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1 11 1 INTRODUCTION AND GENERAL INFORMATION INTRODUCTION AND GENERAL INFORMATION INTRODUCTION AND GENERAL INFORMATION INTRODUCTION AND GENERAL INFORMATION

1.1 Introduction

PIRKASOFT VERSIN 1.0 IS A COMPUTER APPLICATION FOR CALCULATING THE STABILITY
OF GRAVITY GABION RETAINING WALLS.

In order to fully understand this description, it is necessary to explain the following
definitions:

What is a retaining wall?
A retaining or bearing wall is the structure that provides stability to a material or
soil which has a different level than its bearing surface.

The retaining wall is generally a vertical structure, designed and constructed
with a safety margin regarding stability, resistance and durability, which
considers the economic and aesthetic features.

How are retaining walls classified?
Retaining walls are mainly classified according to the material of which they are
made (concrete, masonry, metal, gabions, etc.) or to the way they work
structurally (gravity walls, cantilever walls, anchored walls, etc.).
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What is a gravity retaining wall?
It is a wall whose stability is mainly based on its own weight. It consists on large
retaining masses that, due to their weight and overturning resistance, can bear
earth pressures. It has a large volume in proportion to its height.

What are gabions?
Gabions are construction elements composed of metallic mesh parallelepipeds or
boxes filled with small stones or rocks. They are employed for the
construction of walls and linings, among the most common structures. Also,
their concept in modules allows generating diverse structures according to their
particular needs.

Thus, the PirkaSoft application is appropriate for solving calculation problems
regarding a particular type of structure, such as gravity retaining walls, composed
specifically of gabions. Its use in other type of retaining structures such as the semi-
gravity walls, cantilever walls, anchored walls or MSE systems is not contemplated. For
this reason, the application does not allow its use with other type of materials apart from
gabions.
1.2 Application features

PirkaSoft has the following features:

It is a friendly application designed for providing the greater comfort to basic
users both in its installation phase and it is operation , without requiring
Allows exporting reports to share formats such as the worksheet XLS and the
graphic BMP so that users can prepare personalized or customized reports.
Allows a good navigation according to the logic sequence of the calculation
process of the retaining structures.
Has quick, intuitive and innovative data entry tools,, standing out from them the
tool for structuring the gabion walls from the composition of its blocks.
All data entered and the results generated by the application are immediately
shown in graphics which allow users a better comprehension and interpretation
of the problem analyzed. In this graphic function, the drawing of failure planes
is included, which is a special feature of PirkaSoft application.
This software has a great capacity for representing real soil retaining problems,
allowing adding different wall types, land conditions, soil types, and presence of
water, surcharges or earthquakes.
1.3 Theoretical Basis

The analysis of a retaining wall implies basically calculating the earth pressures against
the wall and the stability assessment regarding sliding, overturning and bearing
capacity.

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For this purpose, PirkaSoft application uses the Limit Equilibrium Method or Trail-
Wedge Method for calculating the lateral earth pressures. This is a graphic method
which considers the equilibrium between the forces that act on a soil wedge limited by
the failure plane, the back of the wall and the free surface of the soil. The math equation
for representing this equilibrium status is the following:

) sen(180
W
) sen(
Pa
+ +
=

which is equal to:

) sen(
) sen(180
W
Pa

+ +
=

Where:
Pa, is the active earth pressure
W, is the weight of the wedge failure.
, is the angle of the failure plane, measured in reference to the horizontal
surface.
, is the angle of internal friction of the soil.
, is the angle of wall-soil friction.
, is the angle of the wall back parameter, measured internally, in reference to
the horizontal surface.

In this expression, it is observed that the pressure Pa, is only a function of the breaking
surface angle , since all the other elements are constant or functions of . Then, the
breaking plane angle is defined as the critical value corresponding to the maximum
value of the pressure Pa in the math function shown above; that is to say, the value of
is obtained using the following differential equation:

0

Pa
=

) (
) (

The limit equilibrium method, in general terms, allows finding solutions to the different
cases arising in soil retaining problems, with irregular or stratified backfills, and also
under different external forces produced by the presence of water, surcharges,
earthquake, among others.

A particular solution of the Limit Equilibrium Method is produced when a section of
homogenous soil with a uniform slope backfill is analyzed, and where there is not any
external force. This equation corresponds to a Coulumb, and is represented by the
following formula:

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+
+
+
+
=
2
2
2
2
) sen( ) sen(
) sen( ) sen(
1 ) sen( sen
) ( sen
H
2
1
Pa

) (

Where:
, is the unit weight (or specific weight) of soil
H, is the height of the wall
, is the internal friction angle of the soil
, is the wall-soil friction angle
, is the angle of the wall back parameter, measured internally, and in reference
to the horizontal
, is the elevation angle of the backfill area located back the wall

The expression written between brackets is known as the coefficient of active earth
pressure, symbolized as Ka.

For a non-friction wall (=0), the horizontal backfill surface (=0) and the vertical wall
(=90), the Coulumb equation is reduced as follows:

/2) (45 tan H
2
1
Pa
2 2
=

That is identical to the Rankine equation for this special case.

Similarly to the active pressure shown before, the formulas for finding the passive
pressure Pp are the following:

According to the Limit Equilibrium method:

) sen(180
W
) sen(
Pp

=
+

According to the Coulumb formula:

+ +
+ +
+ +

=
2
2
2
2
) sen( ) sen(
) sen( ) sen(
1 ) sen( sen
) ( sen
H
2
1
Pp

) (

According to the Rankine formula:

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/2) (45 tan H
2
1
Pp
2 2
+ =

1.4 Application Interface

In the application interface (see graphic below) four areas are distinguished:

2) Treeview panel.
3) Design panel.
4) Data entry panel.

