Axial Compression of Footings in Cohesionless Soils. I: Load-Settlement Behavior

AKBAŞ S. O., Kulhawy F. H.

JOURNAL OF GEOTECHNICAL AND GEOENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING, vol.135, no.11, pp.1562-1574, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


The results of 167 full-scale field load tests were used to examine several issues related to the load-displacement behavior of footings in cohesionless soils under axial compression loading, including (1) method to interpret the "failure load" from the load-settlement curves; (2) correlations among interpreted loads and settlements; and (3) generalized load-settlement behavior. The L-1-L-2 method was found to be more appropriate than the "tangent intersection" and "10% of the footing width" methods for interpreting the failure load. The interpreted loads and displacements indicate that footing load-settlement behavior is less elastic and more nonlinear than that of drilled foundations. The results show that the footing behavior will be beyond the elastic limit for designs where a traditional factor of safety between 2 and 3 is used. A normalized curve was developed by approximating the load-settlement curve for each load test in the database by hyperbolic fitting, and the uncertainty in this curve was quantified. This normalized curve can be used in footing design that considers capacity and settlement together. Where possible or warranted, the normalized curve can be subdivided as a function of initial soil modulus.