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CE646 Foundation Engineering

Bearing capacity, Shallow foundations; Mats

and Rafts, Flexible design, Deep foundations;
Piles and piers, Machine foundations,
Foundations under difficult ground conditions,
Provisional structures, Construction techniques,
Improvement of existing foundations.

Bearing capacity
Slip line fields in the soil beneath a foundation

In each of the zones there are two-families of slip lines inclined to each other
at an angle of (/2 +) (or (/2 - )) .

The bearing capacity of a foundation

The bearing capacity qf of a foundation is the mean total stress on
the surface of the underlying soil when the latter is on the point of
collapse. It is a function of the foundation geometry, the soil weight,
and the soil strength which will be assumed to be defined by the
Mohr-Coulomb failure criterion,

f = c + n tan
If the soil strength is defined in terms of effective stress, in the form,

f = c + ( n u ) tan
The same analytical methods may be used to compute the effective
bearing capacity qf .

Plastic Theory
In plastic methods of analysis, soil is assumed to be an
ideal rigid plastic material.

Collapse load or the bearing capacity of such a material is


There are two important theorems for ideal plastic

These are called limit theorems.
Lower bound theorem
If a stress distribution is found which is in equilibrium
satisfying stress boundary conditions everywhere and
at the same time does not violate yield criterion, then
the body will not collapse under applied loads.

Upper bound theorem

If a compatible mechanism of deformations is found
satisfying displacement boundary conditions everywhere,
then the load determined by equating internal energy
dissipation to the external work done would make sure
that the body will collapse.

Find the lowest upper bound solution and the highest

lower bound solution so that the collapse load can be
closely bracketed.
Note: All elastic solutions are lower bound solutions.

Bearing capacity of strip foundations at ground level

(a) Lower bound solutions for smooth foundations on weightless soil

(b) Lower bound solutions for smooth foundations on weightless frictional soil

Upper bound solutions for rough foundations on weightless soil

(a) Foundations on frictionless soil

(b) Foundations on frictional soil

Shallow foundations
1. Locate the site and the position of load. A rough
estimate of the foundation load(s) is usually
provided by the client.
2. Inspect the site physically for any geological or
other evidence that may indicate a potential
design problem that will have to be taken into
account in the design or to give a design
recommendation. Supplement this inspection
with any previously obtained soil data.

3. Establish the field exploration program and, on

the basis of its outcome, supplement by
necessary field testing and any laboratory test
4. Determine the necessary soil design
parameters based on integration of test data,
scientific principles, and engineering judgment.
For complex problems, compare the
recommended data with published literature or
engage another geotechnical consultant to give
an outside perspective to the results.

5. Design the foundation using the soil parameters

obtained earlier.
The foundation should be economical and be
able to be built by the available construction
Take into account practical construction
tolerances and local construction practices.
Interact closely with all concerned (client,
engineers, architect, contractor) so that the
substructure system is not excessively
overdesigned and risk is kept within acceptable

Requirements of a satisfactory foundation

-Safety against shear failure of soil

-Serviceability limits are violated under working loads

Safety against excessive settlement

Safety against sliding

- Retaining walls, bridge piers, transmission towers

- protection against
-cavities created by insects

Types of shallow foundations

Mass concrete

R/fd concrete

Close- spaced columns

R/fd concrete

R/fd concrete

Pad foundation

Load bearing wall

Strip foundation

Special footings


-Cantilever (Strap)

Combined footings

Mat/Raft foundations

Flat plate

(a) Flat Plate

(b) Plate thickened
under columns
(c) Waffle-slab

(d) Plate with pedestals

Two way beam and slab

(e) Basement walls as

part of mat

Ring Foundations

Modes of bearing capacity failure

- General shear failure

- Local shear failure

- Punching shear failure

Modes of foundation failure in sand

(Vesic, 1973)

Design of foundations
- On clayey soils -either bearing capacity or
settlement may govern the design
- the undrained shear strength is usually the controlling
factor as clays are of low permeability and undrained
conditions could prevail during loading.
- the bearing capacity will increase with time as the clay
is consolidated. At this stage, settlement could govern
the design.

