You are on page 1of 11

Computers and Geotechnics 49 (2013) 253263

Contents lists available at SciVerse ScienceDirect

Computers and Geotechnics


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/compgeo

The effect of pressure-grouted soil nails on the stability of weathered soil


slopes
Yongmin Kim a, Sungjune Lee b, Sangseom Jeong a, Jaehong Kim c,
a

Department of Civil Engineering, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-749, Republic of Korea


Department of Civil Engineering, Cheongju University, Cheongju 360-764, Republic of Korea
c
Department of Civil Engineering, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 561-756, Republic of Korea
b

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:
Received 17 July 2012
Received in revised form 12 November 2012
Accepted 6 December 2012
Available online 16 January 2013
Keywords:
Pressure-grouted soil nail
Pullout resistance
Shear strength reduction method
Stability of reinforced slope
3D nite element analysis

a b s t r a c t
Pressure-grouted soil nails have been increasingly used for stabilizing slopes. The pullout resistance of a
soil nail is the main factor for reinforcing the slope stability. In this study, a two-dimensional axisymmetric nite element model is developed to simulate the pullout behavior of a pressure-grouted soil nail. This
model is veried with eld pullout tests result of a pressure-grouted soil nails by comparing with gravitygrouted soil nails. Based on the analysis, a three-dimensional nite element model is proposed for stability analysis of a slope reinforced with pressure-grouted soil nails using the shear strength reduction
method. A series of numerical slope stability analyses for a slope composed of weathered soil are performed to investigate the effects of grouting pressure on the slope stability and the behavior of the soil
nails. Special attention is given to the installation effect of a pressure-grouted soil nails. It is found from
the result of this study that the pressure-grouted soil nails increase the safety factor by fty percent in a
slope by increasing the stiffness of the nailed slope system. Numerical analysis results conrm the fact
that the pullout resistance of a soil nail is the main factor for stabilizing slopes rather than the shear resistance of the soil nail.
2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction
Soil nails have been commonly used for slope stabilization by
enhancing the shear resistance of soil and/or the pullout resistance
at the interface between the grout and adjacent soil mass because
of their low construction cost and simple installation procedure
[4,18]. Although most of soil nails are installed without pressure
(gravity-grouted soil nails), pressure-grouted soil nails installed
with a high grouting pressure (3001000 kPa) have been increasingly used to improve slope stability in South Korea and other
places in the world. While pressure-grouted soil nail construction
requires additional equipment (such as a pump to place grout under constant pressure and a packer system to attain the grouting
pressure) and higher construction quality control than conventional soil nails, the pressure-grouted soil nail has many advantages compared with the conventional gravity-grouted soil nail
such as: (1) enhancement of grouting formation in a borehole;
(2) increase in diameter of a soil nail; (3) increase in shear strength
at the interface between the soil nail and the surrounding soil; and
(4) reduction of the number of reinforcing soil nails [19].
The pullout resistance of a pressure-grouted soil nail is the main
factor for designing a slope reinforced with soil nails rather than
Corresponding author.
E-mail addresses: soj9081@yonsei.ac.kr (S. Jeong), woghdjfk@gmail.com (J. Kim).
0266-352X/$ - see front matter 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compgeo.2012.12.003

shear resistance of the soil nails to resist the ground movement


along the slope failure surface. Thus, many researchers have studied the pullout behavior of pressure-grouted soil nails through laboratory or eld tests. Main inuencing factors on the fundamental
mechanism of the pullout behavior of a soil nail were investigated
through laboratory model pullout tests [5,6,9,14,15,25,2830]. The
pullout resistance of pressure-grouted soil nails was obtained from
eld pullout tests [1719]. A numerical analysis method was also
developed to investigate the effects of grouting pressure on the
pullout resistance of a pressure-grouted soil nail [26]. However,
while these previous studies were mainly focused on the pullout
resistance of a pressure-grouted soil nail itself, few studies have
been performed on the reinforcing effects of pressure-grouted soil
nails for slope stability.
Some researchers performed numerical analyses for reinforced
soil structures with gravity-grouted soil nails [21,23,24]. However,
no information of numerical studies on reinforced slope with pressure-grouted soil nails is available.
In order to investigate the reinforcing effects of pressure-grouted soil nails for slope stability, a new numerical method for slope
stability analysis is developed. Special attention is given to the
installation effect of a pressure-grouted soil nails using nite element (FE) analysis. Results of eld pullout tests on pressure-grouted soil nails are compared with the analysis results for verication
purpose. A series of numerical analyses for a slope without soil

