Engineers Australia

Analysis of soil-foundation-structure interaction to load transfer mechanism in reinforced piled embankments

Tuan A. Pham


The scope of this paper is the analysis of a piled embankment reinforced geosynthetic with discrete element method and soil model at the microscopic level. The vertical stress distribution, load transfer mechanism, efficacy, differential settlement and tension in geosynthetic were chosen for comparison and interpretation of results. The contribution of tensioned membrane effect by geosynthetic reinforcement to load transfer mechanism is elucidated through the numerical analysis, which is generally neglected in the most current design procedures. Additionally, a new analytical approach was proposed to analyze the load-deflection behavior. This method is the results of the combination of the tensioned membrane theory and soil arching theory, thereby providing a more suitable design approach and believed to be a useful tool for engineers in designing the soil-geosynthetic system. The validity of the analytical method is compared to the numerical results by using the discrete element method. Thus, the results of this study are intended to provide some guidelines for designers and to bring insight about the interacting mechanisms into the design process.