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SYNOPSIS
In order to determine the values of the shape fac Afm de determiner les coefficients de forme a
tors to be introduced in the formula of ultimate introduire dans la formule de la capaciti: portante
bearing capacity of shallow foundations, an exten limite sous des fondations directes, un t&s grand
sive series of tests on small footings resting on fine nombre d’essais sur petites semelles reposant sur un
sable fin ont CtC effect& a Gand. Afin d’obtenir
sand was performed at Ghent. To obtain a homo
une densite donnee, homogbne, le sable a Cte place
geneous and given density the sand was placed in a d’une facon completement automatique, permettant
fully automatic way, under control of the output and de regler la hauteur de chute et le debit. Afin
the height of fall of the sand. To eliminate the d’eliminer l’influence du coefficient de profondeur,
depth effect the overburden pressure was realized by la surcharge laterale a Cte rCalisCe au moyen d’une
air pressure in inflated rubber bags covering the sur pression d’air dans des sacs en caoutchouc recouv
face of the sand. rant la surface du sable.
From the tests formulae for the shape factors sq, A partir des essais des formules ont et.6 Btablies
s, and sy are deduced. It appears that the shape pour les coefficients de forme sq, s, et sy. On con
factor sy in the weight term is independent of the state que le coefficient de forme sy dans le terme du
angle of friction, while the shape factors sq and s, are poidspropre du sol est independant de l’angle de
frottement interne, tandis que par centre les coeffi
not.
cients sq et s, varient avec cet angle.
In the formulae given for sq and s, the influence of
the state of strain is implicitly included; however, Dans les formules donnees pour sp et s, l’influence
de l’etat de deformation est imphcitement inclue.
different formulae are given depending on whether
Toutefois les formules sont differentes, selon que le
the effect of the curvature of the intrinsic curve on parametre de cisaillement introduit tient compte ou
the introduced shear strength parameters has been non de la courbure de la couche intrinseque du
considered or not. materiau.
INTRODUCTION
As proposed by Brinch Hansen (1961) the ultimate bearing capacity under centrally
loaded footings can approximately be expressed by
InIthe tests carried out only vertical loadings were considered. Therefore equation (1) can be
simplified to
Applying the theorem of the corresponding states of Caquot, it can be shown that
N, = (N,l)cot+ . . . . . . . . (3)
Therefore even if the tests are performed on cohesionless materials, the values of s, and d,
can be obtained from expressions (4) and (5).
* Professor, Universities of Ghent and Louvain; Director of the Belgian Institute of Soil Mechanics.
387
E. E. DE BEER
NOTATION
width of the footing, m C points in the load settlement
cohesion, t/m2 graphs corresponding to the
depth factor for the cohesion rupture criterion of Christiaens
term (1966)
depth factor for the overburden D= relative density,
term (nmsx4/@maxniZmin)
diameter of the particles corre Eq modulus of elasticity of the solid
sponding to the ordinate of particles
10% of the grain size distribu H points in the load settlement
tion diagram graphs corresponding to the
coefficient of uniformity, d,,/d,, rupture criterion of Bent
Hansen (1961)
coefficient of uniformity, d,,/d,, N
bearing capacity factor for the
inclination factor for the cohesion ’ cohesion term
term bearing capacity factor for the
Ncl
inclination factor for the over overburden term
burden term bearing capacity factor for the
N*
inclination factor for the weight weight term
term R hydraulic radius of the footing,
length of the footing, m 4x1 m
percentage of voids Yd dry weight, t/m3
maximum percentage of voids Yk.1
effective volume weight of the soil
underneath the foundation
minimum percentage of voids
level, t/m3
unit load on the footing, t/m2 6 shape ratio, b/l
unit rupture load on the footing, 6, specific weight of the grain
t/m2 material, t/m3
initial lateral overburden pres (T normal stress component, t/m2
sure, t/m2 =rn mean normal stress, t/m2
lateral overburden pressure at the ug normal stress on the sliding plane,
moment of rupture, t/m2 t/m2
shape factor for the cohesion 0g.M mean value of the normal stress
term on the sliding surface, t/m2
shape factor for the overburden angle of internal friction
term secant angle of internal friction
shape factor for the weight term angle of internal friction, varying
with the percentage of voids,
settlement of the footing, m
and the mean normal stress
settlement of the footing at the along the rupture surface
moment of rupture, m angle of internal friction, varying
VW
depth of the foundation under only with the percentage of
neath the soil surface, m voids
dimensionless quantity defined x perimeter of the footing, m
by the expression (10) w surface of the footing, m2
SHAPE FACTORS AND BEARING CAPACITY FACTORS OF SAND 389
Table 1. Characteristics of the Mol sand
Fig. 1
The aim of the tests was to determine the expression of the shape factors sq and s,. From
the tests it was also possible to deduce the variation of the bearing capacity factors N, and N,
in relation to the relative density.
