Scale modelling of plant root systems using 3-D printing

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Trees and shrubs offer a sustainable method for improving slope performance, particularly in shallow translational slips. One effect that these biological systems have is to increase the shear strength of the rooted soil due to direct mechanical reinforcement. Quantifying this effect is difficult due to the complex geometry of root systems and the high variability of material properties along the roots. In this paper, a rapid prototyper (3-D printer) is used to produce repeatable models with Root-Area-Ratio (RAR), root distribution and root length representative of 1:10 scale tree root clusters in Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) plastic. This material is shown to have material properties (stiffness and strength) representative of real roots. Such models would be extremely difficult to fabricate using conventional technologies. Preliminary test data demonstrates that the models give repeatable and representative reinforcement to soil (dry sand in this case) under direct shear, and that the technique is therefore useful in modelling soil-root interaction problems in centrifuge models.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICPMG2014 – Physical Modelling in Geotechnics
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 8th International Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics 2014
EditorsChristophe Gaudin, David White
PublisherCRC Press
Pages361-366
Number of pages6
Volume1
ISBN (Electronic)9781315776873
ISBN (Print)9781138022218, 9781138001527
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event8th International Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics 2014 - University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
Duration: 14 Jan 201417 Jan 2014
http://www.icpmg2014.com.au/

Conference

Conference8th International Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics 2014
Abbreviated titleICPMG 2014
CountryAustralia
CityPerth
Period14/01/1417/01/14
Internet address

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  • Cite this

    Liang, T., Knappett, J. A., & Bengough, A. G. (2014). Scale modelling of plant root systems using 3-D printing. In C. Gaudin, & D. White (Eds.), ICPMG2014 – Physical Modelling in Geotechnics: Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics 2014 (Vol. 1, pp. 361-366). CRC Press. https://doi.org/10.1201/b16200-45