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M. F. & HOWBY, G. T. (1984). G&echnique 34, No. 4, 613623

The limiting pressure on a circular pile loaded laterally in

cohesive soil


In the analysis of the undrained loading of laterally limiting pressure in pressuremeter

loaded piles an important quantity is the ultimate test
lateral resistance at depth to purely horizontal move- radius of curvature of curved
ment. If the soil is modelled as a perfectly plastic characteristic
cohesive material then the calculation of this quantity
pile radius
reduces to a plane strain problem in plasticity theory,
velocities in x, y directions
in which the load is calculated on a long cylinder
which moves laterally through an infinite medium. An velocity of pile in y direction
exact calculation of the load on such a cylinder is Cartesian coordinates
presented. If this load is non-dimensionalized with ale
respect to the soil strength and the diameter of the angle of major principal stress di-
pile, it is found that the load factor varies between rection to x axis
6 + 7~ for a perfectly smooth pile and 4J2+ 2~ for a arcsin (Y
perfectly rough pile. This result is discussed in the subsidiary angle on Mohr’s circle
context of previous calculations for the lateral load
for stress discontinuity
capacity of piles and is compared with approximate
inclination of stress discontinuity to
calculations using cavity expansion theory and a wedge
failure near the soil surface. x axis
angles specifying characteristics
distance from pile to discontinuity
La resistance laterale limite en profondeur au seul
mean stress
mouvement horizontal represente un parambtre im-
portant de l’analyse du chargement non-drain6 des
mean stress on x = 0
pieux charges lateralement. Si le sol est modelist in situ horizontal, vertical stress
comme une materiau coherent parfaitement plastique stresses in Cartesian coordinates
le calcul de ce parametre devient un probleme de n/4- A/2
deformation plane dam la thkorie de la plasticite, dans
laquelle la charge se calcule sur un long cylindre qui se
deplace lattralement dans un milieu infini. L’article INTRODUCTION
presente un calcul prtcis de la charge dun tel cylindre. The failure load of a laterally loaded pile was
Si cette charge est rendue sans dimensions eu Bgard a
first treated in detail by Broms (1964). Different
la resistance du sol et du diametre du pieu on trouve
que le facteur de chargement varie entre 6 + m pour un mechanisms of failure were identified, depend-
pieu parfaitement lisse et 4J2+2n pour un pieu par- ing on the relative length of the pile, the plastic
faitement rugueux. L’article discute ce resultat dans le moment of the pile section and the strength of
contexte des calculs precedents de la capacite de the soil. A key quantity in the published solu-
chargement des pieux et le compare avec des calculs tions was the limiting pressure (or force per unit
approximatifs employant la theorie de l’expansion des length on the pile) which the soil was assumed to
cavitb et un coin de rupture prb de la surface du sol. apply. For cohesive soil Broms assumed a limit-
ing pressure of 9c,, where c, is the undrained
shear strength of the soil. Close to the ground
a pile adhesion
surface this value was reduced to allow for the
C shear strength
different mode of deformation in that region.
undrained shear strength
The value 9c, was largely empirical and no
d pile diameter 2r0
theoretical justification was attempted.
G shear modulus
In this Paper classical plasticity theory is used
Pa atmospheric pressure
to derive exact solutions for the limiting lateral
resistance of a circular pile in cohesive soil. In
Discussion on this Paper closes on 1 April 1985. For
further details see inside back cover. classical plasticity two approaches may be used to
* Cambridge University Engineering Department. estimate collapse loads. In the first, the lower
t Department of Engineering Science, Oxford Univer- bound approach, a stress distribution is assumed
sity. in the soil, in equilibrium with a given applied
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in equilibrium with the applied loads but do not

