WAK and Full-Scale Load Tests on Granular Fill

by Kevin G. Sutterer, (M.ASCE), Univ of Kentucky, Lexington, United States,
Karl W. Myers, (M.ASCE), Univ of Kentucky, Lexington, United States,
Glenn J. Rix, (M.ASCE), Univ of Kentucky, Lexington, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Vertical and Horizontal Deformations of Foundations and Embankments


For footings on granular fill that includes cobble- and boulder-size materials, in situ tests cannot be used to estimate foundation settlement because such fill is difficult to explore using conventional in situ testing methods. Full-scale load tests are technically desirable because they provide a direct measurement of foundation settlement under design loads, but such testing is costly. This paper compares load test results with predicted settlements using estimated bearing capacity and initial tangent stiffness from simple WAK tests using an instrumented sledgehammer. The load tests provided a reasonable estimate of footing settlements observed during construction, and the WAK tests provided a good estimate of initial tangent stiffness. Application of the WAK results and the estimated ultimate bearing capacity in a simple hyperbolic model provided a good estimate of the load test settlement.

Subject Headings: Load tests | Full-scale tests | Load factors | Load bearing capacity | Foundation settlement | Soil settlement | Granular materials

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