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Increasing pull-out capacity of granular pile

anchors in expansive soils using base
B.R. Phani Kumar and N. Ramachandra Rao

Abstract: Granular pile anchors are innovative and effective in resisting the uplift pressure exerted on the foundation
by a swelling expansive soil. In a granular pile anchor, the foundation is anchored at the bottom of the granular pile to
an anchor plate with the help of a mild steel rod. This renders the granular pile tension-resistant and enables it to offer
resistance to the uplift force exerted on the foundation by the swelling soil. This resistance to uplift or pull-out load
depends mainly upon the shear parameters of the pile–soil interface and the lateral swelling pressure of the soil, which
confines the pile radially and prevents it from being uplifted. The resistance to uplift can be increased by placing a
base geosynthetic above the anchor plate so that it forms an integral part of the granular pile anchor. The increase in
resistance is due to the friction mobilized between the geosynthetic and the confining media when the uplift load acts
on the pile and the geosynthetic moves along with the pile. Hence it depends on the friction between the geosynthetic
and the confining media and the area and stiffness of the geosynthetic. This paper discusses the effects of these param-
eters on pull-out load, rate of heave, and relative ground movement near the pile surface.

Key words: expansive soil, granular pile anchor, base geosynthetic, ground movement, rate of heave, pull-out load.

Résumé : Les pieux d’ancrage granulaires sont innovateurs et efficaces pour résister à la pression de soulèvement
exercée sur la fondation par un sol gonflant. Dans un pieu d’ancrage granulaire, la fondation est ancrée au fond du
pieu granulaire à une plaque d’ancrage au moyen d’une tige d’acier doux. Ceci rend le pieu granulaire résistant en
traction et permet ds fournir une résistance à la force de soulèvement exercée sur la fondation par le sol gonflant. La
résistance à la force de soulèvement ou d’arrachement dépend principalement des paramètres de résistance de
l’interface pieu–sol, et de la pression de gonflement latéral du sol qui confine le pieu en direction radiale et empêche
le pieu d’être soulevé. La résistance au soulèvement peut être accrue en plaçant une base de membrane géosynthétique
au-dessus de la plaque d’ancrage de telle sorte qu’elle devient partie intégrante de l’ancrage du pieu granulaire.
L’augmentation de la résistance est due au frottement mobilisé entre le géosynthétique et les milieux qui confinent le
pieu lorsque la charge de soulèvement agit sur le pieu et que le géosynthétique se meut avec le pieu. Ainsi, cet
accroissement dépend du frottement entre le géosynthétique et les milieux ambiants, la surface et la rigidité du
géosynthétique. Cet article discute des effets de ces paramètres sur la charge d’arrachement, la vitesse de soulèvement
et le mouvement relatif du sol près de la surface du pieu.

Mots clés : sol gonflant, ancrage de pieu granulaire, base géosynthétique, mouvement de sol, vitesse de soulèvement,
charge d’arrachement.

[Traduit par la Rédaction] Phani Kumar and Ramachandra Rao 881

Introduction The amount of heave and shrinkage depends to a large ex-

tent on the thickness of the active zone and the degree of sat-
Expansive soils are highly problematic and cause damage uration. The depth of active zone can be determined by field
to structures founded in them because of their potential to measurements of moisture content (Ramaswamy and Nasar
react to changes in moisture regime. They swell when they 1984) or heave of soil (Helland and Walsh 1979) with depth
imbibe water and shrink on its evaporation. Because of their over a number of seasons. The thickness of the active zone
alternate swelling and shrinkage, they result in the cracking depends on the type of soil, the soil profile, changes in at-
of civil engineering structures such as foundations, retaining mospheric conditions such as temperature, precipitation,
walls, pavements, canal beds, and linings. evaporation, and evapotranspiration, vegetation, and depth to
the water table.

Received August 25, 1998. Accepted December 17, 1999.

