Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair(s)

James A. Bay


James A. Bay


John D. Rice


Marvin W. Halling


Current design codes of Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) Walls allow the use lower lateral earth pressure coefficient (K value) for designing geosynthetics walls than those used to design steel walls. The reason of this is because geosynthetics walls are less rigid permitting the wall to deform enough to work under active pressures instead of at rest pressures as in steel walls.

A new concept of crimped steel bars was recently introduced. This new type of bar was tested for tension and pullout behavior. Results on tests made on crimped bars show that putting those crimps in the steel bar will give us a better pullout behavior and a more flexible tensile behavior. This new type of steel bar will behave more like geosynthetics, allowing the wall to deform sufficiently to reach the necessary deflection to reach the active condition. The use of steel by current design codes is pushing MSE walls to be designed with more steel than needed. Measurements of the force in different walls showed that the steel is not being used even close to the maximum stress allowed by the code which is 50%.

The proposed design methodology using crimped bars will help us save around 52% of steel volume compared to the actual design procedures. This means a huge improvement in the usage of steel versus actual designs. This improvement is obtained because of the efficient behavior of rounded bars under corrosion and because of the flexibility in the bars obtained with the crimps that will allow us to reach the active condition.