Visualization of pullout behaviour of geogrid in sand with emphasis on size effect of protrusive junctions

Chen xi Miao, Jun jie Zheng, Rong jun Zhang, Ming xing Xie, Jianhua Yin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Geogrid has been extensively used in geotechnical engineering practice due to its effectiveness and economy. Deep insight into the interaction between the backfill soil and the geogrid is of great importance for proper design and construction of geogrid reinforced earth structures. Based on the calibrated model of sand and geogrid, a series of numerical pullout tests are conducted using PFC3Dunder special considerations of particle angularity and aperture geometry of the geogrid. In this work, interface characteristics regarding the displacement and contact force developed among particles and the deformation and force distribution along the geogrid are all visualized with PFC3Dsimulations so that new understanding on how geogrid-soil interaction develops under pullout loads can be obtained. Meanwhile, a new variable named fabric anisotropy coefficient is introduced to evaluate the inherent relationship between macroscopic strength and microscopic fabric anisotropy. A correlation analysis is adopted to compare the accuracy between the newly-proposed coefficient and the most commonly used one. Furthermore, additional pullout tests on geogrid with four different joint protrusion heights have been conducted to investigate what extent and how vertical reinforcement elements may result in reinforcement effects from perspectives of bearing resistance contribution, energy dissipation, as well as volumetric response. Numerical results show that both the magnitude and the directional variation of normal contact forces govern the development of macroscopic strength and the reinforcing effects of joint protrusion height can be attributed to the accelerated energy dissipation across the particle assembly and the intensive mobilization of the geogrid.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2121-2133
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Central South University
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017


  • discrete element method (DEM)
  • energy dissipation
  • fabric anisotropy
  • geogrid
  • joint protrusion
  • pullout behaviour

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Metals and Alloys


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