SAND USED
All tests were performed with dry Mol sand. Its principal characteristics are given in
Table 1. It is a uniform fine sand, composed almost exclusively of quartz.
The angles of shearing resistance as obtained in normal triaxial tests are given plotted
against relative density in Fig. 1 (de Beer and VesiC, 1958). They vary between 29 and 45”.
Under normal triaxial tests, tests are run with three different cell pressures, e.g. 5000, 10000
and 15000 kg/m2, and a common tangent is drawn as nearly as possible through the origin.
In such tests the discrepancies between the circles and the origin are levelled out although
they are often wrongly considered as testing errors.
The intrinsic law of a cohesionless material for a given density is not a straight line, but a
curve turning its concavity to the (5 axis. Thus for a given density the shearing strength of a
cohesionless material cannot be expressed by a unique value of the angle of shearing resistance.
In order to account for the influence of the normal stress on the shearing strength para
meter the value of the secant angle & is introduced, obtained by ,drawing the tangent to the
Mohr circle defining the limit state of equilibrium through the orlgm (Fig. 2).
390 E. E. DE BEER
Fig. 2
600
Propulrion
of \ Propulrion of the vertk.I
1.44 I .48 I .52 I .56 I.60
the trolley dry unit weight: f/m3
translation of the bottom place yJ :
2 4
T
Fig. 6 (right) IO
After Verit (1963) footing
SHAPE FACTORS AND BEARING CAPACITY FACTORS OF SAND 391
From triaxial tests performed with different relative densities and different cell pressures,
Ladanyi (1960) determined for the Mol sand the variation of the secant angle. He published
a diagram giving the variation of the secant angle against the relative density D, with the
ratio CT,..JE~
as a parameter, where (T, is the mean normal pressure existing on the sample at
rupture and E, is the elasticity modulus of the quartz constituting the grains.
THE TESTS
All the tests are smallscale. The width or diameter of the small footings varies between 36
and 150 mm. The shape of the footings is characterized by the ratio 6 = b/l, where b is the width
and 1 is the length. Two kinds of footings were used, one with S=l (circular and square
footings) and another with 6 = 4. The base of all footings was covered with a rough material
to give the case of a perfectly rough foundation.
A series of tests was performed with footings at the surface of the sand, in order to deter
mine the factors N, and sY.
A second series of tests was performed with various overburden pressures q. Most of these
tests were performed with overburden pressures of 1 and 3 t/m2. In order to separate the
variables the overburden pressure was obtained by covering the surface of the sand with air
inflated rubber bags, covered by a steel plate (Fig. 3). In that way the overburden pressure is
exerted by a material without shearing strength, and the influence of the approximate value
of the depth factor d, is therefore greatly reduced.
As both the bearing capacity and the angle of shearing strength are extremely sensitive
functions of the density, utmost care is needed to obtain a homogeneous density and to deter
mine as accurately as possible the actual density.
In order to obtain a homogeneous density the set up of the apparatus was as shown in
Fig. 4. The sand ran from a silo into two lateral containers, which automatically filled a
spreader box with a split of 3.26 mm running with a constant speed back and forth over the test
box. The density obtained depends on the height of the fall and on the sand output. In
order to maintain a constant height of fall while filling the test box, the bottom of the test box
is lowered automatically in proportion to the increase of the height of sand in the test box.