Published on the NRC Research Press website on August 25, Existing foundation practices in expansive
B.R. Phani Kumar and N. Ramachandra Rao. Department
of Civil Engineering, J.N.T.U. College of Engineering, The various options in foundation practices adopted to
Kakinada 533 003, India. minimize heave in expansive soils are (i) avoiding expansive

Can. Geotech. J. 37: 870–881 (2000) © 2000 NRC Canada

Phani Kumar and Ramachandra Rao 871

material, (ii) alteration, and (iii) adopting special foundation Fig. 1. Granular pile anchor.

Avoiding expansive material

Avoiding the expansive soil in favour of safer foundation
soils is not an economically viable proposition in most situa-
tions. With the development of several modern techniques
for effectively combating problems posed by expansive soils,
this option is seldom adopted.

Mechanical, physical, and chemical

Mechanical alterations
Mechanical alterations include excavation of expansive
soil and replacement with nonexpansive material, where the Adopting special foundation techniques
depth of the active zone is small and where suitable replace- Some of the special foundation techniques employed to
ment material is available. The sand cushion method counteract heave in expansive soils are explained in the fol-
(Satyanarayana 1966) and the cohesive nonswelling (CNS) lowing sections.
layer method (Katti 1978) are very popular.

Sand cushion method Pad foundations

Provision of a sand cushion of some arbitrary thickness Pad foundations are a series of individual footing pads
has been found to yield satisfactory results. The basic phi- placed on the upper soil layer and spanned by grade beams
losophy of this method is that, in monsoon, the saturated (Chen 1975). Pad foundations are advantageous where
sand occupies less volume, accommodating some of the (i) the bedrock is deep, (ii) the use of friction piers is not
heave of underlying soil, and in summer, partially saturated feasible, and (iii) the upper soil possesses moderate swell
sand bulks and occupies the extra space left by the shrinkage potential but high bearing capacity.
of the soil.
Underreamed piles
CNS layer method These, developed by the Central Building Research Insti-
In this method proposed by Katti (1978), about 1.2 m of tute, Roorkee, India, are efficacious in bypassing the prob-
the upper expansive soil is removed and replaced by a cohe- lematic foundation soil and resting the foundations in the
sive nonswelling soil layer. According to Katti, in a satu- zone that is not affected by moisture fluctuations. In the case
rated expansive soil, cohesive forces are developed to a of multiple underreamed piles, frictional resistance is mobi-
depth of about 1.0–1.2 m and counteract heave. The electri- lized over a larger perimeter and reduces heave. The disad-
cal charge of clay particles produces absorbed water bonds vantage of underreamed piles is that, according to Indian
and develops this cohesion. A CNS layer creates an environ- Standard 2911 (Indian Standards Institution 1980), the safe
ment similar to that at around 1 m depth in an expansive soil load is determined based on N value (SPT blow count),
with equivalent cohesion to counteract heave. Gravel with which is unreliable in clays. Moreover, they are costly and
clay binder, locally called Moorum, is an example of CNS formation of bulbs (the portions with enlarged pile diameter)
material. This technique has been successfully adopted in has been found to be defective in certain cases.
many swell-prone areas.
Granular pile anchors
Physical alteration Granular piles are a widely used technique for improving
Physical alteration involves mixing granular material with the settlement and strength characteristics of soft clays and
expansive clay to minimize heave (Satyanarayana 1966). loose sands. So far they have not been used in expansive
The faster ingress of water due to increased permeability is a soils which pose the problem of swelling and shrinkage. A
disadvantage of this method. granular pile cannot resist the tensile force on the foundation
by a swelling soil. Hence, it is modified into a granular pile
Chemical alteration anchor (Phani Kumar 1995; Phani Kumar and Srirama Rao
Chemical alteration involves the addition of chemicals to 1996). A granular pile anchor is one in which the foundation
expansive clay to reduce heave by altering the nature of the is anchored at the bottom of the granular pile to a mild steel
clay minerals. Of all the chemicals tried, lime is the most ef- plate through a central mild steel rod (Fig. 1). This serves to
fective and economical additive. Lime or lime–soil columns hold the particulate granular medium and prevents the gran-
were also used to stabilize expansive clays in situ (Srirama ular pile from being sheared away by the swelling soil and is
Rao 1984). Diffusion of lime is effective up to a radial dis- thus instrumental in mobilizing the frictional resistance to
tance of about three times the diameter of the lime–soil col- the uplift force on the foundation. The uplift force caused on
umn. the foundation by the swelling soil is therefore resisted by