violate the yield criterion for the material. In
seeking a lower bound solution, a stress field is
sought which, while satisfying these criteria,
maximizes the applied loads.
Several different stress fields could be studied
to obtain lower bounds, but only one lower
bound is presented here, since an upper bound
has also been obtained which yields the same
solution, i.e. the lower bound presented here is
exact. Although there is no necessity to explain
how this particular lower bound is derived, since
the final result suffices to establish the limiting
Fig. 1. HorizontaI section through the pile load, it is useful to examine the process by which
this solution is arrived at.
load. Provided that the stress field does not In studying plastically deforming cohesive ma-
contravene the failure criterion, the applied load terials it is usual to work in terms of the charac-
will be less than or equal to the true collapse teristics, or slip lines, which are the planes on
load. In the other approach, a failure mechanism which the shear stress takes its maximum value.
is postulated and the collapse load estimated by The two sets of characteristics form an or-
equating the rate of dissipation of energy within thogonal net, and many properties of charac-
the deforming soil mass to the work done by the teristic nets are amply discussed elsewhere (see
external load. In this approach the estimated for example Hill, 1951). It will be assumed that
load will be an upper bound to the true collapse the reader is familiar with their use.
load. Some preliminary statements may now be
Most engineers will be familiar with examples, made about the characteristic mesh.
such as the calculation of the bearing capacity of As the pile is pushed laterally through the
a strip footing, where the two approaches de- soil, a region of high mean stress will occur in
scribed above yield the same collapse load, front of the pile and of low stress behind the
which must necessarily be the true collapse load. pile. The soil will flow around the pile from
In other applications the best lower bound is less front to back. By symmetry the plane x =0
than the best upper bound solution, and a meas- through the centre of the pile parallel to the
ure of uncertainty will exist as to the precise direction of motion will be a plane of principal
collapse load. An example of a case such as this stress, and characteristics will intesect it at 45”.
has been published by Davis, Gunn, Mair & It may also be argued that the plane y = 0
Seneviratne (1981) in connection with the col- through the centre of the pile perpendicular to
lapse of tunnels in soft clay. the direction of motion will be a plane of sym-
It should be emphasized that the solutions metry for the characteristic mesh. This is be-
developed here are based on a rigid, perfectly cause, for a problem with symmetric geometry,
plastic response of the soil, with a shear strength the equations for a cohesive material have sym-
c independent of the current (total) stress level. metries such that a symmetric mesh of charac-
In accordance with the associated flow rule, the teristics will represent either a local maximum or
soil is assumed to deform at constant volume. minimum value for the lower bound. For in-
The problem is shown diagrammatically in stance the collapse load for a plane strain foot-
Fig. 1, which shows a horizontal section through ing involves a characteristic mesh which is sym-
a vertical pile. Right-handed Cartesian axes are metric about a vertical line through the corner
used, with the centre of the pile taken as the of the footing. In fact the maximum is most
origin. The radius of the pile is rO, and the likely, and it is assumed that this will also be the
velocity of the pile is u0 in the direction of the y case here. The plane y = 0 may be either a
axis. Velocities of the soil in the x and y direc- principal stress plane or a characteristic. How-
tions are u and u respectively. ever, the interface between the deforming and
non-deforming regions must be a characteristic,
and this interface must be perpendicular to x =
LOWER BOUND SOLUTION 0, so that the plane y = 0 must therefore be a
As already stated, a lower bound on the loads characteristic.
which will cause collapse of a body of perfectly One characteristic (y = 0) is thus straight,
plastic material with an associated flow rule may which leads to the important conclusion that all
be obtained by finding a set of stresses which are other members of this family of characteristics

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a characteristic at n/4- A/2 to the pile will be a

fan of angle n/4+ A/2 (EQC in Fig. 3). Straight
characteristics will then intersect with the pile at
a/4 - A/2 on the section QF until a characteristic
FA at 45” to the x and y axes is reached. This
characteristic and its mirror image then enclose
a small ‘triangular’ zone AFF’ (one side is
curved) which remains rigidly attached to the
pile. Within this zone the full adhesion is not
mobilized at the pile surface.
Having determined one set of characteristics
the other family may readily be established (see
Fig. 2. MOWS drde for stress at the pile surface Fig. 3), but the value of the lower bound load
does not depend on the details of the geometry
are also straight (from Hencky’s second of the second set of characteristics. In the fan
theorem) within a certain range. zone EQC they form circular arcs, in CQFA
If the adhesion a at the pile-soil interface is they are a form of involute and both sets of
taken as a constant factor of the soil cohesion characteristics are straight in AFF’.
a = (YC (0 <OL< 1) then the inclination of a The mean stresses on the characteristics may
characteristic to the pile surface is a/4- A/2 be determined as follows: (TVon QE (where u0 is
where sin A = CY= a/c (see Fig. 2 for Mohr’s taken as a reference value), u,+2cB, between
circle for stress at the pile). The mesh of charac- QE and QC (see Fig. 4 for the definition of &),
teristics may now be built up. Between y = 0 and u. + c(‘FF/~+ A) + 2~0, between QC and FA (see

