Table of Contents
ISRN Civil Engineering
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 251726, 16 pages
Research Article

Similitude Conditions Modeling Geosynthetic-Reinforced Piled Embankments Using FEM and FDM Techniques

School of Engineering, Institute of Technology Sligo, Ash Lane, Sligo, Ireland

Received 3 January 2012; Accepted 16 February 2012

Academic Editors: N. Lagaros and D. N. Singh

Copyright © 2012 Keith Jennings and Patrick J. Naughton. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The numerical modelling of geosynthetic-reinforced piled embankments using both the finite element method (FEM) and finite difference method (FDM) are compared. Plaxis 2D (FEM) was utilized to replicate FLAC (FDM) analysis originally presented by Han and Gabr on a unit cell axisymmetric model within a geosynthetic reinforced piled embankment (GRPE). The FEM and FED techniques were found to be in reasonable agreement, in both characteristic trend and absolute value. FEM consistently replicated the FDM outputs for deformational, loading, and load transfer mechanism (soil arching) response within the reinforced piled embankment structure with a reasonable degree of accuracy. However the FDM approach was found to give a slightly higher reinforcement tension and stress concentration but lower reinforcement strain at the pile cap than FEM, which was attributed to the greater discretize of the model geometry in the FDM than in FEM.