Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) is a newly developed material adopted as an alternative to steel reinforcement and a promising solution to enhance the long-term performance of soil nails. Since the interface shear strength is a critical parameter for the design of soil-nailed structure, the pullout behavior of these new composite materials needs to be investigated. This paper details, a numerical study using PLAXIS 3D FE software to study the pullout behavior of GFRP soil nail. The built FE model simulates all pullout test procedures on a soil nail buried in sand. The load-displacement curves as well as the distribution of the tensile forces are obtained. A comparison between steel and GFRP reinforcement is established to evaluate the performance of GFRP soil nail. A parametric study was also carried out to study the influence of nail diameter, the embedded length and the overburden pressure on the pullout force of GFRP soil nail.


Soil nailing has been widely adopted to stabilize slopes and retained excavations. Through the introduction of grouted steel reinforcements into the soil mass the in-situ soil shear strength will increase and the stability of the soil-nailed structure will be significantly enhanced. The cement grout can serve to protect steel bars from the direct contact to moist soil masses and thus from rust. However, in aggressive environments, the risk of corrosion of steel bars is inevitable. Therefore, attention has been drawn to the use of a new material in order to overcome durability issues and enhance the long-term performance of soil nails. Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) has emerged as one of the most promising solutions owing its many benefits over steel such as better corrosion resistance and high strength to weight ratio (Xu et al. (2018)).

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