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Pullout Capacity of Block Anchor in Unsaturated Sand

Unsaturated Soils 2006 (GSP 147)
Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Unsaturated Soils Carefree, Arizona, USA,
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Naser Al-Shayea1
1Civil Engineering Department, KFUPM, Box 368, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia; e mail:
Block anchor is an interface element used to restrain horizontal movement of structures. This paper investigates the effect of moisture conditions (or degree of saturation) on the pullout capacity of block anchor embedded in sand at three different moisture conditions. The approach taken consists of experimental work, and analytical calculation. The experimental work is pullout tests, made in the laboratory, on 0.15 × 0.15 × 0.15m concrete block anchors embedded in sand, at a depth of 0.15m. The sand is deposited in a 1.2 × 0.6 × 0.8m box using a pluviation method to ensure a uniform and reproducible density. Materials used were characterized to find their properties, and the equipments used were calibrated before usage. The load and the corresponding horizontal and vertical displacements were recorded. In addition, visual observations were made on the failed soil body. The experimental results are compared with the analytical calculations. The 3-D effect was also considered. The block anchor was found to have higher pullout capacity than a plate anchor. The results show that the moisture condition significantly affects the pullout capacity of the block anchor. The pullout capacity of the block anchor embedded in unsaturated (wet) sand is about double that for the block embedded in dry sand, while that for the block embedded in saturated sand is only about one half of that for the block embedded in dry sand. These findings have very significant implications in the analysis and design of the block anchor embedded in unsaturated sand. Also, these have contributions to the hazard risk assessment of block anchors embedded in sand subjected to variations in degree of saturation.

©2006 ASCE


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