The 12th International Conference of International Association for Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics (IACMAG) 1-6 October, 2008

Goa, India

Effect of Arching on Passive Earth Pressure Coefficient.
Rupa Sunil Dalvi
Department of Civil Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering Division, PIET’s College of Engineering, Pune – 411005, Maharashtra, India.

Pise P.J.
Department of Civil Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering Division, PIET’s College of Engineering, Pune – 411005, Maharashtra, India. (Former Professor, IIT Kharagpur ) Keywords: Arching, Passive earth pressure, Sandy soil, Wall friction, Retaining Wall ABSTRACT : Analysis has been proposed by Paik & Salgado (2003) for the non linear distribution of active earth pressure on a translating retaining wall considering arching effect. In the present paper, formulation is proposed for calculating passive earth pressure on a rigid retaining wall undergoing horizontal translation based on his approach (Paik & Salgado, 2003). It takes into account arching effect in the backfill. The proposed formulation is compared with Coulomb’s results. The comparison between proposed and Coulomb’s values shows that the proposed equation predict values of earth pressure much less than those of Coulomb’s values. In order to facilitate calculation of passive earth pressures, using the proposed equation, a modified passive pressure coefficient is provided. It is a function of soil friction angle φ and soil - wall friction angle, δ



Arching is universal phenomena that involves transfer of pressure from the yielding part of soil to the adjoining part. The soil is said to be arch over the yielding part of support. The state of stress within the zone of arching depends upon the amount of yield. As yielding increases, arching effect is gradually reduced. However ,the effect of arching is permanent in character as the shear strength property of soil .Arching effect is less if shear strength is less. Though arching phenomenon occurs in number of geotechnical engineering problems, it has not received much attention. Several researchers have attempted to estimate the active earth pressures exerted against rigid retaining walls considering arching effect in the retained soil mass. Janssen (1895) set up the differential equation for pressures in the silos by considering force equilibrium for any differential flat element in the silo. Based on Janssen’s arching theory Spranglar & Handy (1984) and Wang (2000)suggested equations to estimate the non linear distribution of active pressure on retaining walls. Handy (1985) and Harrop- Williams (1989) also proposed lateral active earth pressure coefficients Kaw and equation for calculating non-linear active earth pressures. Dalvi,2007) have used approach similar to that of Handy and derived coefficient of passive earth pressure (Kpw). Estimation of passive earth pressure acting on a rigid retaining wall is very important in the design of many geotechnical engineering structures, particularly retaining walls. Civil engineers have traditionally calculated the passive earth pressure against rigid wall using either Coulomb’s or Rankine’s formulation. Both assume that the distribution of the passive earth pressure exerted against the wall is triangular. However, many experimental results Naran and Fang & Ishibashi (1986) shows that the distribution of passive earth pressure on the face of the rough wall depends on the wall movement (rotation about top, rotation about bottom, and horizontal translation)and is non-linear. This is different from the assumption made by both Coulomb and Rankine.


Scope of Study

In this study the effect of arching on passive earth pressure in the non-cohesive backfill is considered. The backfill is assumed to rise upward in a circular arc form due to arching. The vertical and lateral stress acting at arbitrary point along a differential flat element in backfill is calculated. These stresses are the function of internal friction angle φ and soil to wall interface friction angle δ. The ratio of lateral to vertical stress is denoted by Kpwn. A modified passive earth


2 Proposed Method of Analysis The approach is similar to that of Paik and Salgado(2003) for active earth pressure and Dalvi. σ3 are perpendicular to convex arc. 7. 6. Figure 1. The direction of element in Fig. homogenous. When the translation of wall takes place towards the soil mass. Trajectory of major principal stresses.e. The major principal stresses σ 1 on the differential flat element behind the wall act along the convex arc as shown in Fig. semi infinite. The walls are assumed to translate towards the soil mass creating passive coefficient Kpwn considering arching effect has been derived. The width of the differential flat element at a depth z can be expressed as follows Bz = Rcosθ (1) where R is radius of major principal stress trajectory and θ is the angle of major principal plane with respect to the 237 . The major and minor principal stresses have been considered to be constant along the length of the arc. The ratio of horizontal to vertical pressure σh to σv is considered constant K = σh/σv Let us assume that two parallel. 3. isotropic and backfill is horizontal.2007) for passive earth pressure. Rigid retaining wall with rough face moves towards the soil horizontally. The sliding surfaces are vertical and pass through the outer edge of yielding wall. 1. The shape of convex arc is assumed in the form of arc of a circle.dimensional. The soil is cohesionless. two. passive state is created and the soil moves in upward 2.1. 4. The minor principal stresses on the differential flat element are applied normal to the upward arc. un-yielding rough vertical walls. rigid vertical walls retain granular soil as shown in Fig. (2005. 5. The soil mass moves up in curved path taken as arc of circle. The frictional resistance at walls causes changes in the direction of principal stresses acting on the differential element. The soil mass is bounded between two parallel. which is denoted by dotted lines. 8. While the direction of major principal stresses is tangential to the direction of upward arc becoming horizontal at the centre of the element.2 Where minor principal stresses. Full shear strength s is mobilized on these vertical surface and it is expressed by Coulomb’s empirical law s = c + σ tanφ. Considering that the slip lines of soil make angle of + (45 -φ /2) with the horizontal and the angle between the slip plane and major principal stress must be (45 -φ /2). Following assumptions have been made in the analysis. The problem is a plane strain problem i.2 changed due to frictional resistance of a wall.

