Reinforcement elements have been increasingly used in Geotechnical Engineering practice. The use of scrap tires as a reinforcement element is an attractive solution that combines the advantage of improving soil mechanical behavior, with environmental concerns. Scrap tires are globally produced in increasingly large amounts, resulting in an urban solid waste, which requires a specific disposal policy. The reinforcement system with scrap tires is made of a layer of tires filled with soil and tied together with ropes. Compared to metal strips or geotextile sheets reinforcement techniques, this system provides a better adherence between the reinforcement and the soil. This paper presents the results of pull-out tests, performed with several arrangements of scrap tires, subjected to confining levels varying from 0,5 to 1.5 meters of soil surcharge. Most of the tests made use of tires with one sidewall removed. Considering the magnitude of the required loads, a permanent steel structure with a pull-out capacity to 500kN was constructed for the present testing program. The pull-out tests were performed with different geometric arrangements, which varied from a single scrap tire to a maximum of 18 tires.


The technique of soil reinforcement consists of introducing metal strips or geotextile sheets into a soil mass. For stability purposes its length must extend beyond the potential failure zone. The shear stress developed at the soil-reinforcement interface reduces the horizontal thrust on retaining structures, improving their stability conditions. Scrap tires are a solid waste, which are produced in increasing rates every year, in particular at metropolitan areas. Scrap tires have been usually disposed in landfills or tire piles with serious environmental risks. This problem may assume a larger importance in areas of tropical climate with precarious sanitation conditions. Moreover, scrap tire piles consist a serious fire hazard.

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