Fig. 3. Geometry of the characteristic mesh

Fig. 4. Defomtation mechanism

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x [I-sin ($)I

+cr,[2cos (t)-(n-A)sin ($)I

=u”r,,[l-sin(g)]+crO[2cos ($)+;+A

+cosA-($+cosA)sin($] (3)

(d) The normal stress component on FA: the

normal stress is given by u,+3nc/2 so the
force is given by

(uo+F) J2r,sin ($) $

9.01 t
0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0
a = a/c
. A 3.7~
= uoro sm -2 +yr,sin
Fig. 5. inP/cd with a=a/c
Fig. 4 for 0,) and uO+ 3nc/2 between AF and When totalling the forces on each of the four
the pile. quadrants it will be observed that whereas all
Making use of the two axes of symmetry, the the terms in c are additive those in a,, cancel (so
lower bound collapse load is calculated by con- that the mean stress has no effect on the failure
sidering only the first quadrant of the pile. The load for the pile). The final failure load P per
load on the pile is calculated by considering the unit length of pile is therefore given by
component of force in the y direction transmit-
ted across the discontinuous surface QFA in Fig.
3. The force is made up of normal and shear
stress components on each of the sections QF A
and FA. The position along QF is given by the
angle 8, in Fig. 3. The terms to be determined

are as follows.
(a) The shear stress component on QF, given by
A z

c sin A cos B,r, dOI = cr, sin A cos
0 -

(b) The shear stress component on FA, given by

(1) +4cos
-2 -2cosAsin

A 1 A -=n+2A+lcosA+4[cos(:)+sin(i)]
c J2r,sin
0 -
cr,sin -
(2) cd
(c) The normal stress component on QF: the
where d is the pile diameter. The function P/cd
mean stress on characteristic QC is aO+
varies in value from 6 + n at A = 0 to 4J2+ 271
2c(n/4+4/2) = a,+c(n/2+A). The normal
at A = n/2 (i.e. approximately from 9.14 to
stress on the pile at Q is therefore o,,+
11.94). A graph of the function is given in Fig. 5
c(n/2 + A) + c cos A, and the normal stress at
and is tabulated to three decimal places for
a general point on QF given by coordinate
various values of cy in Table 1.
O1 is uO+c(rr/2+A)+c cosd +2c0,. The
The lower bound solution is not complete
component of the force is therefore given by
unless it can be extended throughout the soil
7r,2~*,2 mass. The detailed mathematics of an extension
[u,,+ c(n/2+A +cos A +2&)] sin O,rOdO, of the stress field to infinity is given in Appendix
1. The extension makes use of a stress discon-
tinuity between a region of soil within which the
=u,r,[l-sin ($)I + cr,,(T/2 + A + cos A)
yield condition is satisfied and a region in which

