Use of tire bales in building earth retaining walls: stability analysis and construction guidelines



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Texas Tech University


In the United States, about 270 million automobile and truck tires are sold each year, with most of those tires eventually making a trip to the landfill, adding to the existing inventory of about 400 million. This thesis presentation focuses on the possible use of tire bales for building retaining walls. Tire bales are scrap tires compressed to a reduced volume. Two types of tire bales that have been used for different purposes were identified in the literature review. They are Eco-Bloc and En-Core Tire Bales. The tire bales can be used for building mechanically stabilized earth and gravity retaining walls. Detailed stability analysis and design was done for these two types of retaining walls. The stability analyses investigated both external and internal failure modes. Repeated analysis was done for different site and loading conditions, different wall configurations and different soil parameters. After all the design combinations were put into design, the designs were combined to form design charts. These charts may be used in projects that match the site and loading descriptions provided in the charts. Some construction guidelines are provided to assist in constructing the retaining walls. It is recommended that full-scale test walls of both mechanically stabilized and gravity retaining wall be testbuilt before their commercial use. The fiill-scale tests should enable the constructability review, economic analysis and environmental impact analysis to be done.



Retaining walls, Tires, Waste tires