This paper presents the experimental and numerical studies of geocell-reinforced subballast subjected to cyclic loading. A series of laboratory experiments were conducted using a large-scale prismoidal triaxial apparatus that was subjected to relatively low confining pressures of σ'3 = 10-30 kPa and a frequency of f = 10 Hz. Numerical simulations were performed using the commercial finite element package ABAQUS in three dimensions to realistically model cellular confinement, and to study the effectiveness of geocell reinforcement on subballast. A cyclic loading with a periodic and positive full-sine waveform was adopted to model the geocell-reinforced subballast, which is similar to the load carried out in the laboratory. The results of numerical modelling agreed well with the experimental data, and showed that geocell could effectively decrease the lateral and axial deformations of the reinforced subballast. The numerical model was also validated by the field data, and the results were found to be in good agreement, indicating that the proposed model was able to capture the load-deformation behaviour of geocell-reinforced subballast under cyclic loading. A parametric study was also carried out to evaluate the effect of the subballast strength and geocell stiffness on the mobilized tensile strength in the geocell mattress. It was found that the maximum mobilized tensile stress occurs on the subballast with the lowest degree of stiffness. Also the results revealed that lateral displacement decreased further by increasing geocell stiffness, and geocell with a relatively low stiffness performs very well compared to the geocell with a higher stiffness.
Biabani, M. Mahdi., Indraratna, B. & Ngo, N. (2016). Modelling of geocell-reinforced subballast subjected to cyclic loading. Geotextiles and Geomembranes, 44 (4), 489-503.