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the shear stresses are less than those required to defining a particular curved velocity characteris-
cause yield. It is emphasized that the stress field tic, and O2 and t13 defining particular straight
given in Appendix 1 need not be the actual characteristics (see Fig. 4). For given values of
stress field: it is sufficient for a lower bound 8i and o2 (where 0 < & < &), it can be shown
solution to find any distribution of stresses which that the radius of curvature of the curved
is in equilibrium and does not exceed the yield characteristic in the region FGHLQK is
r = ro[(8, - e,) cos 44+ sin $1 (6)
The first stage in the calculation of an upper where t/~ = n/4- A/2. The radius of curvature of
bound collapse load is to postulate a failure the characteristics outside this region may easily
mechanism and associated velocity field. For be deduced from this expression.
closely bracketed upper and lower bounds, the The velocity diagram is shown in Fig. 6. The
velocity field will show strong similarities to the absolute forward velocity of the pile is uO,while
field of characteristics obtained from the lower the absolute velocities of elements of soil at
bound solution. This is the case here, as may be locations marked by upper case letters in Fig. 4
seen from Fig. 4, which shows the postulated are denoted by the corresponding lower case
failure mechanism. Fourfold symmetry exists in letters. Note that the soil element at Q is statio-
the deformation pattern and so only the first nary in space, although the pile at this point
quadrant will be discussed. Five separate regions moves past the soil at velocity uO. The relative
may be identified. velocity along each of the straight characteristics
is zero, while the tangential velocity round each
(a) A rieid zone exists between AF and the
curved characteristic is given by v, = v,l./2 out-
pile;-this zone will move with the same
side FGHIJ and u,= vosin B,/cos J, inside
velocity as the pile.
FGHIJ, where v0 is the forward velocity of the
(b) AECHGF is a fan shear zone where the pile. A velocity jump therefore occurs along
current centre for the fan moves gradually
FGHIJ (where & = ~r/2- A/2) and it is necessary
around the edge of the pile; the curved
to denote the corresponding points on the veloc-
velocity characteristics follow the same
ity diagram just inside this boundary by the
shape as the stress characteristics in the
primed letters (f’, g’ etc.). The size of the veloc-
lower bound solution.
ity jump is Av, = v,[cos (A/2) set + - l/h]. The
(cl CDEJIH is a fan shear zone, centred on Q. relative velocity between the pile and the soil
(4 FGHLQK is a wedge of diffusely shearing along FKQ is equal to u,(cos 8, + tan $ sin 0,).
material, similar to a fan shear zone, but
The details of the summation of the various
where a transverse velocity gradient exists
terms in the work equation for the upper bound
along the straight lines such as GK.
(e) HIJNQL consists of a series of concentric
cylindrical shells, centred at Q, which rotate
relative to each other with the angular veloc-
ity decreasing with increasing radius.
It is convenient to define the geometry of the
deformation in terms of the three angles &,

Table 1. Values of P/cd

cx Pled

0.0 9.142
0.1 9.527
0.2 9.886
0.3 10.220
0.4 10.531
0.5 10.820
0.6 11.088
0.7 11.336
0.8 11.563
0.9 11.767
1.0 11.940
Fig. 6. Vefocfty hodograph

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calculation are given in Appendix 2, in which results, a value nearer lO.Scd (corresponding to
the following upper bound is derived: a= 0.4) might seem more appropriate. This
value corresponds to that suggested by Reese
P/cd = n + 24 + 4 cos $( J2 + sin 4) (7) (1958) from physical arguments of possible
stress states around a laterally loaded pile. How-
The angle $ is equal to n/4- A/2, and the above ever, it must be borne in mind that the model of
expression is identical with that obtained previ- soil behaviour adopted for the analysis is ideal.
ously from the lower bound approach when the No allowance has been made for possible
substitution for J, is made. The expression thus breakaway of soil at the back of the pile, or even
represents the exact solution. of the possible influence of elastic deformation
of the soil on the limiting resistance. Although it
is sometimes accepted that within small strain
theory the elastic properties do not affect the
Examples of the meshes of slip lines, which collapse load, the elastic deformation of the soil
show the extent of the deforming zone, are can influence the collapse load when the plastic
given in Figs 7 and 8 for the extreme cases region is fully confined by unyielding material.
a = O-0 (smooth pile) and a = 1-O (fully rough The collapse of an expanding cylindrical cavity is
pile). It can be seen that the higher resistance on a classic example, in which a rigid-plastic mater-
the rough pile is due to the significantly larger ial would fail at an infinite internal pressure,
deforming region. whereas a finite collapse load may be calculated
The force P per unit length of the pile ranges for an elastic-plastic material (Gibson & Ander-
from (6+rr)cd = 9.14cd for a smooth pile up to son, 1961). These effects may best be quantified
(4J2+2n)cd = lle94cd for a perfectly rough by viewing the lateral loading of a pile as similar
pile. Fig. 5 shows the variation in P/cd with the to a pressuremeter test (Baguelin, Jezequel &
adhesion ratio (Y= a/c. Previous estimates of the Shields, 1978).
limiting resistance of a laterally loaded pile have Swain (1976) reports tests on deeply embed-
been based on a square idealization of the pile ded strip anchors. The tests showed that, during
cross-section. Poulos & Davis (1980) quote early movement of the anchors, deformation of
limits for a square pile, pushed parallel to a the surrounding soil corresponded closely to the
diagonal of P/cd = 2( 1 + n) = 8.28 for a smooth expansion of a cylindrical cavity in front of the
square and P/cd = 2 + 37~= 11.14 for a perfectly anchor and a collapse of a cylindrical cavity
rough pile (with d as the length of the pile behind the anchor. At later stages, a rupture
diagonal). These values are lower than for the mechanism formed, with flow of soil around the
circumscribing circular pile. anchor. A simple approximate calculation will
For most engineering purposes the simple for- now be presented, based on the observation of a
mula P = 9 + 3a provides a very adequate linear mechanism of cavity expansion in front of the
fit to the curve, although clearly more accurate pile.
straight line approximations could be chosen. When a pile is loaded laterally, it is reasona-
It may be seen that the common value ble to assume that the pressure in front of the
adopted for the limiting resistance of 9.0cd
(after Broms, 1964) falls just below the exact
solution for a smooth pile. From the analytical