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872 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 37, 2000

(i) the weight of the granular pile, and (ii) the frictional re- Table 1. Index properties of the expansive soil.
sistance along the pile–soil interface.
Specific gravity 2.63
In small model tests, the contribution of the weight of the
Grain-size distribution
pile is negligible, whereas that of the friction along the cy-
Gravel % (>4.75 mm) 0
lindrical surface of the pile is significant. This frictional re-
Sand % (0.075–4.75 mm) 6
sistance depends on the overburden pressure, the lateral
Silt % (0.002–0.075 mm) 42
swelling pressure, and the effective shear parameters of the
Clay % (<0.002 mm) 52
pile–soil interface. The interesting feature of the granular
Consistency limits
pile anchor is that swelling pressure, which is one of the
Liquid limit (%) 80
problematic swelling characteristics of expansive soils, is it-
self instrumental in confining the pile laterally and prevent- Plasticity limit (%) 27
ing it from being uplifted. Shrinkage limit (%) 11
Free swell index (FSI) 120
The following observations have been made with regard to
the efficacy of granular pile anchors (Phani Kumar 1995)
based on a number of laboratory tests:
(1) Granular pile anchors are highly efficacious in arrest- depends on the stiffness of the geosynthetic, the confining
ing heave of expansive clays. media, the friction between the geosynthetic and the confin-
(2) The reduction in the swell potential of an expansive ing media, and the area of the geosynthetic.
clay is proportional to the surface area of the granular pile The uplift force resisted by a granular pile anchor can be
anchor. This is due to the frictional resistance offered along measured by conducting pull-out tests on granular pile an-
the pile–soil interface to the upward movement of the pile. chors embedded in expansive soils. Prediction or measure-
For a given surface area of the granular pile, the effect of di- ment of the pull-out resistance of granular pile anchors is
ameter on reduction of heave is more than that of length. very important for the proper design of granular pile anchors
(3) The increase in the relative density of the granular in expansive soils.
pile, which also causes an increase in the frictional resis- This paper presents and compares the results of pull-out
tance, reduces heave further. tests conducted on granular pile anchors with and without a
(4) Improvement of the expansive soil will be greater base geosynthetic. The type of geosynthetic is varied as
when two or more granular pile anchors are installed. The geotextile and geogrid, thus varying its stiffness. The confin-
ground heave decreases with a decrease in the spacing be- ing media in which the geosynthetic is embedded is also var-
tween the granular piles. A spacing of twice the pile diame- ied. The rate of heave, uplift load – deformation
ter results in negligible heave. characteristics, friction between the geosynthetic and the
(5) The load-carrying capacity of an expansive clay bed is confining media, and relative ground movement at the top
increased by the installation of granular pile anchors. near the pile are discussed in detail.