Each of these components is described next.

The menu includes the following options: File, View, Wall, Process and Help, which
are subdivided into:
File:
New Creates a new project.
Save Saves the project.
1
2
3
4
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Save as Saves the project, allowing changing its file name and location.
Export report to XLS Exports the Project report to Excel format.
Export graphic to BMP Exports the graphic shown in the design panel to a bit map format.
Print Prints the report, including the wall graphic.
Exit Quits the application

View:
Toolbar Displays this element in the screen.
Status bar Displays this element in the screen.
Language Selects the language of the user interface.
Graphic options Allows choosing colors for the Project graphics: gabions, ground,
Wall surface failure A red line is used for showing the surface failure estimated in the wall
analysis.
Global surface failure A green line is used for showing the surface failure estimated in the
global analysis.
Loads Shows the uniform and line loads applied on the backfill and the wall.
Dimensions Shows the dimensions of gabion blocks
Move the view Move the graphic within the unlimited space of the design panel.
Dynamic zoom Shows the graphic zoom in or out within the design panel.
Wall zoom Displays a zooming of the wall.
Extended zoom Displays all the panoramic view of the project, both the wall and the
surrounding ground.

Wall:
Wall type 1 Selects wall type I.
Wall type 2 Selects wall type 2.
Wall type 3 Selects wall type 3.
Wall type 4 Selects wall type 4.
Turn right Shows a 1-degree clockwise rotation of the wall.
Turn left Shows a 1-degree counter-clockwise rotation of the wall.

Process:
Calculate failures Calculates failure planes. If data are modified, planes shall be
recalculated using this option.

Help:
Manual Shows the help and technical reference manual, divided into sections.

The toolbar simplifies the more recurrent functions contained in the menu and includes
the following buttons (described from left to right):

New project Generates a new project in blank.
Open project Loads an existing project.
Save project Saves the project.
Export graphic to BMP Exports the active graphic shown in the design panel to a bit map
format.
Export report to XLS Exports the Project report to Excel format.
Graphic options It allows choosing the colors for the Project graphics: gabions, ground,
water line, charges, etc.
Wall type 1 Selects wall type I.
Wall type 2 Selects wall type 2.
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Wall type 3 Selects wall type 3.
Wall type 4 Selects wall type 4.
Turn right Shows a 1-degree clockwise rotation of the wall.
Turn left Shows a 1-degree counter-clockwise rotation of the wall.
Move view Moves the graphic within the unlimited space of the design panel.
Dynamic zoom Shows the graphic zoom in or out within the design panel.
Wall zoom Displays a zooming of the wall.
Extended zoom

Displays all the panoramic view of the project, both the wall and the
surrounding ground.
Calculate failures Calculates failure planes. If data are modified, failure planes shall be
recalculated by pressing this button.
See wall failure The failure surface estimated in the wall analysis is shown as a red line.
See global failure The failure surface estimated in the global analysis is shown as a green
line.
See loads Shows the uniform and lines loads applied on the backfill and the wall.
See dimensions Shows the dimensions of the gabion blocks.

1.4.2 Threeview panel

The threeview panel structure is correlated with the sequence of the calculation process,
containing the following sections and subsections:

1) Project Information
2) Wall characteristics
a. Geometrics
b. Mechanics
3) Calculation Options
4) Ground characteristics
a. Geometrics
b. Geomechanics
6) Wall failure analysis
a. Checking / Calculation details
b. Results
7) Global failure analysis
a. Checking / Calculation details
b. Results

The details regarding the functioning and technical reference required in each of these
sections are explained individually.

1.4.3 Design Panel

This panel shows the Project graphic, which includes the gabion wall composed of
blocks, the soil (surface profiles and layers), the surface and sub-surface water level
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The graphic is drawn to scale. Additionally, a graphic scale and the rotation angle of the
wall located on the left top corner are shown as visual aid.

1.4.4 Data entry Panel

This panel is located on the bottom of the screen. Tabs are provided in its upper part to
have access to the same sections and sub-section mentioned in the treeview (see
drawing below; indicated as A).

In this panel, data are shown as well as some values calculated by the application. For
practical purposes, the DATA values to be provided by the user are shown in black
numbers (indicated as B and D), while the values CALCULATED by the application
are shown in gray color (indicated as C).

For numerical data entry there are elements as TEXT BOX (indicated as D) and GRID
CELLS (indicated as B). Data entry in the text tables is made directly using the cursor
on the element and typing the number on it. Data entry in the cells is made using the
CONTEXTUAL MENU, which is activated by clicking the right button of the mouse;
placing previously the cursor in the ROW of data to be entered or modified (it is block #
6 in the example shown).

1.5 PirkaSoft software requirements

For a good performance of the application, the minimum hardware and software
configuration recommended is listed below:

A
D
C
B
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Hardware:
Intel Pentium Processor at speeds of 200 MHz.
64 MB RAM memory.
7.4 MB free space in hard disk.
Color SVGA monitor, with screen resolution of 1028x768 and 256 colors.
Mouse.

Software:
Windows 9X/Me/NT/2k/XP/2003 Operating System
PDF file reader (e.g. Acrobat Reader) for using the help and technical reference
documents.

On the other hand, it is recommended that PirkaSoft users be higher education
professionals in fields such as geotechnics, structural analysis, hydraulics, material
technology.
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2 22 2 PROJECT INFORMATION PROJECT INFORMATION PROJECT INFORMATION PROJECT INFORMATION

The Project information is requested at the start of the application. This information will
be useful for preparing the headings of the report. This data entry is made through a
nine-field form, which is shown below.