Fig. 7. Example of a characteristic mesh at cy = 0.0 Fig. 8. Example of a characteristic mesh at 01= 1.0

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pile may increase from the in situ horizontal 3*0cd. A critical question is then to what depth
stress level crhOup to the limit pressure p1 ob- does the wedge-type failure extend. Reese
tainable from a pressuremeter test. Behind the (1958) considered the failure of a 45” wedge in
pile, the stresses will decrease. The lowest value front of the pile and derived an expression for
obtainable under undrained conditions corres- the ultimate resistance of the pile at depth z of
ponds to a suction of one atmosphere pa
(approximately 100 kN/m’), after which presum- P = cd(2 + yz/c + 2,/2z/d) (10)
ably cavitation occurs and a gap forms between
the soil and the pile. After breakaway the pres- although a more rigorous approach would give
sure behind the pile will reduce to zero, or, if
there is free water available, to the ambient pore (2\/2+$)
5 2+=$+; (11)
pressure uO. At the sides of the pile some shear-
ing resistance may be mobilized (see Fig. 3).
Typically this resistance may be estimated as of where yz is the total overburden pressure (this
the order of l.Ocd (although this is merely an should be replaced by y’z where free water is
estimate of the order of magnitude of this quan- available to flow into any gap forming behind
tity) . the pile). An allowance for additional shear on
Thus the ultimate force per unit length resist- the pile sides may contribute an additional
ing the pile will lie between (pl+pa+c)d and quantity of the order of cd. Subsequent field
(pl - u0 + c)d. From analyses of the pressureme- tests (Reese, Cox & Koop, 1975) showed that
ter test the limiting pressure may be written as Reese’s expression overestimated measured ulti-
mate resistances by a factor of about 1.7. Com-
p,=a,,,+c[ln(G/c)+l] (8) paring equations (9) and (10) and allowing for
where G is the shear modulus of the soil. For the factor of 1.7, the ultimate resistance given
typical values of G/c this expression gives p1 = by equation (10) starts to exceed that estimated
crh0+6c (e.g. Marsland & Randolph, 1977). from equation (9) at depths of about 3 diameters.
Substituting for p1 the ultimate resistance may In soft clay, Matlock (1970) has presented
be bracketed by experimental results which indicate that the last
term in equation (10) is too high and should be
UhO + Pa
+7 replaced by 1.52/d. However, in normally or
C C lightly overconsolidated clay the term yz/c will
dominate, lying typically in the range 5-10.
(Note that the first term involves the effective Again within about 3 pile diameters the ultimate
stress.) For normally or lightly overconsolidated resistance given by equation (10) will start to
clay, the ratio of a,,‘/~ will typically be around exceed that given by equation (9) or by plasticity
2.0. Thus the lower limit corresponds to the theory.
result for a smooth pile using plasticity theory. In summary, the following expressions may be
For short-term loading, pore pressures below tentatively suggested:
ambient level are likely to exist behind a later-
ally loaded pile, implying that the solution de- (a) shallow depths (wedge failure)
rived in the first part of this Paper is relevant,
giving an ultimate resistance which is compara- P/cd = 2+ u,,Jc + 1.5z/d (12)
ble with or lower than that estimated from cav-
ity expansion considerations. (b) cavity expansion
For stiff, overconsolidated clay, the ratio
uhO’/cwill be considerably lower and may be as P/cd = 7 + a,Jc (13)
low as O-5 at shallow depths. Even allowing for
suction between the pile and the soil the ulti- (c) plasticity theory (flow around pile)
mate resistance may be below 9.0cd. Thus, for
such soils, the ultimate resistance calculated P/cd = 10.5 (14)
from cavity expansion considerations may be
lower than that calculated from plasticity theory. When the piles are under water, the total stres-
The final consideration concerns the low resis- ses oVOand oh0 should be replaced by effective
tance near ground level due to a wedge type of stresses. As is customary with any collapse prob-
failure in front of the pile. At the ground sur- lem where different failure mechanisms are
face, a passive pressure of 2c in front of the pile anticipated, the above expressions should be
together with some allowance for side shear plotted with depth and the lowest value taken at
implies an ultimate resistance of approximately any particular depth.

