Laboratory Study on Reinforced Expansive Soil with Granular Pile Anchors

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Civil Engineering, University of Diyala, Diyala, Iraq


Granular Pile Anchor (GPA) considers one of the solution foundation techniques, designed to mitigate the lifting of the sole resulting from expansive soils. This study work is to investigate the uplift movement response of GPA in expansive soil and evaluation performance in this soil. The effects of several parameters, such as length (L) of GPA and diameter (D), the thickness (H) of expansive clay layer and the existence sandy soil layer are investigated. The results evidenced the effectiveness and ability of GPA to reduce the lifting movement of the expansive soil and presented that the lifting movement can be decreased with rising length to some extent and the GPA diameter. The lifting movement of GPA-Foundation System is controlled by 3 separate variables, these are L/H and L/D ratios and diameter. The lifting movement can be decreased by up to (47%) if GPA is embedded in layer of expansive soil at L/H = 1, and by 83% if GPA is in expansive soil and extensive sandy soil is embedded at L/H = 1.4 with the similar GPA diameter and foundation.


1.     Jones, D. E. and Holtz, W. G. “Expansive Soils—the Hidden Disaster”, Journal of Civil Engineering, ASCE, Vol. 43, No. 8, (1973), 49-51.
2.     Basha, A.M.  and Elsiragy, M., N.,'' Effect of Sheet Pile Driving on Geotechnical Behavior of Adjacent Building in Sand: Numerical Study'', Civil Engineering Journal, Vol. 5, No. 8, (2019), 1726-1737.
3.     Williams, A.A. & Pellissier, J.P. “New Options for Foundations on Heaving Clay, Geotechnics in the African Environment”, Proceedings of the 10th Regional Conference for Africa on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, Vol. 1, (1993), 243-247. (93)90574-w.
4.     Al-Busoda and Abbase, ''Mitigation of Expansive Soil Problems by Using Helical Piles with Additives'' Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, Vol. 2, No. 3, (2015), 30-40.
5.     Herrero, O.R. “Special Issue on Construction on Expansive Soils”, Journal of Construction Facilities, ASCE, Journal of Performance and Construction Facilities, Vol. 25, No. 1, (2011), 2-4.
6.     Dafalla, M.A., Shamrani, M.A. “Expansive Soil Properties in    a Semi-Arid Region”, Research Journal of Environmental and Earth Sciences, Vol. 4, No. 11, (2012),930-938.
7.     Greenwood, D.A. “Mechanical Improvement of Soils below Ground Surface”, Conference on Ground Engineering, Institution of Civil Engineers, (1970), 11-22.
8.     Hughes, J.M., Withers, N.J. “Reinforcing of Soft Cohesive Soils with Stone Columns”, International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences and Geomechanics, Vol. 11, No.11, A234 (1974). (74)90643-3.
9.     Sharma, R.K., '' A Numerical Study of Granular Pile Anchors Subjected to Uplift Forces in Expansive Soils Using PLAXIS 3D '' (2018), Indian Geotech.
10.   Sfoog, E.H., Siang, A.J.L., Albadri, W.M., Naji. N., Yi, S.S. and Guntor, N.A.A., '' (Finite Element Modelling of Innovative Shallow Raft Foundation with Granular Pile Anchor System for Expansive Clays'' The second Global Congress on Construction, Material and Structural Engineering IOP Conf. Series: Materials Science and Engineering, 713, (2020).
11.   Aljorany, A., Ibrahim, S.F. and Al-Adeley, A., “Heave Behavior of Granular Pile Anchor-Foundation System (GPA-Foundation System) in Expansive Soil”, Journal of Engineering, Vol. 20, No. 4, (2014).
12.   Ismail, M.A. & Shahin, M. “Finite Element Analysis of Granular Pile Anchors as A Foundation Option for Reactive Soils”, International Conference on Advances in Geotechnical Engineering, Perth, Australia, (2011), 1047-1052.
13.   Krishna, P.H., Murty, V.R. & Vakula, J. “A Filed Study on Reduction of Flooring Panels Resting on Expansive Soils Using Granular Anchor Piles and Cushions”, The International Journal of Engineering and Science, Vol. 2, No. 3, (2013), 111-115.
14.   Phanikumar, B.R., Sharma R.S., Srirama, R.A, Madhav, M.R. “Granular Pile-Anchor Foundation (GPAF) System for Improving Engineering Properties of Expansive Clay Beds”, Geotechnical Testing Journal, ASTM, Vol. 27, No. 3, (2004),
15.   Phanikumar, B.R., Rao, A.S., Suresh, K..., “Field Behavior of Granular Pile Anchors in Expansive Soils”, Ground Improvement Journal, Proceeding of Institution of Civil Engineering, Vol. 4, (2008),
16.   Rao, A.S., Phanikumar, B.R., Babu, R.D. & Suresh, K..,“Pullout Behavior of Granular Pile Anchors in Expansive Clay Beds In-situ”, Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, ASCE, Vol. 133, No. 5, (2007), 531-538, (ASCE) 1090-0241(2007)133:5(531).