Laboratory investigation of sand-geosynthetic interface friction parameters using cost-effective vertical pullout apparatus

Malik Rizwan, Hassan Mujtaba, Khalid Farooq, Zia Ur Rehman, Syed Zishan Ashiq, Syed Minhaj Saleem Kazmi*, Muhammad Junaid Munir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current research has been carried out to investigate the interactive behaviour of soil-geosynthetic interfaces. A cost-effective vertical pullout test (VPT) apparatus was designed for this purpose. A series of laboratory direct shear tests (DSTs) and vertical pullout tests (VPT) were carried out using three types of sands and four different types of geosynthetics. All three sandy samples used in this research were classified as poorly graded sand (SP) as per the Unified Soil Classification System (USCS) with median grain size ranging between 0.39~0.2 mm. The geosynthetics used were three woven and one non-woven with a tensile force of 3.3 kN/m~103.8 kN/m. The direct shear test revealed that geometric properties of geosynthetics have an influence on interface shear resistance. Interface friction angle varies between 29.2~38.3. Vertical pullout (VPT) test results show that the pullout force is in the range of 23.9~31.4. The interface friction angle by both direct and vertical pullout tests is more for coarse-grained soils than for fine-grained soils. Interface friction angles from pullout tests were around 19% smaller than direct shear tests. The interface efficiency ranged from 0.69 to 0.97 for all soils; meanwhile, for non-woven geotextiles, the efficiency values are up to 22% higher as compared to woven geotextiles due to theirtexture. The present research indicates that interface friction parameters can be efficiently determined through the interface of a cost-effective VPT which is also comparable with DST. The reliable values of interface efficiency can be obtained for soil-geosynthetic interfaces which can optimize the design and omits the need forassumed conservative values of friction parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number84
Number of pages12
Issue number10
Early online date30 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022


  • geosynthetic
  • interface efficiency
  • interface friction angle
  • vertical pull out

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