Improving granular columns with geosynthetics Experimental investigation

Installation of granular columns in soft soils, especially An experimental investigation has been conducted to
those with an undrained cohesion of less than 10 kPa, is very study the increase in pull-out capacity of a granular pile an-
difficult because the granular material is lost into the sur- chor with the introduction of a base geosynthetic. Tests have
rounding soil by a phenomenon called bulging. Reinforce- been conducted on (i) granular pile anchors alone, and
ment of the granular column, particularly in its top layers, (ii) granular pile anchors reinforced with base geosynthetic
would minimize this loss, as the reinforcement prevents lat- with different stiffnesses and sandwiched between different
eral flow of the granular material. Alamgir (1989) suggests confining media.
jacketing of granular columns by wrapping a geosynthetic
liner around the whole surface of the column. Adayat and
Test materials
Hanna (1991) suggest enveloping the granular material in a
membrane to strengthen the granular column. These alterna- Expansive soil
tives lead to a significant improvement of column capacity The expansive soil used in this study has been collected
over that of its conventional counterpart and ensure better from Amalapuram, East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh,
performance even in extreme ground conditions. The ulti- India. The soil has been collected at a depth of 0.9–1.5 m
mate capacity and stiffness of the reinforced column in- below ground level. The index properties of the soil are
crease with the number of reinforcement layers, the angle of shown in Table 1. Based on its plasticity, the soil falls in the
shearing resistance of the column material, and the coeffi- CH group. Its free swell index (FSI) indicates that it has a
cient of frictional resistance of the reinforcement. “high” degree of expansion.
The pull-out capacity of tensile granular pile anchors can
also be improved if a bottom geotextile or geogrid is incor- Granular pile material
porated in the granular pile anchor above the anchor plate. The granular material used for the installation of the pile
With the introduction of a bottom geosynthetic, additional is a mixture of 20% metal chips, whose particle size ranges
frictional resistance is mobilized between the geosynthetic between 6 and 10 mm, and 80% coarse sand with size vary-
and the media, confining it when the geosynthetic moves ing between 2.4 and 4.8 mm. At this proportion of 20:80, the
with the upward movement of the pile and thus augmenting granular material could be compacted over a wide range of
the pull-out resistance. The increase in pull-out resistance relative density values. However, in this work the granular
© 2000 NRC Canada
Phani Kumar and Ramachandra Rao 873

Fig. 2. Experimental setup. Table 2. Degree of saturation at different depths.

Sample Depth Water Degree of
No. (cm) content (%) saturation (%)
1 0 56.78 100
2 5 53.95 100
3 10 52.92 100
4 15 50.15 100