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out the soil mass without violating the yield condition.

The extension of the stress field in one quadrant on1
is considered here; similar extensions apply in each _
the other three quadrants. The method used is very
similar to that given by Shield (1954) for the problem
of the rigid flat plane strain punch. The solution
involves the introduction of a stress discontinuity
ATUV shown in Fig. 9.
Below the curve ATUV the stresses at a point such
as R or S are given simply by the values at the
appropriate 03 or 81 values within the deforming zone
(Fig. 9) and may be expressed as

a,,=a+ccos(2P) (15)
uy,,=a-ccos(28) (16)

rxy = c sin (26) (17)

where V, the mean stress, is given by

a=a,+2c0, O<f33<;+; (18)

Ffg. 9. Extensfon of the stress field using a discon-

tinldly rr=c0+2c(;+;+e,) ocB,<;-; (19)

REFERENCES and 6, the angle between the direction of the major

Baguelin, F., Jezequel, J. F., & Shields, D. H. (1978). principal stress and the x axis, is given by
The pressuremeter and foundation engineering,
Clausthal: Trans. Tech.
Broms, B. B. (1964). Lateral resistance of piles in
cohesive soils. J. Soil Mech. Fdns Div. Am. Sot.
Ciu. Engrs 90, SM2, 2743. /3=e1+; O<B,<~-~
2 2
Davis, E. H., Gunn, M. J., Mair, R. J. & Seneviratne,
H. N. (1980). The stability of shallow tunnels and Above the curve ATUV the stresses are such that the
underground openings in cohesive material. principal stresses are parallel to the x and y axes (the
Giotechnique 30, No. 4, 397-416. major principal stress being in the x direction near to
Gibson, R. E. & Anderson, W. F. (1961). In situ the discontinuity), and cxxx is a function of y only and
measurement of soil properties with a pressure- oyv a function of x only. Thus the stresses automati-
meter. Civ. Engng Pub. Wks Rev. 56, 615. cally obey the equilibrium equations. At some point X
Hill, R. (1951). The mathematical theory of plasticity, in Fig. 9
London: Oxford University Press.
Marsland, A. & Randolph, M. F. (1977). Comparison ~xxtx)= U~XXCU, (22)
of the results from pressuremeter tests and large in
situ plate tests in London Clay. Ggotechnique 27, UYV
(X1= o,,<n (23)
No. 2, 217-243.
7xv(X1= 0 (24)
Matlock, H. (1970). Correlations for design of later-
ally loaded piles in soft clay, 2nd Annu. Offshore The stress jump across the discontinuity ATUV is
Technology Conf., Houston. determined by these conditions and also the condition
Poulos, H. G. & Davis, E. H. (1980). Pile foundation
that the stresses just above ATUV satisfy the yield
analysis and design, New York: Wiley.
condition. Mohr’s circles on the discontinuity are thus
Reese, L. C. (1958). Discussion on McClelland and
as in Fig. 10, where X, and Y, give the stresses in the
Focht, Trans. Am. Sot. Civ. Engrs 123, 1071- x and y directions below the discontinuity and X, and
Y2 the stresses above the discontinuity. The angle
Reese, L. C., Cox, W. R., & Koop, F. D. (1975). Field
between the discontinuity and the x axis is 7 and it is
testing of laterally loaded piles in stiff clay, 7th
convenient also to introduce the angle E.
Annu. mshore Technology Conf., Houston 2,671-
From the geometry of Fig. 10 it should be noted
that by considering angles Y&U and Y,X,U
Swain, A. (1976). Model ground anchors in clay. PhD
Thesis, University of Cambridge. 7F-E=2q (25)
APPENDIX 1. EXTENSION OF THE STRESS FIELD and by considering angles UC,X, and UP,X, that
The lower bound solution for the stress is not com- 7r-e-22p=2 t-7
plete unless the stress field can be extended through- ( )