254

Y. Kim et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 49 (2013) 253263

nails, reinforced with gravity-grouted soil nails and reinforced with


pressure-grouted soil nails are performed and their results are
compared to investigate the effects of pressure-grouted soil nails
for slope stability.
2. Numerical analysis for simulating pullout behavior of a
pressure-grouted soil nails
The pullout resistance of a pressure-grouted soil nail is the
dominant design factor for a soil nail reinforced slope. Thus a
numerical method, which can rationally estimate the pullout resistance of a pressure-grouted soil nail, is needed for the slope stability analysis. In this study, a numerical analysis method is
developed to simulate the pullout behavior of a pressure-grouted
soil nail. The pressurized grouting procedure during its installation
is considered in this numerical method.
2.1. Finite element model
A two-dimensional (2D) axisymmetric condition is used to
model a soil nail as a rigid cylinder and the surrounding soils as
concentric hollow cylinders. The commercial FE computer program
ABAQUS [1] is used in the numerical analysis. To verify the FE model, a result available for pullout tests on pressure-grouted soil nails
is compared with that of numerical analyses.
In this study, the typical 2D axisymmetric FE model for a pressure-grouted soil nail is shown in Fig. 1. The overall dimensions of
the model boundaries comprise a width of fty times the soil nail
diameter (D) from the nail center and a total height (HT) equal to
the nail length (LT) plus a further 1.0LT below the soil nail toe level.
The outer boundary of the model is xed against displacements

(Fig. 1). These dimensions were considered adequate to eliminate


the inuence of boundary effects on the soil nail performance. Both
the soil and nail are represented by eight-node, second-order quadratic element. A relatively ne mesh was used near the interface
between the soil nail and the surrounding soil, and became coarser
farther from the soil nail.
The linear-elastic model for the soil nail and the MohrCoulomb
model using non-associated ow rule for the surrounding soil are
used for the FE model. For a structural component, a soil nail is
constructed with a deformed steel bar and cement grout and it is
modeled as an equivalent elastic solid cylinder due to high ultimate bond strength between them [12,31]. The equivalent elastic
modulus of a soil nail is determined by:

Eeq

Eg Ag Es As
Ag As

where Eeq is the equivalent elastic modulus; Eg and Es are the elastic
modulus of cement grout and deformed steel bar, respectively; Ag
and As are the cross-sectional area of cement grout and deformed
steel bar, respectively.
The interface between the soil nail and the surrounding soil is
described as perfectly rough, thus no relative movement between
the nail and the soil is assumed to take place. While this assumption, which does not allow the interface slippage behavior, may result in overestimating the shear strength of the smooth interface, it
has been widely adopted for simulating the shear behavior of the
rough interface. Therefore, shear failure assumed to occur in the
soil near the soil nail rather than at the interface between grout
and soil. The shear behavior between grout and soil is simulated
by the material behavior of the soil. The nite element mesh of
the soil adjacent the soil nail is dimensioned with thin-layer ele-

Soil

Nail Length(LT)

Total Hight (HT)

Nail

LT

Bonded
Length
(LB=2/3LT)

Unbonded
Length
(LU=1/3LT)

Nail Diameter (D)

Total Width (WT =50D)


Fig. 1. 2D axisymmetric FE model for a pressure-grouted soil nail.

255

Y. Kim et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 49 (2013) 253263

ment (thickness of 4 mm) to simulate the thin localized shear zone


[3,7,10,16,20].
2.2. Numerical procedure for simulating pressure-grouted soil nail
installation
The installation procedure of a pressure-grouted soil nail is simulated in the model described above to investigate the effects of
grouting pressure on its pullout behavior. In this study, seven steps
are applied to simulate the installation procedure of the pressuregrouted soil nail (Fig. 2):
Step 1: The 2D axisymmetric FE mesh including the soil nail is
generated with boundary conditions. Initial ground stresses
are applied to the FE model (Fig. 2a).
Step 2: The elements of the nail are removed to simulate the
procedure of drilling a borehole (Fig. 2b).
Step 3: The grouting pressure is applied to the borehole surface
for the bonded zone while the borehole surface for the
unbounded zone is xed against displacements (Fig. 2c).
Step 4: The grouting pressure acting on the borehole surface is
removed and replaced by xed boundary condition to lock the

