American Society of Civil Engineers


A Simple Bearing Capacity Equation


by Sherif Elfass, (Research Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, University of Nevada, Reno, MS 258, Reno NV 89557 E-mail: elfass@unr.edu), Gary Norris, (Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, University of Nevada, Reno, MS 258, Reno NV 89557 E-mail: norris@unr.edu), and Panchaligam Vimalaraj, (Graduate Assistant, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, University of Nevada, Reno, MS 258, Reno NV 89557 E-mail: vimalara@unr.nevada.edu)

pp. 1-10, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/40915(234)4)

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Advances in Shallow Foundations
Abstract: The bearing capacity of a shallow foundation is usually assessed by applying various correction factors to the classical three-term bearing capacity equation. Correction factors are typically included to account for foundation shape and embedment, load inclination and eccentricity, and the inclination of the foundation base. However, the bearing capacity depends on the evaluation of the bearing capacity factors Nγ, Nq and Nc, which differ depending on the source consulted (e.g., Terzaghi, Meyerhof, Hansen or Vesic). Unfortunately, there have been very few full scale tests that have documented the accuracy of such equations causing considerable uncertainty in the mind of the practicing engineer. In addition, complicating factors lead to confusion regarding the meaning and application of the assessed bearing capacity. Such factors include the choice of total or effective stress strength parameters, the use of direct shear, triaxial or plane strain friction angle for cohesionless material, the effect of confining pressure variation in different zones of the failure mass on the friction angle, and the effect of apparent cohesion, particularly in the interpretation of plate load test results. The following paper provides discussion and illustration of these various matters, including the introduction of a simple bearing capacity equation that can also a yield load-settlement response.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Limestone
Load bearing capacity
Rocks
Shallow foundations