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Thus or

(27) uvv =a,+2~o,+2~ c0~ (38)

The geometry of the discontinuity must now be

considered. Examining Fig. 11, consider two straight
characteristics KU and YZ at tii and O,+dO,, ending
The coordinate of the point U on the discontinuity on the segment of discontinuity UZ. Let the distance
may be conveniently specified by either the angle KU be p and YZ be p + dp. The geometry of the figure
01(7r/2 - A/2 P B, P 0) or the angle 13s (n/4 + A/2 & &, 3 determines that (ignoring quantities which are second-
0) together with the distance from the pile p. In terms order small)
of Oi or 0s in the appropriate ranges
dp=-r,dB,cos f-t -pdO,tan n-13,+:-$
( ) ( )
(2% (39)
For convenience the angle ~/4-A/2 will be denoted
or by $I. This expression results in the differential equa-
= 03 tion
q=i+T dp !$+$
-=-r,coscl,-pcot (40)
E 2-@,__ A (311
de, ( )
2 2 which must be solved subject to the boundary condi-
tion p = r0 J2 sin (A/2) at 0, = n/2- A/2. The solution
3Tr to the equation is
E =--es (32)
Noting then that, if the mean stress just below the

discontinuity is a, the stresses just above the discon- A
tinuity are f3,+~ =o (41)
oxx =U-2CCOSE+C (33) For characteristics in the range specified by 8,
rather than 8, the simpler equation
oYv =cr-2ccosE-C (341

Thus in terms of fli or O3 in the appropriate ranges dp = -p de, tan (q - 03 (42)

applies, which rearranges to

(351 r= -p tan 8-2 (43)

uxx =00+2co,+2c cos $+e, +c

( )

ovv =n,+2c(~+~+Oi)-2csin (Or++)-c



Fig. 10. MOWS tide on the discontinoity Ffg.11.DetaiIedgeomelryofthedisco~~tfmfiy

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Noting that at 8, = 0, 6, = n/4 + A/2 and APPENDIX 2. CALCULATION OF DISSIPATION

To carry out the upper bound calculation the dissi-
pated work in each of the deforming regions and on
each velocity discontinuity must be calculated. In each

( )I1
+I-sin 5 of the regions the rate of dissipation may be calculated
by integrating the product of the shear strength c and
the solution to the differential equation is the shear strain rate 9 over the area of the region. At
a velocity discontinuity this reduces to the product of
the shear strength, the relative velocity Au and the
length of the discontinuity. Referring to Fig. 4 the
rates of dissipation AW are as follows:
(45) For interface AF

Note that this results in p = m at OS= ~14, n = n/4, so AW=cs J2r,sin 2 =cv,r,sin 5 (54)
that the discontinuity asymptotically approaches a 0 0
slope of n/4 and the stress solution below the discon-
For interface ABC
tinuity extends infinitely outwards for Oa=Z7~14.
The magnitudes of the stresses above the discon- lr,z-A,2
tinuity must now be evaluated. It may easily be shown AW=cs o r dO, (55)
that both on and eYyvdecrease monotonically as 8,
reduces from n/2-6/2 to zero and continue to de- where
crease monotonically as 6s decreases from n/4+4/2
(at f3i = 0) to n/4. The extreme values of the stresses
r=r,[J2sin ($)+sin$+(F-+--r%a)coS$] (56)
are therefore given by the following values: at 8, =
n/2 - A/2
a,, = CT”+ 3nc/2 - c (46)
avv = o. + 3?rc/2 - 3c (47) AW=cuora{g-$)[sin (;)+?I
and at OS= n/4
++2 (;+ $1 (571
ox, =a,+nc/2+c (4%