stresses and displacement generated by the grouting pressure


in the elements surrounding the borehole (Fig. 2d).
Step 5: The soil nail elements are added in the borehole with the
model properties of the soil nail. The xed boundary conditions
employed by previous step are not changed (Fig. 2d).
Step 6: The xed boundary conditions for the borehole surface
are removed. This process causes the locked-in stresses and displacement to be released and transmitted to the soil nail elements (Fig. 2e).
Step 7: The pullout test process is simulated in this step (Fig. 2f).
On the other hand, the analysis procedure described above
excluding the pressure grouting simulation steps (step 3 and step
4) is used for the analysis of a gravity-grouted soil nail.
2.3. Pullout behavior of pressure-grouted soil nails in weathered soil
The FE analysis model described above is veried with the results from the eld pullout tests performed in two test sites in
South Korea (Pusan and Gyeonggi case). The analysis results are
compared with those from the tests to investigate the pullout
behavior of the pressure-grouted soil nails.

initial ground stress

gravity

nail

remove
nail element

fixed boundary
grouting pressure

soil

(a) Step 1

(b) Step 2

(c) Step 3-4


pullout

fixed boundary
remove
fixed boundary
add nail element

(d) Step 5

(e) Step 6

(f) Step 7

Fig. 2. Numerical analysis procedure for simulating construction process and pullout test for a pressure-grouted soil nail: (a) step 1, (b) step 2, (c) steps 34, (d) step 5, (e)
step 6, and (f) step 7.

256

Y. Kim et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 49 (2013) 253263

250

Gravity-Grouted
Soil Nails

Pressure-Grouted
Soil Nails

Pressure-Grouted
This study(FEM)
Measured(average)

Gravity-Grouted
This study(FEM)
Measured(average)

Unbonded
Length=1m

200

Pullout load, kN

105mm

Length=3m

105mm

Bonded
Length=2m

Steel bar

150

100

50

Weathered Soil
0
0

10

20

30

40

50

Vertical displacement, mm
Fig. 4. Comparisons of predicted and measured loaddisplacement relationships
(Pusan case).

Fig. 3. Information about the soil and test soil nails (Pusan case).

2.3.1. Pusan case


Four instrumented pressure-grouted soil nails and three instrumented gravity-grouted soil nails were installed in the moderately
to completely weathered soil [19]. Fig. 3 shows information about
the soil and soil nails of Pusan case. All tested soil nails have a
diameter of 105 mm and a total length of 3 m including the unbonded length of 1 m and the bonded length of 2 m. The tested soil
nails were constructed with placing a deformed steel bar (30 mm
in diameter) in the middle of a borehole and then with placing neat
cement grout (water-to-cement ratio of 0.42) under the grouting
pressure of 500 kPa. Material properties of the equivalent soil nail
and weathered soil used for FE analysis are summarized in Tables 1
and 2, where the following parameters are listed: diameter (D),
cross-sectional area (A), elastic modulus (E), Poissons ratio (m), friction angle (/), dilatancy angle (w), cohesion (c), unit weight (c).
Fig. 4 shows a comparison of loaddisplacement relationships
determined from the pullout tests and those from the numerical
analysis for the pressure-grouted and gravity-grouted soil nails.
Each average loaddisplacement relationship for the four pressure-grouted soil nails and three gravity-grouted soil nails is used
in these comparisons. Although the FE analysis results show stiffer
pull-out behavior than the measured, a reasonably good agreement
of loaddisplacement relationships (especially ultimate pull-out

resistances) is obtained between the numerical analysis results


and pullout test results for both types of soil nails.
As expected, the pressure-grouted soil nail shows around 36%
higher pullout load than the gravity-grouted soil nail.
2.3.2. Gyeonggi case
The load transfer characteristics of two instrumented pressuregrouted soil nails installed in weathered soil are compared with
those predicted by the proposed numerical analysis. Information
about the soil and soil nails of Gyeonggi case are shown in Fig. 5.
The test pressure-grouted soil nails of PNG1 and PNG2 have length
of 3 m and 4 m, respectively. Both of them have a same unbonded
length of 1 m. These soil nails were constructed with same installation procedure of the pressure-grouted soil nails in Pusan case as
described above. Material properties of the weathered soil and soil
nails used for FE analysis are summarized in Table 3.
Fig. 6 illustrates comparisons of predicted and measured load
displacement relationships for the two pressure-grouted soil nails.
Stiffer eld loaddisplacement relationships compared with those
from numerical analyses are observed in this case but opposite results were shown in the previous Pusan case. This indicates the
limitation of the numerical analysis method used in this study.
The complicated pullout behavior of a pressure-grouted soil nail,
which depends on types of soil, geometry of the irregular expanded