help of another casing pipe of diameter equal to that of the

granular pile. The annular portion between the inner casing
pipe and the wall of the borehole may be filled with sand for
greater friction. This offers increased uplift resistance and
behaves better than the laboratory model. A geosynthetic of
large diameter has been used in these small model tests so
that frictional resistance will be mobilized over a sufficient
area of the interface. However, the same proportion cannot
be obtained in the field, as the diameter of the outer casing
would have to be impracticably large. In the field, the
geosynthetic may be scaled down as per the requirement. A
vertical sand packing is provided all around the soil to satu-
rate it quickly (Fig. 2). The entire system is throughly satu-
rated and heave is continuously monitored with time. After
complete saturation, pull-out loads are applied in increments
columns have been compacted at a constant relative density of 20 N and corresponding deformations observed using dial
of 0.60. gauges. The test is continued up to the point of failure in all
The properties of the geosynthetics used are provided by cases. At the end of the test, water content of the soil at vari-
the manufacturers and are given as follows: (i) geotextile: ous depths was determined.
thickness 0.5 mm, unit mass 340 g/m2, and type woven; and
(ii) geogrid: width 2 m, mesh aperture size (normal) 6 mm × Measurement of shear parameters of the interface
6 mm, mesh thickness 3.3 mm, unit mass 730 g/m2, colour For a better understanding and estimate of the increase in
black, polymer high-density (HD) polyethylene, tensile pull-out capacity of this system, the frictional resistance be-
strength 7.68 kN/m, and elongation at maximum load 20.2%. tween the confining media and the geosynthetic needs to be
known. For this purpose, geotextile or geogrid is sandwiched
Compaction of soil and installation of granular column between the respective confining media in a shear box to
Pull-out tests have been conducted in 300 mm × 300 mm simulate the conditions of the pull-out test and sheared under
× 900 mm metal tanks. The dry unit weight and initial water different normal loads. The value of angle of internal friction
content of the soil have been kept constant at 13 kN/m3 and at the interface is determined as in the shear-box test.
14%, respectively, throughout the test programme. The
length and diameter of the granular piles have also been Results and analysis
fixed as 150 and 30 mm, respectively. All the granular piles
have been compacted at a relative density of 0.60. The diam- Figures 3 and 4 show heave in millimetres observed
eter of the base geosynthetic has been 150 mm for all the against the logarithm of time in minutes. Equilibrium heave
tests. was reached in only 4 days. This is because saturation of the
The confining media sandwiching the geosynthetic are clay bed has been ensured by the sand packing and the gran-
varied as follows: (i) black cotton clay – geotextile – bottom ular pile anchor which has good permeability characterstics.
sand layer; (ii) fine sand (<2.36 mm) – geotextile – fine Heave is reduced by virtue of the frictional resistance mobi-
sand; (iii) coarse sand (2.36–4.8 mm) – geotextile – coarse lized along the pile–soil interface. The reduced amount of
sand; (iv) metal chips (6–10 mm) – geotextile – metal chips; heave has been reached in a very short time compared to that
(v) fine sand (<2.36 mm) – geogrid – fine sand; (vi) coarse of the unreinforced soil.
sand (2.36–4.8 mm) – geogrid – coarse sand; and (vii) metal Water contents of the samples collected at different depths
chips (6–10 mm) – geogrid – metal chips. have been determined after the equilibrium heave has been
Figure 2 shows the experimental setup. The expansive soil reached. They also show 100% degree of saturation (Table 2).
bed is reinforced with a granular pile anchor. After laying
the bottom sand layer, the unit of anchor rod with the bottom Pull-out behaviour of granular pile anchors with and
anchor plate with the geosynthetic above it is placed above without base geosynthetic
the sand layer vertically. Using a casing pipe, a granular pile The two broken lines in Fig. 5 show the pull-out load–de-
is formed and the expansive soil is compacted surrounding formation curves of a granular pile anchor alone and of a
the granular pile. The casing pipe is withdrawn later. In the granular pile anchor with a base geotextile sandwiched
field, a borehole of diameter equal to that of the geosynthetic between clay and sand. The ultimate pull-out load at failure
would be made. After inserting the anchor rod, anchor plate, of a single granular pile anchor is about 45 N. But it has
and geosynthetic, a granular pile would be formed with the been found to increase to about 109 N when a base
© 2000 NRC Canada
874 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 37, 2000

Fig. 3. Rate of heave (geotextile).

Fig. 4. Rate of heave (geogrid).

geotextile (diameter = 150 mm) is sandwiched between the geosynthetic in being pulled out from between the sand and
bottom sand layer and the expansive clay. saturated expansive clay which confine it. This frictional
This increase in the ultimate pull-out capacity is attributed resistance depends on the friction between the confining me-
to the frictional resistance to be overcome by the dia and geotextile which can be determined from the shear-

© 2000 NRC Canada

Phani Kumar and Ramachandra Rao 875

Fig. 5. Pull-out load–deformation curves (geotextile).

Table 3. Test results.

Increase in uplift
Uplift capacity of Granular pile anchor with base geosynthetic capacity
granular pile Interface friction Uplift
anchor alone (N) Interface angle (°) capacity (N) N %
45.45 Sand – geotextile – clay 18 109.09 63.64 140
45.45 Fine sand – geotextile – fine sand 22 144.54 99.09 218
45.45 Coarse sand – geotextile – coarse sand 35 166.44 120.99 266
45.45 Metal chips – geotextile – metal chips 40 162.06 116.61 257
45.45 Fine sand – geogrid – fine sand 26 212.00 166.55 366
45.45 Coarse sand – geogrid – coarse sand 44 245.30 199.84 438
45.45 Metal chips – geogrid – metal chips 46 267.20 221.75 488

