrying capacity and stability of slopes.

(1) From the failure pattern of unreinforced and reinforced slopes which undergo a circular slip

failure for both 45° and 60° slope angle, it can be concluded that reinforced slopes undergo rotational

failure.

(2) The load carrying capacity for unreinforced and reinforced 45° slope is found to increase by

46.96% for nail inclination of 0°, 33.95% for 15° nail inclination and 16.21% for 30° nail inclination.

For 60° slope angle, increase in load carrying capacity of the slope for 0°, 15° and 30° is found to be

49.14%, 44.60% and 24.13% respectively. It can be concluded that soil nailing increase the load

carrying capacity of the slopes.

(3) The maximum increase in load carrying for both 45° and 60° slopes is found with nail

inclination of 0°. So, it can also be concluded that load carrying capacity varies with nail inclination.

However, all nails inclination will only lead to an increase in the load carrying capacity of the slopes.

(4) A larger percentage increase in the load carrying capacity is observed for 60° slope as

compared to 45° slope in mode testing and analysis. Therefore, it can be said that greater the slope

angle more effective is the nailing of slopes.

Vol. 21 [2016], Bund. 17 5596

(5) From the nail force distribution both in model testing and FE analysis it can be inferred that

maximum load is taken by the top nails.

(6) The bending of nails observed during model testing and the inward displacement of nails

shown by the FE analysis signifies that the nails are subjected to shear bending and shear stress.

(7) The punching of crest during model testing and the stress distribution by FE analysis,

accounts to the fact that failure propagates from crest to toe of slope.

(8) However, small settlement of slope crest in FE analysis can be attributed to the boundary

conditions stimulated. The base of the simulated model is treated as fixed in case of FE analysis

whereas in case of model testing lateral expansion of the model is found to occur. Thus it can be said

that the boundary conditions established in case of model testing are partially fixed in nature.

Therefore, the displacement of slope in x and y direction is partially restricted which leads to larger

settlement of the slope crest.

(9) The nail forces are found to decrease from top nails to bottom nails. This nail force

distribution response also concludes that slopes have circular slip surface failure. Also the maximum

nail forces found from model testing and FE analysis signifies that as soon as the nail reaches its

maximum load value, the slope starts to fail.

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© 2016 ejge

Editor’s note.

This paper may be referred to, in other articles, as:

S. Rawat and A. K. Gupta: “An Experimental and Analytical Study of Slope

Stability by Soil Nailing” Electronic Journal of Geotechnical Engineering,

2016 (21.17), pp 5577-5597. Available at ejge.com.

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