Table 1
Equivalent material properties of the soil nail used in numerical analysis.
Material properties

Steel bar
Grout
Soil nail

Diameter D (m)

Area, A (m2)

Unit weight, c (kN/m3)

Elastic modulus, E (MPa)

Original property

0.029

0.00066

77.0

210,000

0.2

0.008

Equivalent property

0.076

24.0
28

23,000
37,250

0.3
0.29

Poissons ratio, m

Table 2
Material properties of the weathered soil and soil nail (Pusan case).
Material properties

Weathered soil

Elastic modulus, E (MPa)

Poissons ratio, m

Friction angle, / ()

Dilatancy angle, w ()

Cohesion, c (kPa)

Unit weight, c (kN/m3)

33.32

0.34

31

10.5

15.88

16.66

257

Y. Kim et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 49 (2013) 253263

250

Pressure-Grouted Soil Nails

Unbonded
Length=1m

105mm

200

Pullout load, kN

Unbonded
Length=1m

Pressure-Grouted
Soil Nails

Bonded
Length=3m

Bonded
Length=2m

105mm

Weathered Soil

150

100

50

Nail Length=3m
This study(FEM)
Measured

0
0

10

Nail Length=4m
This study(FEM)
Measured

15

20

Vertical displacement, mm
Fig. 6. Comparisons of predicted and measured loaddisplacement relationships
(Gyeonggi case).

PNG 1
PNG 2
Fig. 5. Information about the soil and test soil nails (Gyeonggi case).

soil nail, types of grouting, cannot be simply simulated through the


numerical method in an idealized condition. Although the proposed numerical analysis method has such limitation, the general
trend of the measured pullout behavior of the soil nails (especially
for the ultimate pullout resistance) is fairly well predicted. Stiffer
loaddisplacement relationship and lower pullout load for the
shorter pressure-grouted soil nail of PNG1 than the longer one of
PNG2 are obtained from the comparisons as shown in Fig. 6.
3. Slope stability analysis for a reinforced slope with pressuregrouted soil nails
A 3D FE model for the slope stability analysis of a slope reinforced with pressure-grouted soil nails is proposed to obtain the
safety factor of the reinforced slope and to investigate their reinforcing effects on the slope stability. The numerical technique for
simulating pullout behavior of soil nails described in previous section is implemented in this 3D FE model. The shear strength reduction method is used for the slope stability analysis to obtain the
safety factor of a slope.

onded length of 3 m and a bonded length of 9 m. A 5.0 mm thick


thin layer of material surrounding the nail is used to simulate
the thin localized shear zone. The plates of 2.0  2.0  0.5 m connected to the head of the soil nails are placed on the slope surface
to help the soil nails mobilize their pullout resistance fully. The
geometry and the boundary conditions applied to the 3D FE model
(Fig. 7) are selected considering the pressure grouting effects and
slope stability analysis. An 8-node linear brick element with reduced integration is used for modeling the 3D FE model.
The soil nails and plates are modeled as linear elastic solids. The
MohrCoulomb model with non-associated ow rule is used for
the weathered soil. The material properties used in the 3D FE model are summarized in Table 4.
3.2. Shear strength reduction method
To calculate the safety factor of a slope dened in the shear
strength reduction method which was proposed as early as 1975
by Zienkiewicz et al. [32], a series of slope stability analyses are
performed with the reduced shear strength parameters c0trial and
/0trial dened as follows:

c0trial

1
F

trial

c0

2


tan /0

3.1. 3D FE model of a reinforce slope with pressure-grouted soil nails

u0trial arctan

A 3D FE model to simulate the slope stability analysis for a reinforced slope reinforced with pressure-grouted soil nails using ABAQUS is developed in this study. The 3D FE mesh used in analysis is
shown in Fig. 7. The slope composed of weathered soil has an angle
of 60 to the horizontal plane, a slope height of 10 m, and a slope
width of 3 m. The soil nails installed vertically to the slope surface
has a diameter of 105 mm and a total length of 12 m with an unb-

where c0 and /0 are real shear strength parameters and Ftrial is a trial
safety factor.
The essence of the nite element method with shear strength
reduction method is the reduction of the soil shear strength
parameters until the slope fails. Usually, initial Ftrial is set to be sufciently small so as to guarantee that the system is stable. Then the
value of Ftrial is increased by Finc values until the slope fails. After

F trial

Table 3
Material properties of the weathered soil and soil nail (Gyeonggi case).
Material properties

