Design of Large Papermachine Mat Foundation

by Anton W. Wegmuller, (A.M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Alabama, Birmingham, Ala.,
John R. Bayliss, (F.ASCE), Sr. Geotechnical Engr.; Rust Engrg. Co., Birmingham, Ala.,
James H. Woodward, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Alabama, Birmingham, Ala; formerly, Dir., Technical Development Group, Rust Engrg. Co., Birmingham, Ala.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 1, Pg. 231-250

Document Type: Journal Paper


This paper describes the design of a large 500-ft x 40-ft (15-m x 12-m) paper machine mat foundation, several complex loaded and supported mat segments were analyzed using the finite element displacement approach. Possible sinkhole activity was simulated in the analysis by totally removing the soil support tributary to certain heavily loaded columns or walls. It is shown that this approach is well suited for the analysis of the structural response of complex loaded and shaped raft foundations on nonuniform soil support, especially if the performance criteria is specified in terms of deflections, both short-term and long-term. The analytical procedure outlined in this paper made selection of a constant mat thickness of 3 ft (0.9-m) possible, thus providing the basis for an economical solution. Some comparisons with other approaches are also presented.

Subject Headings: Soil analysis | Load factors | Materials engineering | Foundation design | Machine foundations | Finite element method | Equipment and machinery | Mat foundations

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