The rotational angle θ of the principal stress for the wall can be obtained using Mohr’s circle as shown in Figure 3.1 Determination of θ When wall friction angle δ ≤ θ. we can write τw = σphw tanδ = (σ1 – σphw) tan θw σphw / σ1 tan θw = ---------------1. 2 2 σphw / σ3 = (1/ N )sin Ψ+ cos Ψ 2 2 (2) (3) (4) Where . from the two triangles OAB and ABC . 2. σ3 / σ1 = tan2 (45-φ/2) As σ1 – σPhw = σv – σ3 Substitution for σphw gives σv / σ3 = sin2 Ψ+ 1/N cos2 Ψ (5) Therefore the vertical and lateral stresses at arbitrary points along a differential flat element can be obtained by substitution of Ψ= θ in equation 4 and 5.σphw / σ1 (6) tanδ (7) Dividing equation (2) by σ1 2 2 σphw / σ1 = sin θ + N cos θ (8) substitute equation (8) in equation (7) gives second order equation 238 . 2 The lateral stress on the wall σ phw = σ1 sin θ + σ3 cos θ Similarly the lateral stress at point D of the convex arch which was originally located at point B is σ phw = σ1 sin2 Ψ+ σ3 cos2 Ψ where Ψ is the angle between tangent to the arch at D and vertical .horizontal at the wall. The passive lateral stress on the wall σphw can be calculated by considering the horizontal force equilibrium in the triangular element at the left edge of the convex arc as shown in Fig.N is the ratio of minor to major principal stresses. Dividing equation 3 by σ3 and put σ1/ σ3 = 1/N for the soil in the passive condition.

239 . Stresses on differential flat element In backfill tan θw tan2 θw +N =------------------(1. θ = tan -1 tanδ (1-N)+ [ √(1-N)2-4N tanδ2 ] -------------------------------------2 tan δ (9) From the two values of θ given by equation (9). the maximum value corresponds to the condition on a retaining wall.N) Solving this equation for θ the expression for θ is.Figure 2.

1. They(2007) have given the following equation for Kpw. 240 .Figure 3(a) Mohr circle for stress at wall Figure 3 (b) Detail at C 2. for the values of φ in the range of 100 to400 and for δ = φ condition.1 Passive Lateral Stress Ratio Dalvi et .al( 2007) has determined the lateral stress ratio Kpw at the wall using the average vertical stress across a given differential flat element.

In Equation (10) if we put φ = 0 which gives Kpw = 0.(12) we get a new ratio Kpwn of the passive lateral stress at the wall to the average vertical stress over the differential flat element. Bz = Rcos θ V 1 π/2 σv = --.= 0. φ =32and δ= 0.4 for pressure distribution considering arching effect as well as Coulomb’s results.σphw Kpw = --------.6φand γ = 18 KN/m3 The results have been compared in Fig. The average vertical stress σv across the differential flat element shown in Fig. We shall now derive a new relationship for Kpw that reflects the variation of σv with φ and δ. The differential vertical force dV on the shaded element at pint B in Fig.cos2 θ 3N (12) Dividing equation (2) by Eq. This is equal to 1 for φ = 0 and matches the values of Rankine’s passive stress ratio for δ = 0. The difference 241 .1.[(N-1)/3N ] cos2 θ (13) Kpwn 3(sin2 θ +Ncos2 θ) = ---------------------------3N . In both cases the earth pressure on the wall increases linearly with height. σphw Kpwn = --------.2 Illustrative Example To illustrate effect of arching in passive case and Coulomb’s pressure an example for the soil wall data given below has been solved.= ---.∫ dV Bz θ Bz π/2 2 2 σv = ∫ σ3 (sin Ψ + 1/N cos Ψ) (RdΨ sinΨ) θ Integration of this equation yields σv = σ3 1 N -1 ----. the passive stress ratio for φ = 0 must be equal to 1.-σ3 ( 1.862(cos2 θ + 1/Nsin2 θ) σv (10) In above equation σphw is passive lateral stress ratio at the wall and σv is average vertical stress across the soil element. Therefore there is an error in values of Kpw calculated using equation (10).2 can be expressed as dV =dAσv = σ3 ( 1/N cos2 Ψ + sin2 Ψ) (RdΨ sinΨ)) (11) In which dA is the width of the shaded element at point B. 2. 2 can be obtained by dividing the vertical force V acting on the differential element by width of the element . At any depth Coulomb’s pressure is more than that predicted by considering arching effects.(N-1) cos2 θ (14) The above equation is for modified passive pressure coefficient.= σv σ1 sin2 θ + σ3 cos2 θ ------------------------------.2φand δ= 0. Wall height 2 m . This error decreases with increasing φ and δ.862 Although.