1) Title of the Report

By default, this is Calculation Report. The user can change this title by any other
that he/she decides.

2) Project

Name of the Project that will be the subject matter of analysis shall be entered here.
For example: Bank Protection of Matagente River IV Stage.

3) Project

The application allows entering a Project code, commonly used in institutions for
quick identification purposes. For example: OR-qM-04-17.

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4) Project owner

The name of the Project proprietor or the department in charge of executing the
Project is registered here. For example: Special Project Lago Pisco / Rural Works
Management.

5) Structure

It allows specifying the name of the structure or component of the work that is
subject of the calculation analysis. For example: Walls ranging from km 16+0 to
km 17+5, typical section II.

6) Description

For more details, the user is provided with a short description of the design solution
adopted. For example: Gabion wall, with sections H=5.5 and B=2.5, fills with river
stones of 0.15 m minimum diameter.

By default, the application suggests the material specification as follows: 8x10
hexagonal mesh ( standard ASTM A 975-97) and/or welded mesh (standard
ASTM A 974-97) gabions.

7) Prepared by

The responsible of the Project is identified here. For example, Esp. H. Canales /
Gabion Department / PRODAC.

8) Date

The application generates as date of the report, the first time in which the Project
was generated.

9) File

It indicates the file name, including its entire route. It is generated automatically by
documentos\gavion PRODAC\Ejemplo3.prk

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3 33 3 WALL CHARACTERISTICS WALL CHARACTERISTICS WALL CHARACTERISTICS WALL CHARACTERISTICS

In this section, the geometrical and mechanical characteristics of the wall are
determined.

3.1 Geometry

In this sub-section the screen shown is as follows:

The definition of wall geometry is obtained through three steps explained next.

First step: selecting the wall type

First of all, the wall type that is being analyzed shall be identified. The application
considers the following wall types:

Type 1: Straight back side (default value of the application)
Type 2: Straight front side
Type 3: Symmetrical parameters
Type 4: Asymmetrical parameters
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(Here, the back zone refers to the internal zone where the contained soil is located, and
the front zone refers to the external or visible zone).

The wall type can be chosen from the combined table or from the tool bar icons. The
selection of the wall type can be changed at any time of the process.

Second step: block structuring of the gabion wall

Once the wall type is selected, the wall is sized by determining the gabion blocks which
constitute it.

For wall types 1, 2 and 3 (which are the most common in the design), block offset is
predetermined and just two dimensions are required to enter: block width and height. A
third field is activated only for wall type number 4 (of asymmetrical parameters) in
order to assign additionally the front step of the block (measured in reference to the
bottom block).

Block editing is made through a contextual menu (right click of mouse), which includes
the following options:

- New block, it enters the first block of the wall or adds a new one, always on the
last block created. This block shall keep a width lower than the bottom block.
- Insert block: adds a new block between two other existing blocks. The width of
this block inserted shall be greater or equal than the bottom block and lower or
equal than the top block.
- Edit block: modifies the width, height and front step (if applicable) of the block
selected. In width editing, the same rules determined for the block insertion shall
be followed.
- Delete block: removes a block from the wall.

Third step: wall rotation

If required, at the discretion of the Designer, the application allows specifying a rotation
angle of the wall towards the internal zone of the ground, in order to correct the incline
of the back side and therefore, decrease the active pressure.

The rotation angle ranges from 0 to 20 and its value can be modified manually by
entering it through a table text, or by clicking on the icons turn left or turn right,
located in the toolbar.

The steps described above are not mandatory to be followed strictly in consecutive
order but are recommendable.

On the other hand, for the configuration of the gabion wall, two important aid features
are available:

- The summary table of the geometrical characteristics, and
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- The graphic of the wall projected

Both represent instantly the geometry specified by the user, providing a better definition
of the work.

The summary table of the geometrical characteristics includes the following
information:

Height
H
It is the orthogonal measure from the bottom to the top of the wall,
independently of its rotation.
Base
B
It is the width of the bottom side of the wall, which is in contact with the
foundation soil.
Crest
C
It is the top width of the wall.
Back side
PP
It is dimension of the lateral side of the wall located in the internal part,
which is in contact with the soil contained.
Front side
PF
It is the dimension of the lateral side of the wall located in the external
part.
Base/height ratio
B/H
It is a non-dimensional parameter that relates the width of the wall base
with its height. It is an indicator of the slenderness index of the wall.
Volume
V
It is a measure of the quantity of work required per lineal meter of wall
analyzed.
Angles of the Sides
Alfa PP / alfa PF
It is the angle of both sides measured in reference to the horizontal and
from within the wall, without considering its direction.

3.2 Mechanics

In this section the screen shown is as follows:

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The mechanical characteristics of the gabion wall, which are useful for stability
calculations, are defined next:

Unit weight
gamma,
It is the relation of the natural weight of the material to the unit volume. It
is a status vector that depends on the natural conditions of humidity,
material porosity, and the specific gravity of the particles.

It is also called wet unit weight.
Saturated unit weight
gamma sat,
sat

It is the relation of the weight to the unit volume but considering that all
pores or voids are filled with water.
Effective unit weight
gamma,
It is the unit weight of the material under the effects of the water
immersion. For this reason, the hydrostatic effect of the pressure exerted
is deducted.

