Seismic Isolation of Earth Retaining Structures using EPS Geofoam -- Centrifuge Testing (NEES-2011-1004)

By Adda Athanasopoulos-Zekkos

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Title: Seismic Isolation of Earth Retaining Structures using EPS Geofoam -- Centrifuge Testing (NEES-2011-1004)

Year Of Curation: 2013

Description: Earth retaining structures constitute an important component of civil engineering infrastructure. In earthquake prone areas an earth retaining structure must be designed to withstand the seismic earth pressures in addition to the static ones. The design and dimensioning of such walls is still, and probably will continue to be for some time in the future, based on the existing codes. Recent studies have questioned many of the assumptions made by analytical solutions for earth pressure estimations for retaining walls and results from large scale shake table tests have shown that for high ground accelerations, significant earth pressure thrusts are measured on the retaining structures. Thus, the development, reliability check and implementation of methods for the reduction of the seismic earth pressure (i.e. methods of isolation) acting on earth retaining walls could contribute to the increased safety and reduced construction cost of such structures.The proposed effort aims to enhance the welfare and safety of communities in areas of high seismicity through the development of new design methodologies for the seismic isolation of earth retaining structures. The main objectives of the proposed research project are to 1) investigate the effectiveness of an EPS geofoam compressible inclusion in reducing both the seismic displacements and earth pressure increment of yielding and non-yielding earth retaining structures, and to 2) develop a design procedure for the seismic isolation of earth retaining structures. To achieve these objectives, the research project will include centrifuge testing on full (prototype) scale physical models of retaining structures seismically isolated by EPS compressible inclusions, under dynamic excitations of varying amplitude and frequency. The centrifuge data generated at NEES@RPI will be the first of its kind. The effect of parameters such as: retaining structure height, peak ground acceleration, dynamic excitation frequency, foundation soil material type, and inclusion thickness, on the isolation efficiency of the EPS inclusions will be investigated. The results will be compared to results from finite element analyses to help validate the numerical models.


PIs & CoPIs: Adda Athanasopoulos-Zekkos

Dates: October 01, 2010 - September 30, 2011

Organizations: University of Michigan, MI, United States

Facilities: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, United States

Sponsor: EUMEPS

Keywords: earth pressures, retaining wall, seismic isolation, EPS Geofoam

Publications: "Seismic Isolation Retaining Structures Using EPS Geofoam - Centrifuge Testing"

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Adda Athanasopoulos-Zekkos (2017), "Seismic Isolation of Earth Retaining Structures using EPS Geofoam -- Centrifuge Testing (NEES-2011-1004),"

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