University of Twente Student Theses


Shear Response in Reinforced Granular Soil

Eremia, I.L. (2023) Shear Response in Reinforced Granular Soil.

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Abstract:This study delves into the domain of soil reinforcement, a critical aspect of civil engineering with far-reaching implications for structural stability. It traces the evolution of soil reinforcement from ancient practices to modern techniques, notably highlighting systematically reinforced soil and the recent emergence of randomly distributed/oriented fiber-reinforced soil. While traditional methods have typically relied on inert fibers, the study introduces an innovative approach by exploring the use of living plant roots for soil reinforcement. This novel approach not only promises ecological benefits but also addresses the limitations associated with conventional methods. The research aims to investigate and compare the performance of granular soil reinforced through living plant roots versus inert fibers. It addresses the fundamental problem of enhancing the stability and strength of granular soils, which are prone to various environmental factors. The study's motivation lies in sustainable engineering practices, aligning with ecological solutions amid a climate crisis. By integrating living plant roots into civil engineering practices, the research aims to establish a symbiotic relationship between the built and natural environments. It also builds upon previous research, contributing to a broader understanding of randomly distributed/oriented fiber-reinforced soil. Scientifically, this study bridges the knowledge gap by exploring the application of living plant roots for soil reinforcement, shedding light on plant-soil interactions under shear stress. The findings have the potential to shape future soil reinforcement guidelines and to promote sustainable civil engineering practices. The research methodology includes a suite of experimental and analytical techniques, with a focus on laboratory testing using a Direct Shear device. The study details the materials used, including plant species, soil type, and various fibers. It describes the sample preparation processes for soil samples reinforced with active plant roots, inactive Polypropylene fibers, and Nylon fibers, highlighting the importance of simulating root structures. The data processing methods are thoroughly explained, covering parameters like porosity, sample mass, vertical force, rate, water content, and more. The experiments reveal interesting insight into the performance of root, Polypropylene fiber, and Nylon fiber in soil samples under multiple normal stresses (25N, 60N, and 100N). Root samples exhibit a nuanced relationship between root length density (RLD) and shear strength, with an optimal RLD range identified. Polypropylene fiber samples display inconsistent behavior, influenced by clumping during mixing, while Nylon fiber samples consistently perform well, possibly due to their elasticity. Overall, the study concludes that Nylon fibers offer superior reinforcement compared to root and Polypropylene fiber samples. In summary, this research expands our understanding of soil reinforcement techniques by introducing living plant roots as a sustainable alternative. It underscores the importance of RLD and offers valuable insights into the performance of various reinforcement materials under different normal stresses, contributing to the advancement of eco-friendly civil engineering practices.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Programme:Civil Engineering BSc (56952)
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