The effective unit weight is calculated through this equation:

w sat
' =

Where:

sat,
is the saturated unit weight.

w,
is the unit weight of the water (10 kN/m
3
)

These characteristics of the gabions are calculated by the application from the rock fill
properties of the gabion (the weight of the metallic mesh is insignificant), by using the
following equation:

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w r r g
) n (1 G =

Where:

g,
is the unit weight of the gabion, in kN/m
3

G
r,
is the specific gravity of the rock fill, non-dimensional
n
r,
is the rock porosity of the rock fill, without dimensions

w,
is the unit weight of the water, de 10 kN/m
3

The new technical terms mentioned (G
r
y n
r
) are defined as follows:

Specific gravity
G
It is the relation between the weight and the volume of the solids of the
material.
Porosity
N
It is the relation between the volume of the pores or voids of the material
and its total volume.

Then, the application requires only two parameters of the rock fill (G
r
y n
r
), which are
entered manually through forms.

The table below indicates the usual values of the rocks used in the fill as an aid to the
user.

Type Specific
gravity
Porosity
[-] [m3/m3]
Basalt 3.0
Concrete 2.4
Granite 2.7
Limestone 2.5
Sandstone 2.2
All types 0.3 - 0.4
Rock fill properties

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4 44 4 CALCULATION OPTIONS CALCULATION OPTIONS CALCULATION OPTIONS CALCULATION OPTIONS

In this section of the application, the user shall configure some parameters required in
the subsequent calculation processes. The screen that corresponds to this section is
shown next:

These options are detailed below.

1) Wall-ground angle of friction, in function of the interface material

The angle of friction between wall and soil () is obtained in function of the angle of
internal friction of the material (), using the following equation:

= k

In the application, the value of angle is selected from a combined table in which the
appropriate equation delta = k phi is chosen according to the material available in the
gabion - soil separation:

Without geotextile; delta = 1.0 phi (default value of the application)
Non- woven geotextile; delta = 0.9 phi
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Woven geotextilE; delta = 0.7 phi,
Other; delta = k phi, k defined by the user

Only the fourth option enables a text table to enter the constant k value of the material.

2) Surface and/or ground water in the soil

The presence of surface or subsurface/ground water in the soil where the retaining wall
is placed implies to make additional efforts in the application with regard to the stability
analyses.

Enabling this option allows the possibility of tracing a free water surface in the soil.

This calculation option is enabled through a check box.

The application considers by default that there is no presence of water in the soil.

3) Saturated unit weight calculated or defined

The saturated unit weight (
sat
) of the soil layers can be whether estimated or defined by
the user. In the application this selection is made through a combined table with two
options:

gamma sat = 1.25 gamma (value given by default of the application)
gamma sat defined by the user

If the first option is chosen, then all values of
sat
are calculated using the relation
proposed which is a very general approximation and shall be used with caution by the
Designer.

In the second option, the value of
sat
shall be entered by the user through forms that are
available in the Soil-Layers section.

4) Global failure or wall-soil system analysis

Global failure or wall-soil system analysis is mainly necessary when the ground slope is
significant and can cause stability problems. In plain grounds, is not so necessary to
perform this test since this type of failure is not expected.

For the global failure analysis, the application employs the Wedge Theory, which
divides the ground in three segments: the active wedge, the central block and the
passive wedge. Thus, the central block is assumed as the composition of the gabion wall
(considering it as one of the materials of the ground) and the section of ground located
immediately below it.

This calculation option is enabled through a check box. The application considers by
default that is not necessary to perform the global failure analysis.
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5) Existing seismic conditions

Enabling this option, allows including in the analyses the inertial forces caused by the
seismic motions. For this purpose, the application employs the pseudo-static method
using seismic acceleration coefficients.

This calculation option is enabled through a check box. The application considers by
default that is not required to use the option of seismic event occurrence.

Seismic coefficient used in the calculations

The national territory is divided in three zones, as is shown in the figure attached here.
The zoning proposed is based on the spatial distribution of the seismicity observed, the
general characteristics of the seismic movements and their attenuations regarding the
distance to the epicenter zone, and on the neo-tectonic information.

A Z factor is assigned to each zone as is shown in the Seismic Zoning table. This factor
is interpreted as the maximum ground acceleration with 10% probability to be exceeded
in 50 years.

By using the iso-acceleration distribution map shown below, it is possible to obtain
more accuracy in the seismic accelerations considered.

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The horizontal seismic coefficient is the adequate value used for the calculation, which
is obtained as follows:

kh = Z (g) / 2
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6) Limit safety factors in static and seismic conditions

The limit safety factors for the study Project are defined in this section. These factors
are determined by the Designer or by regulatory requirements.

The application considers by default the following values:

STATIC ANALYSIS:
Sliding safety factor 1.20
Overturning safety factor 1.50

SEISMIC or PSEUDO-STATIC ANALYSIS:
Sliding safety factor 1.10
Overturning safety factor 1.20

The user can personalize and save his/her own calculation options or configurations for
using them in future projects, through the check box located at the left bottom of the
window: Save values for future projects.

Also, the user can restore the default configuration, by clicking the Restore button
located at the right top of the window.

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5 55 5 GROUND GROUND GROUND GROUND CHARACTERISTICS CHARACTERISTICS CHARACTERISTICS CHARACTERISTICS

5.1 Surface

The characteristics of the top surface of the ground are entered in the screen shown
below.

Two surface profiles of the ground are identified: in the backfill and the base. The
backfill is the section of the top ground that will be contained. The base is the bottom
ground where the wall will be placed.

To obtain a modeling that approximates more to reality, the surface profile (of the
backfill or the base) is represented in the application by up to two straight sections.

1) Backfill

a. Section # 1

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It is defined both in dimension and incline. For the dimension, the length
or height of the section can be entered, measured from the crest of the
wall (right end).

To determine the incline, you can choose the angle of elevation above
the horizontal or the slope. The slope is expressed as the vertical:
horizontal ratio, or the (1V:zH) unit.

b. Section # 2

It is defined only through its incline, expressed as angle or slope. The
application does not allow inclines greater than the first section.

