An analytical solution for geotextile-wrapped soil based on insights from DEM analysis

Hongyang Cheng*, Haruyuki Yamamoto, Klaus Thoeni, Yang Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper presents a novel analytical solution for geotextile-wrapped soil based on a comprehensive numerical analysis conducted using the discrete element method (DEM). By examining the soil–geotextile interface friction, principal stress distribution, and stress–strain relations of the constituent soil and geotextile in the DEM analysis, a complete picture of the mechanical characterization of geotextile-wrapped soil under uniaxial compression is first provided. With these new insights, key assumptions are verified and developed for the proposed analytical solution. In the DEM analysis, a near-failure state line that predicts stress ratios relative to the maximums at failure with respect to deviatoric strain is uniquely identified; dilation rates are found to be related to stress ratios via a single linear correlation regardless of the tensile stiffness of the geotextile. From these new findings, the assumptions on the stress-state evolution and the stress–dilatancy relation are developed accordingly, and the wrapped granular soil can therefore be modeled as a Mohr–Coulomb elastoplastic solid with evolving stress ratio and dilation rate. The development of the proposed analytical model also demonstrates an innovative approach to take advantage of multiscale insights for the analytical modeling of complex geomaterials. The analytical model is validated with the DEM simulation results of geotextile-wrapped soil under uniaxial compression, considering a wide range of geotextile tensile stiffnesses. To further examine the predictive capacity of the analytical model, the stress–strain response under triaxial compression conditions is solved analytically, taking both different confining pressures and geotextile tensile stiffnesses into account. Good agreement is obtained between the analytical and DEM solutions, which suggests that the key assumptions developed in the uniaxial compression conditions also remain valid for triaxial compression conditions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)361-376
    Number of pages16
    JournalGeotextiles and Geomembranes
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


    • Dilation rate
    • Discrete element method (DEM)
    • Geosynthetics
    • Geotextile-wrapped soil
    • Stress path
    • Uniaxial/triaxial compression test


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