Tag Archives: Slope Stability

Geofoam and Slope Stability

A recent TRB E-newsletter (4/2/2013) was spotlighted by Randy Post (aka RockMan) at Geoprac.net.  The newsletter was about the publication in January of Research Results Digest 380: Guidelines for Geofoam Applications in Slope Stability Projects.

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Research Results Digest 380: Guidelines for Geofoam Applications in Slope Stability Projects explores the use of expanded polystyrene-block geofoam for slope stabilization projects. For the purpose of the report, slope stabilization projects include new roadways as well as repair of existing roadways that have been damaged by slope instability or slope movement.

The research was performed by the Department of Civil Engineering at The University of Memphis (UoM). David Arellano, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at UoM, was the Project Director. The other project investigators were Timothy D. Stark, Professor and Consulting Engineer, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; John S. Horvath, Consulting Engineer and Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Manhattan College; and Dov Leshchinsky, President of ADAMA Engineering, Inc., and Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Delaware.

The digest is a summary of the NCHRP Project 24-11(02), “Guidelines for Geofoam Applications in Slope Stability Projects.”

This report presents the results of a study performed to develop a comprehensive document that provides both state-of-the-art knowledge and state-of-practice design guidance to facilitate the use of EPS-block geofoam for slope stabilization and repair. This report includes the following five primary research products: (1) summary of relevant engineering properties, (2) a comprehensive design guideline, (3) a material and construction standard, (4) economic data, and (5) a detailed numerical design example.

The project was initiated to develop comprehensive design guidelines for use of geofoam in slope stability applications.  According to the Digest, geofoam use is becoming more widespread in the U.S., but the adoption of it as a routine roadway construction material has been slowed by lack of design guidelines.

Although EPS-block geofoam for road construction is an established technology and despite the more than 30 years of extensive and continuing worldwide use of EPS-block geofoam, it has been underutilized in U.S. practice because a comprehensive design guideline for its use as lightweight fill in roadway embankments has been unavailable. There was, therefore, a need in the United States to develop formal and detailed design documents for use of EPS-block geofoam in roadway applications.

To learn more about the project, go here.  Click this link to download the project report.

And speaking of slopes and slides, RockMan has some posts on a recent slope failure in a copper mine in Utah and one on the WSDOT doing some rock blasting on I-90 (with cool video!).  Check them out:

WSDOT rock blasting on I-90 for Snoqualmie Pass

Bingham Canyon Slide

Micropiles for Slope Stabilization

An article by Eric and Dan on the use of micropiles for slope stabilization has been added to our Publications Page.  Published in the August 2010 issue of Foundation Drilling Magazine, the article summarizes key findings and recommendations from a study that reviewed and evaluated existing micropile design methods.  A new design method is proposed to better predict the mobilized resistance of micropiles used for slope stabilization. The full report prepared by Eric and Dan for the joint ADSC/DFI Micropile Committee, “A Method for Predicting Mobilization Resistance for Micropiles Used in Slope Stabilization Applications”, presents the details of this study.  Robert previously posted about this report here.

Loehr, J.E. and Brown, D.A. (2010). “Design of Micropiles for Slope Stabilization”, Foundation Drilling, Vol. 31, No. 6 August 2010.