Weathered soil

Elastic modulus, E (MPa)

Poissons ratio, m

Friction angle, / ()

Dilatancy angle, w ()

Cohesion, c (kPa)

Unit weight, c (kN/m3)

34.37

0.30

42

6.0

17.67

258

Y. Kim et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 49 (2013) 253263

20m

Plate

20m

25m

Unbonded
Length=3m

15m

Bonded
Length=9m

Soil Nail

(a) Plan view (X-Z direction)


3m

Soil Nail

(b) 3D view (X-Y-Z direction)


Fig. 7. 3D FE mesh for a slope reinforced with soil nails: (a) plan view (XZ direction) and (b) 3D view (XYZ direction).

Table 4
Material properties for the 3D FE model for slope stability analysis.
Material properties

Weathered soil

Elastic modulus, E (MPa)

Poissons ratio, m

Friction angle, / ()

Dilatancy angle, w ()

Cohesion, c (kPa)

Unit weight, c (kN/m3)

100

0.30

25

20.0

20.0

the slope fails, the Fstart is replaced by the previous Flow and Finc is
reduced by 1/5. Then the same procedure is repeated until the Finc

is less than user-specied tolerance (e). Fig. 8 shows the owchart


of the procedure to calculate a safety factor [27]. This iterative pro-

Y. Kim et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 49 (2013) 253263

259

Step 2: The natural slope is modeled by removing the plate elements and by using soil properties for the soil nail elements. All
boundaries of the model are xed against displacements. Initial
ground stresses are applied to the 3D FE model (Fig. 9b).
Step 3: The elements for the soil nails are removed to simulate
the drilling process, then grouting pressures are applied at the
boundaries of the boreholes for the bonded zone while the
boundaries of boreholes for the unbounded zone are xed
against displacements (Fig. 9c).
Step 4: The boundaries of the borehole for the bonded zone are
xed against displacements after nishing the pressure grouting process (Fig. 9d).
Step 5: The elements for the plates and the soil nails are added
with their material properties while the displacement boundaries for the shafts of the soil nails remain xed (Fig. 9e).
Step 6: The displacement boundaries for the shafts of the soil
nails are removed to release and transmit the locked-in stresses
and displacement in the surrounding soil to the soil nail elements (Fig. 9f).
Step 7: The slope stability analysis is performed by applying the
gravity forces with unxed boundaries for the upper sides of
the model (Fig. 9g).
On the other hand, same analysis procedure except the steps for
the pressure grouting is used for the stability analysis of a slope
reinforced with gravity-grouted soil nails.
3.4. Reinforcing effects of pressure-grouted soils on slope stability

Fig. 8. Flowchart for calculation of a safety factor.

cedure is based on the incremental search method. This nal value


of Flow, by denition, is identical to the one in limit equilibrium
analysis. The nite element method with shear strength reduction
technique used in slope stability analysis relies strongly on the
determination of global instability of soil slopes, i.e. denition of
a failure [11]. Generally, the failure of slope is dened as: (1) swelling of slope surface [22]; (2) reaching ultimate shear stress of failure surface [8]; and (3) non-convergence of solutions [33]. In this
study, the slope failure is dened by non-convergence of solution,
and the failure surface of slope is presumed by plotting the elements where maximum plastic strain occurs. The analysis results
are represented by relationship between dimensionless displacement (Esdmax/cH2) and factor of safety, where Es is the Youngs
modulus of soil, dmax is the maximum displacement of the slope,
H is the slope height [33].
3.3. Numerical procedure of the stability analysis
Slope stability analysis including the installation process of
pressure-grouted soil nails are performed based on the 3D FE model described above to obtain the safety factor for a reinforced slope.
The following seven steps are required for the slope stability analysis (Fig. 9):
Step 1: The 3D FE mesh including the soil nail and the plate is
generated (Fig. 9a).

