The backfill, is limited to cohesionless, free draining material (such as sand), and thus the key properties are the density and the angle of internal friction.

Reinforcing material
The reinforcements may be strips or rods of metal or sheets of geotextile, wire grids or geogrids (grids made from plastic).

Geotextile is a permeable geosynthetic comprised solely of textiles. Geotextiles are used with foundation soil, rock, earth or any other geotechnical engineering-related material as an integral part of a human made project, structure, or system (Koerner, 1999). AASHTO (M288-96) provides (Table 19.2) geotextile strength requirements (Koerner, 1999). The tensile strength of geotextile varies with the geotextile designation as per the design requirements. For example, a woven slit-film polypropylene (weighing 240 g/m2) has a range of 30 to 50 kN/m. The friction angle between soil and geotextiles varies with the type of geotextile and the soil. Table 19.3 gives values of geotextile friction angles (Koerner, 1999).

The test properties represent an idealized condition and therefore result in the maximum possible numerical values when used directly in design. Most laboratory test values cannot generally be used directly and must be suitably modified for in-situ conditions. For problems dealing with geotextiles the ultimate strength TU should be reduced by applying certain reduction factors to obtain the allowable strength Ta as follows (Koerner, 1999).

A geogrid is defined as a geosynthetic material consisting of connected parallel sets of tensile ribs
with apertures of sufficient size to allow strike-through of surrounding soil, stone, or other
geotechnical material (Koerner, 1999).

Geogrids are matrix like materials with large open spaces called apertures, which are typically 10 to 100 mm between the ribs, called longitudinal and transverse respectively. The primary function of geogrids is clearly reinforcement. The mass of geogrids ranges from 200 to 1000 g/m2 and the open area varies from 40 to 95 %. It is not practicable to give specific values for the tensile strength of geogrids because of its wide variation in density. In such cases one has to consult manufacturer's literature for the strength characteristics of their products. The allowable tensile strength, Ta, may be determined by applying certain reduction factors to the ultimate strength TU as in the case of geotextiles. The equation is

The definition of the various terms in Eq (19.10) is the same as in Eq. (19.9). However, the reduction factors are different. These values are given in Table 19.5 (Koerner, 1999).

Metal Strips
Metal reinforcement strips are available in widths ranging from 75 to 100 mm and thickness on the order of 3 to 5 mm, with 1 mm on each face excluded for corrosion (Bowles, 1996). The yield strength of steel may be taken as equal to about 35000 lb/in2 (240 MPa) or as per any code of practice.

Table 19.2 AASHTO M288-96 Geotextile strength property requirements

Table 19.3 Peak soil-to-geotextile friction angles and efficiencies in selected
cohesionless soils*

Table 19.5 Recommended reduction factor values for use in Eq. (19.10) for
determining allowable tensile strength of geogrids

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