Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Civil Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

Ravichandran, Nadarajah

Committee Member

Putman , Bradley

Committee Member

Juang , Hsein


Shredded tires have been considered as a suitable alternative to conventional sand and gravel backfill materials as they offer benefits from their significantly lower unit weight, reductions in the cost of materials and construction, and because they utilize a common and potentially hazardous waste material. This research addresses some gaps in previous research in the implementation of shredded tires in this capacity by examining variation in material properties through a reliability analysis, developing an improved design technique for retaining walls tailored to shredded tire fills, and simulating how shredded tire backfill behaves in conjunction with retaining walls when subject to seismic loads. First, an in depth literature review was performed to determine previously defined material properties of shredded tires based on a myriad of standard and specialized lab tests performed for many sizes and types of shredded tires. Review of the literature also served to identify additional design considerations that, along with geotechnical properties and LRFD methods, were used to design a retaining wall that was optimized for use with shredded tire fills. This wall was then modeled with the shredded tire fill in the finite element software, PLAXIS, under seismic loadings and considering variations in the material properties as defined by the literature as well as utilizing different damping schemes at governing equation level and constitutive model for the materials. The conclusion was that shredded tires can be a very beneficial alternative to conventional fills and further benefit can be realized by designing walls specifically for shredded tire use thus reducing wall size and changing wall dimensions for optimum shredded tire fill performance.

AppendixA.pdf (143 kB)
AppendixB.pdf (69 kB)
AppendixC.pdf (23 kB)



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