In order to investigate the reinforcing effects of the pressuregrouted soil nails, numerical slope stability analyses for a slope
are performed under three different conditions: (1) natural slope
without any reinforcement; (2) reinforced slope with gravity-grouted soil nails; and (3) reinforced slope with pressure-grouted soil
nails. Fig. 10 shows results of stability analyses for a slope under
these three different reinforcement conditions. Safety factors for
the natural slope, the gravity-grouted soil nail reinforced slope
and the pressure-grouted soil nail reinforced slope are 1.15, 1.55
and 1.72 respectively. Based on the analysis results, using pressure-grouted soil nails exhibits obvious reinforcing effect for the
slope stability with increasing the safety factor by around fty
and eleven percent compared with safety factors for natural slope
and gravity-grouted reinforced slope, respectively.
Fig. 11 shows developed slope failure surfaces for the gravitygrouted and pressure-grouted soil nails from the maximum plastic
strain distribution plots. The slope reinforced with pressure-grouted soil nails exhibits expanded failure surface from the slope surface compared with that for the gravity-grouted reinforced slope.
This expanded failure surface was also observed in the laboratory
load tests on the model soil nail reinforced retaining wall performed by Kim et al. [13]. It was found from their tests that the failure surface expanded toward the backll as the stiffness of the wall
increased. Therefore, it is presumed that the grouting pressure may
increase the stiffness of the reinforced slope system.
3.5. Behavior of a pressure-grouted soil nail installed in the reinforced
slope
The axial and shear loads developed along the soil nails are obtained from the previous analysis results to investigate the reinforcing effects of soil nails for slope stability. Fig. 12 illustrates
the distributions of axial loads and shear loads developed along
the lower soil nails for both gravity-grouted and pressure-grouted
soil nail reinforced slopes at the limit state. It is noted that higher
axial loads distribution is observed for the pressure-grouted soil
nail than the gravity-grouted soil nail, whereas the shear loads

260

Y. Kim et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 49 (2013) 253263

Initial ground stress


remove plate elements

modeled with soil properties

(b) Step 2

(a) Step 1

fixed boundaies

grouting pressure
remove soil nail elements
fixed boundaries

(c) Step 3
add plate elements

add soil nail elements

(e) Step 5

(d) Step 4

fixed boundaries

remove fixed boundaries

(f) Step 6

gravity

(g) Step 7
Fig. 9. Numerical procedure of slope stability analysis for a slope reinforced with pressuregrouted soil nails: (a) step 1, (b) step 2, (c) step 3, (d) step 4, (e) step 5, (f) step 6, and
(g) step 7.

261

Y. Kim et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 49 (2013) 253263

140

Type of Reinforcement
Natural Slope
Gravity-Grouted Soil Nails
Pressure-Grouted Soil Nails

2.5

FS=1.72

120
Maximum axial load=113kN

100

Axial load, kN

2
FS=1.55

1.5

Maximum axial load=85kN

80

60

1
40

FS=1.15

0.5

20

Type of Soil Nails


Pressure-Grouted
Gravity-Grouted

0
0

0.4

0.8

1.2

1.6

10

12

14

Distance from the head of soil nail, m

Safety factor

(a) Axial loads

Fig. 10. Safety factors for a slope under three different reinforcement conditions.

0.12

Type of Soil Nails


Pressure-Grouted
Gravity-Grouted

0.1

Shear load, kN

developed along both types of soil nails are very low and can be
ignored.
Basically, the axial loads may develop at the soilgrout interface
in the form of shear stresses around the soil nail perimeter. These
shear stresses are represented by the axial loads within the soil
nail. Since the shear stresses act along the circumferential area of
the soil nail, the axial loads at the ends of the soil nails must be
zero. And the maximum axial loads were developed at the upper
part of soil nail (24 m from the soil nail head) where shear stresses at the soilgrout interface reverse directions. The location of
maximum axial loads may coincide with the divide between the
active soil wedge and the stationary soil mass. However, the actual
magnitude and location of maximum axial loads varies with the
soil deformation pattern, construction sequence, and required
reinforcement [2].
Additional slope stability analyses are performed for three different slope angles of 45, 60 and 80 to investigate the effects
of slope angle on the behavior of soil nails. Fig. 13 shows the distributions of axial and shear loads developed along the soil nails with
different slope angles. The distribution of axial resistance increases
with increase in the slope angle. Changes in the distributions of
shear loads with different slope angles are negligible and the overall values of shear loads are very low and can be ignored. Therefore,
as shown in Figs. 12 and 13, it is shown that the pullout resistance
of a soil nails is the main factor for reinforcing the slope stability

0.08

0.06

0.04

0.02

10

12

14

Distance from the head of soil nail, m

(b) Shear loads


Fig. 12. Distribution of loads developed along the soil nail for two different types of
soil nails: (a) axial loads and (b) shear loads.

rather than shear resistance along the failure surface, regardless


of the nail location and angle of soil nail.