Section # 2 is optional. If it is not created, section # 1 is considered infinite
(the dimension indicated in this section will not be considered)

2) Base

a. Section # 1

It is defined by its position and dimension. This section is considered flat.

The position of the section is represented by its height of the left bottom
vertex of the wall. The dimension is determined by the horizontal length
of the section.

b. Section # 2

It is defined just by its incline, expressed as angle or slope. The angle
considered here is the angle of depression below the horizontal.

To enter or modify the data of the sections, you have to use the contextual menu (right
click of the mouse), which has the following functions:

- New section: required when starting the Project.
- Edit section: modifies a section that was previously defined.
- Delete section: removes a section already determined.

When the user starts a new section, he/she is requested to indicate the type of
information available (lengths or heights; angles or slopes) through an unfolding list,
and according to it the corresponding fields are activated, and the information is entered
manually.

Note: According to the theory employed by the application, the incline shall be lower than the angle of
friction of the material.

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5.2 Layers

The characteristics of the layers are entered through the screen shown below.

The software allows decomposing the ground up to a total of three layers: two in the
backfill zone and one in the base zone. The second layer in the backfill is optional.

It is estimated that with this layer composition most of the common problems in the soil
retaining structures are covered.

1) Geometrical

Since there are up to three possible layers of ground, it is necessary to define the
limits among these layers.

The separation between the layers of the backfill and the base is predefined as a
horizontal line that starts from the right bottom edge of the wall. If only one layer is
determined in the backfill, there is not necessary to enter any geometrical data; the
application requires defining its separation line only if two layers are configured in
the backfill.

This line is defined with the elevation of the back parameter and its elevation angle
above the horizontal. This line is the bottom limit of layer #1 and the same time is
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the top layer of layer # 2. In the application, the top elevation of layer # 1 (top right
edge of the wall) and the bottom elevation of layer # 2 (bottom right edge of the
wall) are shown as aid for their location. The elevation angle of the limit line only
accepts positive values.

It is necessary to have into account, that elevation zero (level of reference zero) goes
by the right bottom corner of the wall; that is to say, that is the overturning point:
point (0,0).

2) Geomechanical

The application requires the following data of the soil layers:

1) Unit wet weight
2) Saturated unit weight (when the option: gamma sat is activated, defined
by the user)
3) Angle of Internal friction
4) Allowable bearing capacity (only of the base layer)

The system calculates internally the following parameters:

1) Unit wet weight (when the option is activated: gamma sat = 1.25 gamma)
2) Wall-soil angle of friction
3) Effective unit weight

These terms are technically defined as follows:

Unit weight
gamma,
It is the relation of the natural weight of the material to the
unit volume. It is a status vector that depends on the natural
conditions of humidity, material porosity, and the specific
gravity of the particles.

It is also called wet unit weight.
Saturated unit weight
gamma sat,
sat

It is the relation of the weight to the unit volume, considering
all pores or voids are filled with water.
Effective unit weight
gamma,
It is the unit weight of the material under the effects of the
water immersion and thus, the hydrostatic effect of the
pressure exerted is deducted.

The effective unit weight is calculated through this equation:

w sat
' =

Where:

sat,
is the saturated unit weight.

w,
is the unit weight of the water (10 kN/m
3
)
Angle of internal friction
phi,
It is the angle of shearing resistance (or shear stress) in a non-
cohesive or granular soil. Also it is called angle of repose,
which is the maximum slope of a surface free of non-cohesive
dry material.

It is one of the main parameters that define the soil resistance.
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In granular soils, the angle of friction is the only mechanism
that provides shearing strength. The strength increase is
obtained through compacting and/or use of well-bonded
grains. In fine soils the shear resistance is increased by the
cohesion between particles, which become much more
important than the friction.
Wall-Soil Angle of friction
delta,
It is the angle of friction between the soil and the structure
surface, which in this case is the gabion wall.

It is a useful parameter for finding the maximum sliding
resistance along the surface, equals to N tan (delta), where N
is the normal force to the surface.
Allowable bearing capacity
sigma a,
a

The allowable bearing capacity (
a
is the maximum pressure
that must be present in a foundation soil, usually for limiting
settling.

On the other hand, the bearing capacity () is the stress
transferred from the bottom of the structure to the subjacent
soil or foundation soil.

All the geo-mechanical information of the study Project shall be provided by the
specialized professional or according to the respective geotechnical study.

The following table is provided only as reference, showing typical values of the most
common soils.

Classification Description UNSCS
Classification
Angle of
internal
friction
Unit weight
(moist)
Allowable
bearing
capacity
[] [kN/m3] [MPa]
Good Sand, Gravel, Stone
GW, GP, GM,
GC, SW, SP
32 - 36 15.5 - 21.0 0.4 - 4.0
Moderate
Silty Sands, Clayeled
Sands
SM, SC 28 - 32 17.0 - 20.5 0.2 - 0.5
Difficult
Silts, Low Plastics
Clays
ML, CL, OL 25 - 30 17.0 - 20.0 0.1 - 0.2
High Plastic Silts &
Clays, organics
CH, MH, OH, PT 0 - 25 8.0 - 17.5 0.0 - 0.1
Soil Properties - Approximate Design Parameters

5.3 Water table

The characteristics of the free water surface are entered in the application through the
following screen:

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The following parameters are used to model the water surface in the soil (surface and/or
ground):

1) Front elevation

It is the elevation of the free water surface located in the front of the wall. It can be
located on the land level (surface water) or below it (ground water).

The application requires this data.