77 times Coulomb’s lateral pressure at base.6 Present method for delta=0.6φ.6φ. It increases with increase in δ -values For δ=0.(2007) for delta=0.2φ the pressure predicted by Dalvi et al(2007) is 0. Lateral earth pressure on the retaining wall due to arching is less than the pressure predicted by Coulomb’s analysis. Soil arching in passive state is shown by trajectory of major principal stress considering arc of a circle. Due to rotation of principal stresses at the rough wall .(2007) for delta=0.1. However.6phi Dalvi et. For δ=0.8 Depth (m) 1 1. However. These are the limitations of the present study.6phi 0. 242 .2phi Present method for delta=0.2 50 Lateral earth pressure(kN/m2) 100 150 200 250 300 Coulomb’s pressure for delta=0. In practice the failure plane may be a curved a modified passive lateral stress ratio has been derived.8 2 Dalvi et. The failure surface may not be a plane and the deformations assumed in arc of a circle during arching may not be possible in actual situation. for δ=0.35 times Coulomb’s pressure at base 0 0 0. The ratio of lateral to average vertical stress.depends on δ -values.the lateral and vertical stresses are modified.2phi 0. Kpwn. Lateral earth pressure distribution with depth and comparison with coulomb theory.6 1. for δ=0.4 Coulomb’s pressure for delta=0. it is 0. the pressure predicted by present method is 0.2 1.2φ.68 times Coulomb’s lateral pressure at base. 3..4 1.34 times Coulomb’s lateral pressure at Figure 4.1 Limitations For simplicity the failure plane is assumed to be the planer.2phi 0. 3 Conclusion The estimation of passive earth pressure acting on retaining wall is very important in geotechnical design. it is 0.

ASCE.S. 2007.1989. Ingr.a. ″Static earth pressure with various wall movements”. No3. 2005.1982. and Salgado. h. ASCE.P.1895. ″Soil Engineering”. 53. 2003. 313-333. Jagdish Narian.. Journal of Geotechnical Engineering. 272274.1985 . R. ″Discussion of arch in soil arching”. Geotechnique. 35.P. 969-983. 243 . Janssen. “ versche uber Getreidedruck in silozellen”.H.J.No7.” Geotechnique. Y. (1986).and Pise. Div. 302-317. Journal of soil mechanics and foundation engineering.G..Ver.Bhosale.. “Analysis for passive earth pressure-Catenary arch in soil.L.M. J.Handy. Journal of Geotechnical Engineering. ASCE. 112.and Pise.L. K. 39.R. pp 83-88. Z. 95 (4).S. R. Quinlan.I.J. ″Geostatic wall pressures”. K. By R. Spanglar. London. pp 553 Paik.S. (2000).S.pp643-653.R. Handy. ASCE. “Distribution of earth pressure on a retaining wall. “Analysis of arching in soil.Bhosale.1.S. Nandkumaran. 50.” Indian Geotechnical Journal. (1969).4th Ed. Y. No.Harper and Row. Journal of Geotechnical Engineering. 115(9). ″Estimation of active earth pressure against rigid retaining wall considering arching effects”. Wang. ASCE 113(3).S. under re-review Fang.F.1987. No 4. and Handy. 388-400 Dalvi.England 1896.” Communicated to International Journal of Geo-mechanics. ″The arch in soil arching”. Journal of Geotechnical Engineering. III. 1895 pp1045(Partial English translation in proceedings of the Institute of Civil Engineers.dut.4 References Dalvi. L..Swami Saran and P. and Ishibhishi. No3. ASCE. 1321-1325.Z.”Model study of passive pressure in sand”. Harrop-Williams.New york.R.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful