Variable -Factors Theory of Bearing Capacity

by George C. Y. Hu,

Serial Information: Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, 1964, Vol. 90, Issue 4, Pg. 85-96

Document Type: Journal Paper


Having reviewed the basic assumptions of various theories of bearing capacity, the theoretical basis for a variable-factors theory is established, taking into account the physical unity of the foundation soil (single slip surface) and the results from recent theoretical and experimental investigations (variable base angle). Expressions describing the variable-factors theory are developed, and general formulas for the bearing capacity factors are given. The results from solving these formulas confirm that Nc, Nq, and Nγ are variable factors dependent largely on c and ∖a/. Graphs giving limiting values of Nc, Nq, and Nγ are presented. Application of the variable factors is explained, and its limitations are defined.

Subject Headings: Load bearing capacity | Soil analysis

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