A Study on the Scale Effect on Bearing Capacity and Settlement of Shallow Foundations

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Author(s) Bestun J. Nareeman
Pages 480-488
Volume 2
Issue 2
Date March, 2012
Keywords Scale effect, size, shape, bearing capacity, settlement, finite element analysis

This paper investigates the effect of scale on the bearing capacity and settlement of footings. For this study, three types of prototype footing circular, square and rectangular were investigated . For the circular footing, diameters (8, 10, 15 and 20 cm) were used, while for the square and rectangular footings, the dimensions used were 8×8, 10×10, 15×15, 20×20 cm and 8×12, 10×15,15×22.5 and 20×30 cm, respectively. The experimental work was complimented by finite element studies using the software (SAGE-CRISP), which is a 2D finite element program designed to solve both 2D plane strain and axi-symmetric problems. This was used to analyse square footings of size 8, 15, and 20 cm. Additionally, equations due to Zhu et al. (2001) were used to determine the bearing capacity factors Sγ and Nγ for different footing shapes. Relaibilty of the results showed that these equations could be used for larger footings with using reduction factor for Nγ. It was found that the bearing capacity shape factor Sγ increased slightly with increasing width of the footing, while the bearing capacity factor Nγ reduced. Model scale test results show that the bearing capacity factor, Nγ, is dependent on the absolute width of the footing for each of circular, rectangular and square footings. Nγ for dense soil decreases with increasing of footing size.

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