Field pullout testing and performance evaluation of GFRP soil nails

Hong Hu Zhu, Jianhua Yin, Albert T. Yeung, Wei Jin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

100 Citations (Scopus)


Glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) materials provide practical solutions to corrosion and site-maneuvering problems for civil infrastructures using conventional steel bars as reinforcements. In this study, the feasibility of using GFRP soil nails for slope stabilization is evaluated. The GFRP soil nail system consists of a GFRP pipe installed by the double-grouting technique. Two field-scale pullout tests were performed at a slope site. Fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors, strain gauges, linear variable displacement transformers (LVDTs), and a load cell were used to measure axial strain distributions and pullout force-displacement relationships during testing. The pullout test results of steel soil nails at another slope site are also presented for comparison. It is proven that the load transfer mechanisms of GFRP and steel soil nails have certain difference. Based on these test results, a simplified model using a hyperbolic shear stress-strain relationship was developed to describe the pullout performance of the GFRP soil nail. A parametric study was conducted using this model to study some factors affecting the pullout behavior of GFRP soil nails, including nail diameter, shear resistance of soil-grout interface, and ratio of interface shear coefficient to the Young's modulus of the nail. The results indicate that the GFRP soil nail may exhibit excessive pullout displacement and thus a lower allowable pullout resistance than with the steel soil nail.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-642
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2011


  • Fiber reinforced polymer
  • Fiberglass
  • Pullout
  • Soil nailing
  • Tests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Environmental Science(all)


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