- On granular soils
- high permeability will ensure drained conditions.
- applied load will increase both shear stresses and
shear strength.
- therefore, the allowable bearing stress in terms of
bearing capacity failure is very high.
- as a result, the allowable bearing pressure is determined
by consideration of settlements rather than strength.
(except in foundations of low width)

Evaluation of Bearing Capacity

Terzaghis Bearing Capacity Theory (1943)
-Rigid strip foundation

qult = cN c + qN q + BN

Nc, Nq, N - Bearing Capacity Factors = f()

Terzaghis Bearing Capacity Factors (1943)

Meyerhofs Bearing Capacity Factors (1963)

Brinch Hansens (1970) bearing capacity equation

- Includes considerations for
- shape (rectangular, circular) - S
- depth - d
- inclinations of load, ground and base - i, g, b
qult = cN c S c d cic g cbc + qN q S q d q iq g q bq + BN S d i g b
- Effect of water table to be considered in q and terms
- Under undrained conditions

qult = cN c 1 + S c + d c ic bc gc

Evaluate the ultimate bearing capacity of a square footing of dimensions
2.6 m x 2.6 m placed at a depth of 1 m below the ground surface. Consolidated
undrained triaxial tests gave effective cohesion (c) of 10 kN/m2 and effective
angle of internal friction () of 24. Bulk unit weight = 16.5 kN/m3
qult = cN c S c d c + DN q S q d q + BN S d

N q = e tan tan 2 45 +

N c = (N q 1)cot

N = 1.5(N q 1) tan

d c = 1.0 + 0.4

S c = 1. 0 +

Nq B

Nc L

S q = 1.0 +


S = 1 .0 0 .4


d q = 1.0 + 2 tan (1 sin )

d = 1.00




q ult D
FOS against bearing capacity failure =


If the footing carries an axial load of 1600 kN,

Factor of safety =

Footings with Inclined Loads

Inclined loads are produced when the footing is loaded with both a
vertical V and a horizontal component(s) Hi of loading.
Using the Inclination Factors

In the general case of inclined loading there is a horizontal

component parallel to each base dimension defined as

H = HB parallel to the B dimension

For HB = 0.0; ICB, I q,B, I B are all 1.0
H = HL parallel to the L dimension
For HL = 0.0; ICL, IqL, I L are all 1.0

1. Compute the inclination factors using the

equations given in Table and using either the
exponent given in that table or the one suggested
as below.
For Iq use exponent = 2 to 3
For I use exponent = 3 to 4
2. Use the inclination factors just computed to compute
Hansen shape factors as,

These are used in the following modifications of the

"edited" Hansen bearing capacity equation

Use the smaller value of qult computed

Include the base bi and ground gi factors if applicable. They are
not given in the equation for purposes of clarity. Remember that
all d = 1.0.

Bearing Capacity of Footings on Slopes

Lack of soil on the slope side of the footing will tend to reduce the
stability of the footing.

Footings on or adjacent to a slope

1. Develop the exit point E for a footing. The angle of the exit is taken as
(45 - /2) since the slope line is a principal plane

2. Compute a reduced Nc based on the failure surface ade = L0 (footing on flat

ground) and the failure surface adE = L1 (footing on slope) to obtain

3. Compute a reduced Nq based on the ratio of area ecfg (call it A0- footing on flat
ground) to the equivalent area Efg = A1 (footing on slope), or the alternative Efgh =
A1, to obtain the following:

Note that when the distance b is such that A1 A0 we

have Nq= Nq. This distance appears to be about b/B >
1.5 (or possibly 2).
4. The overall slope stability should be checked for the
effect of the footing load using a slope-stability program.
At least a few trial circles should touch
point c (footing on slope) as well as other trial entrance
points on top of and on the slope.

Obtain the Nc and Nq factors from Table.

The N factor probably should be adjusted to N to

account for the reduction in passive pressure on the
slope side of the wedge caf (footing on slope) when the
base is either within the b/B < 2 zone on top of the slope
or when b/B = 0.
1. Assume no reduction of N for b/B > 2

2. Use the Hansen N factor and adjust as follows:

a. Compute the Coulomb passive pressure coefficients
for the slope angle using = ( - ) for one
computation and (+) for the other.
Use the friction angle = for both computations.
When you use = (+ or 0) you are computing the
passive pressure coefficient Kp = K max on the base
side away from the slope and when = ( - ) you are
computing Kp = K min.
b. Now using Kmax and Kmin compute an R ratio as

Coulomb passive pressure wedge

= /2

c. Obtain the Hansen value of N.

Now divide by 2 (allow for a contribution of from either
side of the wedge caf (ref: footing on slope)). The side
away from the wedge will contribute the full of N, but the
contribution from the slope side will be a fraction depending
on the foregoing R ratio and the distance b/B.
d. Now calculate the adjusted N .

Note that,

One should not adjust tr to ps , as there are considerable

uncertainties in the stress state when there is loss of soil
support on one side of the base, even for strip (or long)
The ultimate bearing capacity may be computed using
the Hansen equation modified to read as follows:

The depth (di)factors are not included in the above

equation since the depth effect is included in the
computations of ratios of areas. It is conservative to
assume Sc=Sq=1, but S should be evaluated.

END of Part 1