Failure Surface
(Gravity-Grouted
Soil Nail)

Failure Surface
(Gravity-Grouted
Soil Nail)

Failure Surface
(Pressure-Grouted
Soil Nail)

Soil Nail
Effect of grouting preesure

(a) Gravity-grouted soil nails

(b) Pressure-grouted soil nails

Fig. 11. Failure surfaces for a reinforced slope with (a) gravity-grouted soil nails and (b) pressure-grouted soil nails from the maximum plastic strain distribution plots.

262

Y. Kim et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 49 (2013) 253263

140

120

Slope=80

Slope=60

Slope=45

Axial load, kN

100

80

60

40

20

10

12

14

Distance from the head of soil nail, m

(a) Axial loads


0.2

Acknowledgments

Shear load, kN

sure-grouted soil nails. Moreover, the loaddisplacement


behavior with different length of pressure-grouted soil nail is
well predicted by the proposed 2D FE model.
2. The pressure-grouted soil nails exhibits obvious reinforcing
effects for the slope stability with increasing the safety factor
by around fty and eleven percent compared with safety factors
for natural slope and gravity-grouted reinforced slope, respectively. The slope reinforced with pressure-grouted soil nails
exhibits expanded failure surface from the slope surface compared with that for the gravity-grouted reinforced slope. The
expanded failure surface can be explained by the increased
stiffness of the reinforced slope system due to grouting
pressure.
3. Higher pullout resistance distribution is observed for the pressure-grouted soil nail than the gravity-grouted soil nail. The
shear resistance developed along both types of soil nails are
very low and can be ignored. The distribution of pullout resistance increases with increase in the slope angle while the negligibly low shear resistance is developed along the soil nail
without reference to the slope angle. These analysis results conrm the fact that the pullout resistance of a soil nail is the main
factor for stabilizing slopes.

This work was supported by the National Research Foundation


of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MEST) (No.
2011-0030842).

-0.2

References

-0.4

-0.6

Slope=80

Slope=60

Slope=45

-0.8

10

12

14

Distance from the head of soil nail, m

(b) Shear loads


Fig. 13. Distribution of loads developed along the soil nail for three different angles
of slope: (a) axial loads and (b) shear loads.

4. Conclusions
In this study, a 2D axisymmetric FE model is developed to simulate the pullout behavior of a pressure-grouted soil nails. The simulation of the pressure grouting process is included in the FE
model. This numerical model and analysis result is favorably veried by eld pullout test results. Based on the analysis, a 3D FE
model for stability analysis of a slope reinforced with pressure-grouted soil nails is proposed implementing the numerical analysis
technique used in the 2D FE model using the shear strength reduction method. A series of numerical slope stability analyses are performed for three different types of slopes to investigate the effects
of grouting pressure on the slope stability and the behavior of the
soil nails at the limit state. Based on the ndings of this study, the
following conclusions can be drawn:
1. Based on the analysis results from the soil nail pullout simulations, a reasonably good agreement of loaddisplacement relationships is obtained between the numerical analysis results
and eld pullout test results for both gravity-grouted and pres-

