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2020, 14(1): 149-174 Back to browse issues page
A laboratory study on the effect of anchor shape on the displacement of stabilized wall with helical anchors
Mohammad Emad Mahmoudi Mehrizi1 *1, Younos Daghigh, Javad Nazariafshar
1- , me.mahmudi@gmail.com
Abstract:   (1913 Views)
The increasing rate of construction activities in urban areas is accompanied by excavation in the vicinity of existing structures and urban utilities. This issue has highlighted the importance of constructing protecting structures in order to control displacements and prevent damage to structures and their neighboring area. Among the important widely used wall stabilization techniques, one can name nailing and grouted anchors. However, these methods suffer some drawbacks such as annoying noise and vibration during the drilling, implementation difficulties below the water table, grouting problem, installation of strands and bars in the borehole in porous and collapse soils, and long curing time for the grout of post-tension anchors. Since the helical anchor method lacks many of the mentioned problems, it is now widely used in many applications.
In the present work, a laboratory model of helical anchor stabilized wall is presented and evaluated. For this purpose, four types of anchors at 20° back slope are designed in a sandy soil and the effect of helix configuration (in term of its diameter and number of blades) is investigated. Considering the laboratory scale of the designed model, the results obtained using helical anchor were compared with numerical results of soil nailing wall by applying the particle image velocimetry (PIV) analyses.
Material and methods
The test box designed in this work is made of a metal plate with a thickness, length, width, and depth of 1.5 mm, 100 cm, 60 cm, and 30 cm, respectively, and a Plexiglas in its opposing side with a thickness of 50 mm. The soil used in the experiments was the dry sand of Soufian region in east Azerbaijan province of Iran. The soil is classified as SP according to USCS classification. The helical anchors were fabricated by welding the helical pitches to a metal shaft. The end part of the shafts is screw threaded such that to fasten a bolt to them.
To start the experiment, the empty box was completely cleaned using the detergents to remove any pollution or soil on the Plexiglas and metal surface. Afterward, the sandy soil was poured on the wall floor and the facing was placed inside the box vertically. Again, the sandy soil was poured from both sides of the facing up to the installation height of the helices. Helices were installed in the assigned holes and their angle was adjusted through the pre-fabricated stencils. The soil height was increased up to the next row assigned for helices installation. These steps were repeated until reach the wall crest. After preparation of the physical model, its behavior during the preparation must be modeled. We first filled both sides of the model and then modeled the stability behavior of the helical anchor wall through excavating its facing opposed side. Overall, the wall was built through eight excavation steps.
Results and discussion
The maximum displacement is related to the anchor type 1, which does not have enough bearing capacity under surcharge conditions. By changing the anchor type and increasing the number of helices, shear strains and their expansion in the wall back decline. The decrease in displacement rate by changing the anchor from type 1 to type 2 is 18%, which is due to the low bearing capacity of type 2 anchor compared to the type 1 anchor. Increasing the number of pitches from one to two (changing the type 1 anchor to type 3 anchor) showed a considerable decrease (i.e., 43%) in displacement rate. Increasing the number of pitches from 1 to 3 (changing the anchor from type 1 to type 3) resulted in a 62% decrease in wall crest displacement. This displacement decrease rate seems to decline with an increase in the number of helixes.
The displacement rate for all four anchors is almost similar in two excavation steps, which probably is because of the need for displacement for activation of the anchors. One strategy to deal this issue in the sensitive projects and control the displacement is to apply post-tension helical anchors. Then, in stages 4 to 6, the displacement was almost constant due to four main reasons including wall rigidity, the presence of reinforcements, formation of pre-step displacement-induced tension force, and enough capacity of anchors to face with more displacement. In stages 6 to 8, type 1 and 2 anchors showed growing displacements due to the reduction and ending the wall rigidity and lower bearing capacity. In type 3 and 4 anchors, the maximum displacement was related to 4 initial stages. In type 1 and 2 anchors, which have two helical plates, almost a similar behavior was observed until stage 6 of excavation, but eventually type 3 anchors showed better performance because of higher bearing capacity to overall displacement.
In the present study, a physical model was designed to investigate the effect of helical anchors’ geometry on displacement rate of helical anchor wall and compare it with a nail wall. Overall, comparing the results obtained by conducting these experiments on a helical anchor stabilized wall and a nail wall revealed that:
- Wall crest displacement is affected by the diameter and number of helices and decreases by an increase in bearing capacity.
- The increase in the number of pitches from one to two (single-pitch to double-pitch anchor) has a higher effect on displacement control compared to the case of changing the double-pitch to triple-pitch anchor. So, it can be stated that a further increase in the number of anchor pitches results in a declined performance of the anchors.
- All anchors need a slight displacement for activation. This issue cannot be resolved by changing the type of helical anchors. Hence, when the displacement required for activation of the anchors exceeds the allowable wall crest displacement, use of post-tensioned helical anchors is recommended.
- A comparison between nailing and helical anchor results revealed that the relative density of the wall stabilized with the helical anchor is less than that of the nail wall; and wall crest displacement in the helical anchor wall was very lower than that of nail wall. Thus, the helical anchor wall stabilization is preferred when other economic and technical requirements are met.
Keywords: helical anchor, wall, horizontal displacement, particle image velocimetry, stabilization, sandy soil, Soufian region in east Azerbaijan province of Iran.
Full-Text [PDF 890 kb]   (458 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Research Paper | Subject: Geotecnic
Received: 2018/09/30 | Accepted: 2018/12/29 | Published: 2020/06/9
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Mahmoudi Mehrizi1 M E, Daghigh Y, Nazariafshar J. A laboratory study on the effect of anchor shape on the displacement of stabilized wall with helical anchors. Journal of Engineering Geology. 2020; 14 (1) :149-174
URL: http://jeg.khu.ac.ir/article-1-2823-en.html

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Volume 14, Issue 1 (5-2020) Back to browse issues page
نشریه زمین شناسی مهندسی Journal of Engineering Geology
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