2) Back elevation

It is the elevation of the free water surface, located on the back wall. This water
table is calculated by the application as the front elevation with the adding of the
hydraulic difference.

3) Hydraulic difference

It is the difference of level between the back elevation and the front elevation of the
hydraulic profile. This difference is always a positive result, considering whether a
flow going towards the incline of the slope (such as soil percolations) or a horizontal
static flow (such as percolation of a river-bed on a protected bank).

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4) Length of water surface lowering

In case there is a hydraulic difference greater than zero, it is necessary to indicate
the length in which this lowering of hydraulic gradient is produced.

When the front elevation is below the land, a difference equals to zero is assumed;
that is to say, that the hydraulic difference is not considered.

The application does not allow water elevations (both front and back) above the wall
crest level.
The following additional information is provided as an aid to understand the
definition of water line:

Front elevation of the ground. It shows the value of the ground elevation in
the front part of the wall. Water elevations greater or lower than this value
imply the presence of surface or ground water, in each of the cases.
Maximum elevation. It shows the value of the wall crest elevation (right top
corner). The application does not allow water elevations (either front or
back) greater than this level.
Maximum hydraulic difference. After determining the maximum elevation
(former item) and entering the front water elevation, the application
calculates the maximum hydraulic difference that the user can enter so that
the back water elevation does not exceed the value of the maximum
elevation.
5.4 Central block

If the option of global analysis is activated (for this purpose, the application uses the
wedge method), it will be required to define the depth or elevation of the central block
in the application.

The central block is determined by projecting downwards the wall base, in a depth
determined by the user according to his/her discernment.

Since the incline of the wall is already determined and so, the incline of the base, just
the depth from one of the edges of the wall base will be required to indicate. The
application requires the depth value from the back edge of the wall.

The screen that corresponds to this option is the following:

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External loads in the retained material lead to an increase in the lateral pressure on the
structure. Loads can be permanent, as in a construction adjacent to the wall, or
temporary, as the weight of construction equipment or material storage.

Loads considered in the application, according to their distribution, are uniform and line

Those are mainly continuous loads that act in the earth surface involved, such as loads
from elements uniformly piled on the platform (concrete tiles, blankets for erosion
control, etc.), or loads caused by the transit in the soil retained that is used as road,
which can be treated as loads uniformly distributed.

The screen to enter these loads in the application is shown below:

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The application considers up to two different load values, one for each section on the
backfill (if two sections were defined in the backfill), which are measured in weight
units per surface: kN/m
2
.

As aid for the calculation of these values, we provide here the following technical
information:

The specific weight of the following materials is indicated below:

Steel 77.0 kN/m
3
Aluminum 27.4 kN/m
3
Asphalt 22.0 kN/m
3

Lightweight concrete 17.4 kN/m
3

Plain concrete 23.5 kN/m
3

Reinforced concrete 25.0 kN/m
3
Wood 10.0 kN/m
3
Stone masonry 26.6 kN/m
3

Common values for transit surcharge in the USA are: 5 kN/m
2
(100 psf), for traffic of
cars and light trucks, or vehicle parking, and 12.5 kN/m
2
(250 psf) for traffic of heavy

Some codes (such as BS) recommend to consider minimum values of 10 kN/m
2
in the
wall design, for covering incidental loads during the construction (e.g. construction
plants, stored materials and transit of machinery), unless the site does not have a clear
stipulation demanding this consideration.

According to the British Standard (BS), retaining walls and bridge abutments that are
part of a motor road generally shall be designed for a load of 20 kN/m
2
structures located along rural roads or other trunk or main roads, shall be designed for a
2
. On the other hand, in isolated pedestrian ways of a road or in cycle
paths, a load of 5 kN/m
2
shall be considered.

They comprise flexible line loads with infinite length that have an intensity w per length
unit (indicated in kN/m) on the surface of ground mass, considered semi-infinite. In
these loads, the longitudinal dimension that is parallel to the wall prevails over any
other.

For entering these loads in the application, the following screen appears.

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1) On the backfill

Line loads on the backfill are for example, pedestrian ways or constructions as
fences.

The application allows defining up to three line loads per backfill. The line load
defined by its weight per lineal meter (measured in kN/m) y and by its offset
(measured in m), that is the distance from the crest (right end).

2) On the wall

Line loads applied directly on the wall are for example, the loads transmitted by a
bridge (when the wall is used as abutment) or other element or structure that is
supported on the crest of the gabion wall and transmits its weight vertically.

This load is measured in kN/m and is applied in the center of the wall crest.

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7 77 7 WALL FAILURE ANALYSIS WALL FAILURE ANALYSIS WALL FAILURE ANALYSIS WALL FAILURE ANALYSIS

The wall failure analysis has the following work sequence:

1) Detailed calculations. The system of interacting forces is analyzed, including its
characteristics of magnitude, direction and application point. With this base
information, the effects which are useful for the static analysis of the structure
are deduced: the forces, in its horizontal and vertical components, and the
rotation moments.

In this force system, the following sign convention is used:

Horizontal forces and moments: Positive sign for those forces going in
the direction of the movement (caused by the active earth pressure).
Negative sign for the opposite forces and moments.
Vertical forces: Positive sign for forces going downwards, as the
gravitational forces. Negative sign for forces going upwards.

2) Summarized results. Based on the former calculation analysis, the equations of
static equilibrium of the structure are set out, which allows simplifying the
complex system of forces and moments by using their equivalents or resultants.

3) Checking. With the resultants of forces and moments and the other prior
calculations, the characteristics of stability parameters or factors in the retaining
structure are verified

This analysis sequence is presented in reverse order in the application so that the user
verifies the checking or final results and then goes to the calculation details.

