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Retaining Wall Analysis by using Abaqus/CAE


Height of the retaining wall H=2120 mm,

Elastic Modulus of Concrete =20,000 MPa

Elastic Modulus of Steel = 200,000 GPa

Static General Analysis is going to be exacuted.

Retaining wall is fixed at the bottom.

Load will be applied as uniform pressure along the retaining wall.

Pressure, p=k ρ g H

where k is a constant varies between 0.2-0.5. Also known as lateral earth pressure coefficient.

Analysis steps:

Run the model with considering lateral soil pressure only.

Afterwards, additional pressure caused by vehicles on the road will be applied as additional pressure.

Any assumptions taken have been stated in the report below.

Executive Summary

This report includes modeling and analysis of the model due to specific circumstance given.
Due to preliminary design of retaining wall, rebar diameters chosen and analysed.
During this entire process, modeling and analysis of model tasks handled on Abaqus
At the first heading: problem definition touch upon the variables, needs and loads while
second heading touch upon assumed variables, formulas and calculations. Third heading
reported as results and discussion about the results by asking the question: ‘What could
have been miscalculated?’

Problem Definition

Retaining walls has a great variety of usage area but there is only one purpose to construct
retaining wall and that is carrying the horizontal stress exerted by soil. Soil creates vertical
and horizontal stresses and to simplify, horizontal stress generated by soil is derived from
vertical stress. Such as, multiplication of vertical stress with the coefficient ‘k’ gives us the
horizontal stress at exact point.
Objective of this project is to observe the importance of live loads on retaining walls.
In this project, retaining wall carries the soil at the side of a road. Roads transmits the loads
on them to soil below them thus soil generates additional stress on reinforced concrete
retaining wall.
In Step-1, only horizontal soil pressure applied on wall and analyzed. In Step-2, model
analyzed for worst case scenario and that is trucks on the roads. So, in second step, there
are two stress generators, they are; soil itself, additional live load on wall generated by

Analysis Description

Methodology of analysis of this 1040mm x 200mm x 2120mm retaining wall is;
• Model creation with properly chosen parameters. (Radius of rebars are 5mm, Steel
is used for rebars, earth pressure coefficient ‘k’ taken 0.3, density of soil selected
Pressure on the retaining wall due to horizontal stress generated by soil is calculated by

While assigning the pressure onto wall, pressure converted to net force as F = A * p

p = 0.3 * 2700kg/m3 * 9.81m/s2 * 2.12m = 16.845 kN

F= A * p = 2.12m * 1.04m * 16.845 = 37.14

For step-2, mass of a single truck assumed 40 tonnes. To apply this load on model, following
calculations have done to translate the loading to net force;

pt = 0.3 * 80t * 9.81m/s2 = 235.44 kN

Results and Discussion

Only soil stress effective on RC retaining wall
Both soil stress and traffic loads effective on RC retaining wall
Displacements on RC retaining wall in mm due to soil stress only
Displacement on RC retaining wall in mm due to soil stress and traffic loads

First, lateral load generated by soil’s weight have to be applied incrementally rather than uniformly over the
depth of retaining wall and live loads effect on stress has to be decreased over the depth of
retaining wall. But in this model, we applied maximum soil pressure and live load on
retaining wall uniformly which is an overdesign but there is nothing wrong with being ‘safe’
in design since soil is unpredictable.

Relationship between steel and concrete in this modeling is assigned ‘perfectly’ which is not
attainable in real world. In real life, ribbed steel bars invented to increase the surface area
between steel and concrete and this helps steel to hold concrete and consumes the tension
forces with its ductility. But there is not a perfect connection between them even with ribbed bars.

To summarize, even tough it is an overdesign as stated above, effect of trucks can’t be
ignored. This is an important point to stop and think about when analyzing
loads appropriately with the knowledge of soil behavour will make whole process cheaper,
safer but will make application of load’s harder.

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