[1] ABAQUS. Theoretical users manual version 6.10. Pawtucket: Hibbit, Karlsson &
Sorensen; 2010.
[2] Banerjee S, Finney A, Wentworth T, Bahiradhan M. Evaluation of design
methodologies for soil-nailed walls: an evaluation of soil-nailing analysis
packages, vol. 3. FHWA Publication no. WA-RD 371.3; 1998.
[3] Boulon M. Basic features of soil structure interface behavior. Comput Geotech
1989;7(2):11531.
[4] Chan RKS. Safe and green slope: the holistic Hong Kong approach. In:
Proceeding of safe and green slopes, HKIE geotechnical division 25th annual
seminar, HKIE-GDC, Hong Kong; 2005. p. 126.
[5] Chang KT, Milligan GWE. Effects of the transition zone in a nailed wall model
test. In: Ochiai, Yasufuku, Omie, editors. Proceeding of earth reinforcement,
Balkema, Rotterdam, Netherlands; 1996. p. 3338.
[6] Chu LM, Yin JH. A laboratory device to test the pull-out behavior of soil nails.
Geotech Test J 2005;28(5):115.
[7] Desai CS, Zaman MM, Lightner JG, Siriwardane HJ. Thin-layer element for
interfaces and joints. Int J Numer Anal Methods Geomech 1984;8(1):1943.
[8] Duncan JM, Dunlop P. Slopes in stiff ssured clays and soils. J Soil Mech Found
Div ASCE 1969;95(5):46792.
[9] Franzen G. Soil nailing: a laboratory and eld study of pullout capacity. PhD
dissertation, Department of Geotechnical Engineering, Chalmers University of
Technology, Sweden; 1998.
[10] Ghionna VN, Mortara G. An elastoplastic model for sandstructure interface
behaviour. Geotechnique 2002;52(1):4150.
[11] Huang M, Jia CQ. Strength reduction FEM in stability analysis of soil slopes
subjected to transient unsaturated seepage. Comput Geotech 2009;36:93101.
[12] Hong CY, Yin JH, Zhou WH, Pei HF. Analytical study on progressive pullout
behavior of a soil nail. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 2012;138(4):5007.
[13] Kim HT, Kang IK, Kwon YH. Inuence of facing stiffness on global stability of
soil nailing systems. J Kor Geoenviron Soc 2004;5(3):5160 [in Korean].
[14] Junaideen SM, Tham LG, Law KT, Lee CF, Yue ZQ. Laboratory study of soilnail
interaction in loose completely decomposed granite. Can Geotech J
2004;41(2):27486.
[15] Lee CF, Law KT, Yue ZQ, Junaideen SM. Design of a large soil box for studying
soil-nail interaction in loose ll. Soft Soil Eng 2001;4138.
[16] Park HK, Lee SR, Kim NK, Kim TH. A numerical study of the pullout behavior of
grout anchors underreamed by pulse discharge technology. Comput Geotech
2013;47:7890.
[17] Pun WK, Shiu YK. Design practice and technical developments of soil nailing in
Hong Kong. In: Proceeding HKIE geotechnical division 27th annual seminar:
geotechnical advancements in Hong Kong, Hong Kong; 2007. p. 197212.
[18] Schlosser F. Behaviour and design of soil nailing. In: Proceeding of recent
developments in ground improvement techniques, Bangkok, Thailand; 1982.
p. 399413.

Y. Kim et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 49 (2013) 253263


[19] Seo HJ, Jeong KH, Choi H, Lee IM. Pullout resistance increase of soil nailing
induced
by
pressurized
grouting.
J
Geotech
Geoenviron
Eng
2012;138(5):60413.
[20] Sharma KG, Desai CS. Analysis and implementation of thin-layer element for
interfaces and joints. J Eng Mech 1992;118(12):244262.
[21] Shen CK, Bang S, Romstad KM. Field measurements of an earth support system.
J Geotech Eng Div ASCE 1981;107(12):162542.
[22] Snitbhan N, Chen WF. Elasticplastic large deformation analysis of soil slopes.
Comput Struct 1976;9:56777.
[23] Smith IM, Su N. Three-dimensional FE analysis of a nailed soil wall curved in
plan. Int J Numer Anal Methods Geomech 1997;21:58397.
[24] Song EX, Chen ZY. Soil nailing and its analysis by FEM. Geotech Invest Survey
1996;139(2):16 [in Chinese].
[25] Su LJ, Chan TCF, Shiu YK, Cheung T, Yin JH. Inuence of degree of saturation on
soil nail pullout resistance in compacted completely decomposed granite ll.
Can Geotech J 2007;44(11):1314428.
[26] Su LJ, Yin JH, Wang SY, Liao HJ. Numerical simulation of pressure grouting in
soil nail pull-out tests. Key Eng Mater 2007;353358:103740.

263

[27] Won JH, You KH, Jeong SS, Kim SI. Coupled effects in stability analysis of pile
slope systems. Comput Geotech 2005;32:30415.
[28] Yin JH, Su LJ. An innovative laboratory box for testing nail pull-out resistance
in soil. ASTM Geotech Test J 2006;29(6):45161.
[29] Yin JH, Su LJ, Cheung RWM, Shiu YK, Tang C. The inuence of grouting pressure
on the pullout resistance of soil nail in compacted completely decomposed
granite ll. Geotechnique 2008;59(2):10313.
[30] Yin JH, Su LJ. Inuence of grouting pressure and overburden stress on the
interface resistance of a soil nail. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng
2009;135(9):1198208.
[31] Zhou YD, Cheuk CY, Tham LG. Numerical modeling of soil nails in loose ll
slope under surcharge loading. Comput Geotech 2009;36:83750.
[32] Zienkiewicz OC, Humpheson C, Lewis RW. Associated and non-associated
visco-plasticity
and
plasticity
in
soil
mechanics.
Geotechnique
1975;25(4):67189.
[33] Zienkiewicz OC, Taylor RL, Nithiarasu P. The nite element method. 6th ed.
Butterworth-Heinemann; 2005.