7.1 Checking

In the wall analysis the following characteristics must be checked:

Sliding safety factor.
Overturning safety factor.
Eccentricity
Pressures on the foundation base.

The check table is provided in the application through the following screen:

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The terms presented are defined as follows:

1) Sliding safety factor [SFs]

SFs is the relation between the forces that cause the failure (or sliding forces,
symbolized as Fs) and the forces that prevent its occurrence (or resisting forces, Fr).
It is expressed in the following math equation:

Fr
Fs
SFs =

2) Overturning safety factor [SFo]

Similarly to the former factor, el SFo is related to the rotation moments that cause
the failure (or overturning moments, symbolized as Mo) and the moments that
prevent its occurrence (or resisting moments, Mr). It is expressed in the following
math equation:

Mr
Mo
SFo =

The two former factors (SFs and SFo) are compared to the limit safety factors of
each case (lim SFs and lim SFo) that were predetermined by the user in the
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CALCULATION OPTION section). This determined the following conditions for
the structure stability:

SFs < lim SFs lim

SFo < lim SFo lim

3) Eccentricity [e]

Another parameter for assessing the stability of the structure is the eccentricity,
which indicates the position of the resultant force in reference to the central axis of
the foundation base. Its calculation is obtained through the following equation:

Fy
Mo Mr
2
B
e

=

Where:
B, is the foundation base of the wall
Mr, is the resisting moment
Mo, is the overturning moment
Fy, is the sum of the vertical forces

Due to stability reasons, it is convenient that the resulting forces on the structure are
within the third central of the base; that is to say, that the following relation shall be
applied:

ABS (e) < B/6

However, due to the flexibility of the gabion structures, certain deviation of the total
force in reference to the central third of the base is admitted.

The application considers correct, the relation: e < B/6. The opposite condition (e >
B/6) is not recommendable and the user is warned about it.

4) Pressures on the foundation base [ ]

Pressures that the structure exerts on its base () shall not be greater than the
allowed load of the foundation soil (
a
). These pressures are calculated through the
following equation

)
B
e
6 (1
B
N
=

Where:
N, is the normal resultant force for the wall base
B, is the width of the wall base
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e, is the eccentricity

According to this equation, the pressure distribution is trapezoidal; the pressure in
the left end (the toe of the wall) is calculated by the equation with positive sign,
while the pressure of the right end (the hill of the wall) is with the negative sign.

The former relationship for the calculation of , is valid for all cases when
eccentricity is within the central third of the base (e < B/6). If the opposite case
occurs (e > B/6), the following equation is applied:

d 3
N 2

=

Where:
d,is the position of the resultant force in the wall base, measured from the
rotation point: the left bottom end of the wall.

In this case, the pressure distribution is triangular; the pressure in the left end is
calculated by the equation presented, while the pressure in the right end is zero. This
implies that the pressures from the structure are not distributed in all the wall width
but only in a length lower than b, which is equivalent to:

e) 2 (B
2
3
b =

Where:
B, is the width of the wall base
e, is the eccentricity

If possible, a triangular pressure distribution must be avoided (when e > B/6), since
this implies that the wall base is being sub-using for transmitting loads towards the
foundation.

7.2 Results

Once the user checks the stability, he/she can perform a more detailed verification of the
calculation process, by observing the result table or the detailed calculation table.

The results refer to the following parameters:

Active pressure horizontal angle
Passive pressure horizontal angle
Horizontal force
Vertical force (active wedge and wall)
Normal force to the wall base
Tangential force to the wall base
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Friction force on the wall base
Sliding force
Resisting force
Overturning moment
Resisting moment
Position of the resultant force in the base
Eccentricity

The result table is as follows:

7.3 Calculation details

If the user needs to go into the calculation details, he/she can access them through the
bottom Calculation details located on the right top of the stability check table, in the tab
CHECKING.

The table of calculation details is presented in a window similar to the one shown
below:

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In this table, the forces that participate in the analysis are shown in seven columns:

Force, F
Force in its horizontal component, Fx
Force in its vertical component, Fy
Application point of F, coordinate X
Application point of F, coordinate Y
Overturning moments
Resisting moment

Apart from showing in detail the forces with all their characteristics, this table also
allows entering coefficients to these forces (first column of the table), in order to reduce,
amplify or annul them.

In this way, the user can prove the sensitivity of the final result or simulate different
scenarios in a fast way. The Designer must use his/her sound judgment when using this
test tool.

One example to show the usefulness of this option is that it allows eliminating passive
pressures (their coefficient is equal to zero), to place the stability analysis in a more
conservative position, assuming the possibility that the ground located in front of the
wall be removed.

The application considers by default that all forces participate in the equilibrium and
also their coefficients are equal to one.
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8 88 8 GLOBAL FAILURE ANALYSIS GLOBAL FAILURE ANALYSIS GLOBAL FAILURE ANALYSIS GLOBAL FAILURE ANALYSIS

Similarly to the wall failure analysis, the global failure analysis has the following work
sequence:

1) Detailed calculations. The system of interacting forces is analyzed, including its
characteristics of magnitude, direction. With this base information, the effects
which are useful for the static analysis of the structure are deduced: the forces, in
its horizontal and vertical components.

In this force system, the following sign convention is used:

Horizontal forces and moments: Positive sign for those forces going in
the direction of the movement (caused by the active earth pressure).
Negative sign for the opposite forces and moments.
Vertical forces: Positive sign for forces going downwards, as the
gravitational forces. Negative sign for forces going upwards.

2) Summarized results. Based on the former calculation analysis, the equations of
static equilibrium of the structure are set out, which allows simplifying the
complex system of forces and moments by using their equivalents or resultants.