box tests, in which geotextile is sandwiched between the in fine sand. The percent increase in pull-out capacity in
confining media, simulating the pull out in the model test. each case with reference to that of a granular pile anchor
The solid lines in Fig. 5 show the load–deformation alone is also shown in the table.
curves of the granular pile anchors with base geotextile em- It is interesting to note that, when the geotextile is embed-
bedded in fine sand, coarse sand, and metal chips. Pull-out ded in metal chips which have the highest angle of friction,
capacity increases further with the increase in friction angle, the ultimate pull-out capacity is slightly reduced compared
φ′, of the interface between the confining media and with that for coarse sand, although it is much greater than
geotextile. The values of pull-out capacity are given in Ta- that for fine sand. This is attributed to the fact that the satu-
ble 3. The friction between the confining media and the rated expansive clay occupies the large voids of the bottom
geosynthetic increases when the particle size of the confin- layer of metal chips and comes in contact with the
ing media increases, as shown in Fig. 6 and Table 3. When geotextile. Hence, when the pile moves upwards, the resis-
the geotextile is embedded between fine sand layers, the ulti- tance offered to the movement of the geotextile embedded
mate pull-out capacity is 144.5 N, i.e., it has increased by a between the metal chips and the clay layer will be reduced
large amount compared with that obtained when it is embed- slightly, resulting in a lower ultimate pull-out capacity. It
ded between sand and clay, because of the increase in the was also observed after the test that the geotextile showed
friction angle. Similarly, when the geotextile is embedded in soft saturated expansive clay above its top surface. This phe-
coarse sand, which imparts a greater angle of friction, the ul- nomenon was not observed in other pull-out tests with geotextile.
timate pull-out capacity is 166.4 N, i.e., it has increased fur- Figure 7 shows the load–deformation curves obtained
ther when compared with that obtained when it is embedded from the results of the pull-out tests done on the granular

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876 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 37, 2000

Fig. 6. Interface friction angle from direct shear test (geotextile).

Fig. 7. Pull-out load–deformation curves (geogrid).

pile anchors reinforced with base or bottom geogrid. As embedded in metal chips, slightly lower at 245.3 N when the
mentioned earlier, tests were conducted on granular pile an- geogrid is embedded in coarse sand, and lowest at 212 N
chors with base geogrid embedded in fine sand, coarse sand, when the geogrid is embedded in fine sand (Table 3). With
and metal chips to study the effect of friction angle between the introduction of base geogrid, there is a large increase in
the geogrid and the confining media. As the particle size of pull-out capacity compared with that for the granular pile
the granular material increases, the friction angle increases, anchor alone (broken line in Fig. 7).
as shown in Fig. 8, and the pull-out resistance increases. It is interesting to note that, up to a pile movement of
This is clearly indicated in Fig. 7. For example, the ultimate about 17 mm or a strain of about 11%, under the given
pull-out capacity is highest at 267.2 N when the geogrid is placement conditions, the pull-out load for a given deformation
© 2000 NRC Canada
Phani Kumar and Ramachandra Rao 877

Fig. 8. Interface friction angle from direct shear test (geogrid).

Fig. 9. Variation of normalized pull-out capacity with friction angle φ ′ .

is greater in the case of coarse sand than in the case of metal (Pug) with the pull-out ultimate capacity of a granular pile
chips, but the ultimate capacity at failure is greater in the anchor alone (Pu) with the variation of φ⬘.
case of metal chips. Figures 10–12 show by comparison the load–deformation
Figure 9 shows the variation of normalized pull-out ulti- curves of pull-out tests performed on granular pile anchors
mate capacity of a granular pile anchor with geosynthetic with base geotextile and those of the tests done on granular
© 2000 NRC Canada
878 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 37, 2000

Fig. 10. Pull-out load–deformation curves (with fine sand).