crYV=a,+nc/2-c (49) For interface CDE

At any given x coordinate aYY is constant and it is n/4+4,2
clear that the stress difference a, -avY decreases AW=cs r de, (581
monotonically with increasing y from the maximum b
value of 2c on the discontinuity ATUV. The minimum where
value will therefore occur at n = m, at which point
0xX = eD + nc/2 + c. The most critical value of this ex- r=r~IJ2sin(~)+~-~)cos$) (59)
treme occurs at x = 0, where ovv = o,, + 3?rc/2- 3c, so
that Thus
(Uxxx- ayJmin = --7Fc + 2c > -2c (50)

so that the yield condition is not violated in the region AW=cv,r~{(~+$)[sin($)+(~-$)F]) (60)
above the discontinuity.
This discussion has been entirely in terms of the For interface FGH
two-dimensional stress system in the x, y plane. The
yield and equilibrium conditions must be satisfied in
the real three-dimensional space. These conditions AW=cv,[cos(~)cos~-$][‘2A’2rd02 (61)
may be satisfied by the trivial relations

CT,, = (a, + oJ/2 (511 where

ry. = 0 (52) r=r,[sin$+(-&B,)cos$] (62)

rz, = 0 (531
where the z axis is parallel to the axis of the pile.

Reference AW=cu,r,[cos ($)-?I[(;-$)

Shield, R. T. (1954). Plastic potential theory and

Prandtl bearing capacity solution. J. Appl. Mech. 17~ A*
XtanJ,+2 2-2 (63
21, 193-194. (

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For interface HIJ ThUS

A 1
02 sec$-5
IIo rd0, (64) Aw=,v,,r,[2cos(~)+[l-sin(4)]tan~


+; (;-;)zws (Z)} 02)
Internally for HIJNQL, in terms of the variable 0, the
radius r of each circular velocity characteristic is
AW=cvoro(~+~)(;-++-~] (66)
r@, cos +. The shear strain rate may be written in a
similar manner to before as
Internally for ACEJHF, the fan zone may be regarded
as a large number of small velocity discontinuities of
magnitude (v,/./2) d0, the length of each discontinuity (73)
being J2r,, sin (A/2). Thus
The element of area dA is rOcos $ d0,r de,. Thus the
dissipation is
A W = cyg,, sin i d0 = cuOrO$sin 4
()I n 0
(67) AW=c
For interface FKQ
AW=csinA (210cos 8,
+ vOsin 8, tan #jr,, d0, (6% n/2-A/Z n,4+A/2

= cvoro
I, I
(sin e1 - 19~cos e,) de, de,
AW=cu,r,sinA[cos(~)+tan~[l-sin(g)]] (69) Thus

Internally for FGHLQK, since the velocity along the AW=cv,r,(~+~)[2-2sin ($)-(z-$)cos (t)]
straight characteristics is zero, the shear strain rate 9
may be expressed in terms of the velocity v, along the (75)
curved characteristics as
The separate dissipation rates from the different
regions may now be summed to give the overall value
(70) (accounting for the fourfold symmetry) of

where v, = v,, sin 8,/cos $. The element of area defined A

W = 4cv,r, sin 2 +(2+sin Altos A+z+A
by small changes in 8, and O2 is dA = rOcos J, dO,r de, I 0
where r is the radius of curvature of the curved
characteristic. Thus the dissipation is +*an$(l+sinA)[l-sin($)]) (76)

This dissipation may be equated to the product of the

force P and the pile velocity v,,. Replacing the pile
d-A,2 e1
radius by half the diameter d the final expression for P
= cvoro
b d
[sin er
may be simplified to

P/cd = [n + 26 + 4 cos $(J2 + sin ~1)] (771

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