3) Checking. With the resultants of forces and moments and the other prior
calculations, the safety factor when faced with the global failure is verified.

This analysis sequence is presented in reverse order in the application so that the user
verifies the checking or final results and then goes to the calculation details.

8.1 Checking

In the wall analysis the Safety factor must be checked.

The check table is provided in the application through the following screen:

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The term presented are defined as follows:

Safety Factor [SF]

SFs is the relation between the forces that cause the failure (or sliding forces,
symbolized as Fs) and the forces that prevent its occurrence (or resisting forces, Fr).
It is expressed in the following math equation:

Fr
Fs
SF =

8.2 Results

Once the user checks the stability, he can perform a more detailed verification of the
calculation process, by observing the result table or the detailed calculation table.

The result table looks like the one shown below:

Active pressure horizontal angle
Passive pressure horizontal angle
Normal force to the wall base
Tangential force to the wall base
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Friction force on the wall base
Sliding force
Resisting force

The following screen is shown in the application:

8.3 Calculation details

If the user needs to go into the calculation details, he/she can access them through the
bottom Calculation details located on the right top of the stability check table, in the tab
CHECKING.

The table of calculation details is presented in a window similar to the one shown
below:

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In this table, the forces that participate in the analysis are shown in three columns:

Force, F
Force in its horizontal component, Fx
Force in its vertical component, Fy

Apart from showing in detail the forces with all their characteristics, this table also
allows entering coefficients to these forces (first column of the table), in order to reduce,
amplify or annul them.

In this way, the user can prove the sensitivity of the final result or simulate different
scenarios in a fast way. The Designer must use his/her sound judgment when using this
test tool.

One example to show the usefulness of this option is that it allows eliminating passive
pressures for placing the stability analysis in a more conservative position.

The application considers by default that all forces participate in the equilibrium and
also their coefficients are equal to one.

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9 99 9 CONVERSION OF MEASURE UNITS CONVERSION OF MEASURE UNITS CONVERSION OF MEASURE UNITS CONVERSION OF MEASURE UNITS

This application works with the International System SI, which is world-wide accepted
and used. For users of the former Metric System, the following table is provided to aid
in the conversion of units in a practical, fast but less rigorous way.

1 kilo Newton 1 kN = 100 kgf 100 kilogramos fuerza
1 kilo Newton 1 kN = 0.1 tf 1 tonelada fuerza
1 mega Pascal 1 MPa = 10 kgf/cm
2
1 mega Pascal 1 MPa = 100 tf/m
2
1 kilo Pascal 1 kPa = 0.1 tf/m
2
1 kN/m
3
= 100 kgf/m
3
1 kN/m
3
= 0.1 tf/m
3
10 kN/m
3
= 1000 kgf/m
3
UNIT WEIGHT OF WATER,
w
Metric System International System
Approximate equivalence of units of measurement ( g = 10 m/s
2
)
FORCE
STRESS / PRESSURE
UNIT WEIGHT

For a more accurate conversion, we recommend the use of the following table:

1 kilo Newton 1 kN = 102 kgf 102 kilogramos fuerza
1 kilo Newton 1 kN = 0.102 tf 1.02 tonelada fuerza
1 mega Pascal 1 MPa = 10.2 kgf/cm
2
1 mega Pascal 1 MPa = 102 tf/m
2
1 kilo Pascal 1 kPa = 0.102 tf/m
2
1 kN/m
3
= 100.2 kgf/m
3
1 kN/m
3
= 0.102 tf/m
3
10 kN/m
3
= 1000 kgf/m
3
STRESS / PRESSURE
UNIT WEIGHT
UNIT WEIGHT OF WATER,
w
Equivalences of units of measurement (g = 9.80665 m/s
2
)
International System Metric System
FORCE

P
PPI
II R
RRK
KKA
AAS
SSO
OOF
FFT
TT V
VV1
11 .
.. 0
00
USER MANUAL AND TECHNICAL REFERENCE

PGINA 44
10 10 10 10 REFERENCE VALUES REFERENCE VALUES REFERENCE VALUES REFERENCE VALUES

Type Specific
gravity
Porosity
[-] [m3/m3]
Basalt 3.0
Concrete 2.4
Granite 2.7
Limestone 2.5
Sandstone 2.2
All types 0.3 - 0.4
Rock fill properties

Classification Description UNSCS
Classification
Angle of
internal
friction
Unit weight
(moist)
Allowable
bearing
capacity
[] [kN/m3] [MPa]
Good Sand, Gravel, Stone
GW, GP, GM,
GC, SW, SP
32 - 36 15.5 - 21.0 0.4 - 4.0
Moderate
Silty Sands, Clayeled
Sands
SM, SC 28 - 32 17.0 - 20.5 0.2 - 0.5
Difficult
Silts, Low Plastics
Clays
ML, CL, OL 25 - 30 17.0 - 20.0 0.1 - 0.2
High Plastic Silts &
Clays, organics
CH, MH, OH, PT 0 - 25 8.0 - 17.5 0.0 - 0.1
Soil Properties - Approximate Design Parameters

P
PPI
II R
RRK
KKA
AAS
SSO
OOF
FFT
TT V
VV1
11 .
.. 0
00
USER MANUAL AND TECHNICAL REFERENCE

PGINA 45

The specific weight of the following materials is indicated below:

Steel 77.0 kN/m3
Aluminum 27.4 kN/m3
Asphalt 22.0 kN/m3
Lightweight concrete 17.4 kN/m3
Plain concrete 23.5 kN/m3
Reinforced concrete 25.0 kN/m3
Wood 10.0 kN/m3
Stone masonry 26.6 kN/m3