Limit analysis of the retaining wall with relief shelves under static surcharge loading using FEM
This article examines the stability of retaining walls with relief shelves compared to the conventional cantilever wall using limit analysis integrating with the finite element method. The performance of such walls subjected to an incremental static uniformly distributed surcharge loading on the backfill surface is accessed in the terms of the magnitude of the surcharge carrying capacity of the walls before the incipient failure of the overall structure. From the analysis, it is noted that the provision of an appropriate number of relief shelves and their suitable locations and widths to the wall can bring significant improvement in the stability of the retaining wall compared to a wall without a relief shelf. Furthermore, it is noted that the width and location of the relief shelf are the major governing factors that are susceptible to modify the shape of the potential failure plane, the failure mode of the wall, and the backfill surface settlement profile. To maximize the stability of the wall subjected to static loading on the backfill surface, recommendations are laid for the optimum location and width of the relief shelves for a given height of the wall.