Flat Arch Masonry Retaining Wall

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The inherent strength and durability of masonry arches is eminent through many historical structures still existing to this day. Amidst a wide range of retaining wall types and applications available, the concept of utilizing masonry arches as earth retaining structures is surprisingly unprecedented in the recent past. In this research, a novel masonry low-rise arch retaining wall is introduced. An experimental programme was implemented to explore the feasibility of the proposed earth retaining system, where a full-scale, concrete block arch wall was constructed between two rigid abutments and backfilled with soil. Surcharge loading was also applied to the backfill soil to explore the stability of the wall under additional dead loads. The concept is that the blockwork wall will resist the lateral pressure through arch action, avoiding “snap-through” of the wall. The response of the wall to the soil pressure, compaction and surcharge loading was monitored by observing deflections and strains in the wall. Furthermore, one half of the wall was fully grouted, while the other half was left hollow to compare the behaviour of the grouted and un-grouted masonry. Retaining walls are typically constructed using concrete, steel, masonry or timber. The use of concrete blocks in this instance was desirable due to its strength, ease of construction, cost effectiveness and aesthetic appearance. This makes such a wall ideal for low-rise retention, opening a new market in which masonry can compete. From the results of the experimental study, the efficacy of the proposed masonry arch retaining wall was substantiated with deflections less than 1.3% of the least dimension of the wall, compressive stresses well within the elastic range of masonry and no cracks observed in the visible region of the wall.
Structures and Solid Mechanics, Retaining wall, Concrete block masonry, Arch
Kurukulasuriya, M. C. (2020). Flat Arch Masonry Retaining Wall (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from https://prism.ucalgary.ca.