Fig. 11. Pull-out load–deformation curves (with coarse sand).

pile anchors with base geogrid under the same confining me- particles of the granular medium will have greater interlocking
dium. With the same confining medium, the pull-out load in through the apertures of the geogrid. This increases the fric-
the case of geogrid for any percent strain is much greater tional resistance offered by the interface and consequently
than the load in the case of geotextile. This is because the the ultimate pull-out capacity. When a geotextile is embedded,

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Phani Kumar and Ramachandra Rao 879

Fig. 12. Pull-out load–deformation curves (with metal chips).

this interlocking is absent. Hence, friction will be lower and, sand and for geogrid embedded in metal chips. The broken line
as a result, the ultimate pull-out capacity will also be lower. in Fig. 13 shows the variation of ground heave with radial dis-
As the particle size of the granular medium increases the tance just before failure in the case of geotextile.
interlocking friction in the case of geogrid also increases, Figures 13 and 14 show that in all cases the ground move-
further increasing the pull-out capacity. The higher angle of ment is greater near the granular column and reduces away
internal friction obtained in the case of geogrid supports the from the granular column, indicating that the soil surround-
results obtained. ing the granular column is involved in failure. The relative
When failure occurred in the case of granular pile anchor ground movement immediately after saturation and just be-
reinforced with geogrid, the top layer of soil showed clear fore failure on application of the pull-out load is also in-
radial cracks from the column up to a radial distance of versely proportional to the radial distance from the centre of
about 8–10 cm, which is slightly more than the radius of the the column.
geogrid. It was also observed that the width of cracks was There is no change in the ground movement or the relative
15–20 mm. The width was also observed to be greater near movement is zero in the case of geotextile before loading
the surface of the granular pile anchor, where the failure is and before failure. Hence, the curve in the case of a granular
incipient. But this phenomenon was not observed in the case pile anchor with base geotextile lies below the curve in the
of granular pile anchor reinforced with geotextile. case of a granular pile anchor with base geogrid before loading.

Surface heave measurements Conclusions

Keeping in mind the difference in behaviour of the base
geogrid and base geotextile in pull-out, ground heave mea- The following conclusions are drawn from this study:
surements were also made at different radial distances from (1) Pull-out resistance of granular pile anchors will be in-
the granular pile anchors in both cases. The ground heave creased by reinforcing them with base geosynthetics. The in-
measurements were made in two stages. First, the heave of crease is due to the resistance offered by the friction
the ground or the increase in thickness of the expansive soil between the geosynthetic and the confining medium.
bed was measured immediately after saturation and before (2) The increase in pull-out resistance will be greater as
the application of the pull-out load. In the second stage, the interface friction angle is increased.
ground heave was measured just before failure of the granu- (3) With an increase in the particle size of the confining
lar pile anchor on application of the pull-out load. In both medium, the interface friction angle increases in the case of
stages, ground heave was measured with reference to the soil both the geotextile and the geogrid, as determined from
level at the edge of the tank. shear-box tests. For the same confining medium, however,
Figures 13 and 14 show the variation with radial distance of the geogrid has a greater friction angle.
ground heave immediately after saturation and before failure on (4) The ultimate capacity of a granular pile anchor with
application of the pull-out load for geogrid embedded in coarse base goesynthetic normalized with that of a granular pile

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880 Can. Geotech. J. Vol. 37, 2000

Fig. 13. Relative ground movement with radial distance (with metal chips).

Fig. 14. Relative ground movement with radial distance (with coarse sand).

anchor alone increases with an increase in the interface fric- ever, in the case of geotextile it increases only up to a partic-
tion angle in the case of both geogrid and geotextile. How- ular angle and thereafter is more or less constant.

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Phani Kumar and Ramachandra Rao 881

(5) The granular pile anchor reinforced with base geogrid Katti, R.K. 1978. Search for solutions to problems in black cotton
offers more resistance to pull-out than that reinforced with soils. 1st Annual Lecture. In Proceedings of the Indian Geo-
base geotextile. technical Conference, Indian Geotechnical Society, New Delhi,
pp. 1–80.
Phani Kumar, B.R. 1995. A study of swelling characteristics of a
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