The relationship between the density and the height of fall for a speed of translation of the
spreader box of 130 mm/s is given in Fig. 5. By increasing or decreasing the speed of the
spreader box, for a given height of fall, higher or lower densities can be obtained.
In all tests the water content was below 0.1%. A total of 662 tests was performed, 350 at
the surface, and 312 with an overburden pressure.
CRITERION OF RUPTURE
As is also stated by VesiC (1963), the rupture underneath a footing may be obtained by a
general shear failure, by local shear or by punching. The appearance of one of these phenomena
depends on the relative density and on the overburden pressure. If the ratio q/yk, iR or z/R is
introduced, where z is the depth of the foundation under the soil surface, yk,i is the effective
volume weight of the material under the footing plane and R is the ratio of the surface w of
the footing to its perimeter x, W/X;the zones of general shear, local shear and punching shear
are located as shown in Fig. 6 (VesiC, 1963).
As the overburden pressure increases, the zone of general shear has a tendency to disappear.
For very heavy relative overburden pressures only the phenomenon of punching remains.
In the case of general shear there is no difficulty in determining the rupture load, but in the
case of local shear and punching it becomes difficult to define clearly the value of the ultimate
bearing capacity. When the footingissinkinggradually into the soil, the overburden pressure
increases and, in the case of very low densities, the density also increases. Both phenomena
392 E. E. DE BEER
n:t/ml
0 4 8 I2 16 20 24 28 32 36
E
P
E 16
i
;
f 220
14 \ ,
242 230 244 248 246
239
32 ,
OC
. B
qo=o
Fig. 7 (above
right)
and
.
T
%JzJ$Y$
produce a gradual increase of the bearing capacity, and in a loadsettlement diagram a con
tinuous increase of the load against settlement is found (Fig. 7).
For loading tests at the surface of the sand Bent Hansen (1961) has given a method which
eliminates the influence of the increasing overburden pressure. However, for loading tests
with an initial overburden pressure this method does not work quite satisfactorily.
Brinch Hansen (1963) has defined the ultimate bearing capacity as the stress, for which the
strain is twice the strain at a 10% smaller stress (Fig. 8).
If the settlements are represented by ZJ
Aw
= 1 AP 1
for
wr 2 pr=TO
AP 1Aw
=
& _
5w, . . . . , . . . * (6;)
SHAPE FACTORS AND THE BEARING CAPACITY FACTORS OF SAND 393
This can be expressed more generally as
dp dw
_=a
p w . . . . . . . . . (7)
A =(&+;)~,(1+035;)+~ . . . . . . (10)
The expression of the factor A is based on the following assumptions of Bent Hansen and
Brinch Hansen.
N,=NY . . . . . . . . . . . (11)
s,=l0.4; . . . . . . . .  (12)
s,=1+0.2; . . . . . . . . * (13)
d, = 1+0.35; . . . . . . . . . (14)
Christiaens (1966), found that by drawing the values of w/b against plAy,,ib on a double log
scale, a diagram is obtained which in many cases consists of an upper curved part and a lower
part which is a straight line (Fig. 9). As the value of a’ is a measure of the slope angle of the
diagram, the intersection of the curved part and the straight line can be considered as the
rupture point. The criterion defined by Christiaens is therefore in close relation with the
Footing: 38 mm dia.
qo= I t/m2
Fig. 9. Rupture
criterion of
Christiaens
(1966)
394 E. E. DE BEER
criterion defined by Brinch Hansen, the only difference being that a constant value for a’ is not
introduced, but a value varying with the relative density,
For some tests it was impossible to deduce a welldefined intersection point. In such
cases an upper and lower limit for the ultimate bearing capacity is defined (points C, and C,
on Fig. 9).
With the criterion of Christiaens it is finally possible to deduce from the tests the corre
sponding ultimate bearing capacity 9,.
~~,M=p*(lsin+) . . . . . . .
Following Meyerhof’s work the assumption is now made that the curved intrinsic law AMN
may be replaced by the straight law OM’N’ defined by the secant angle +(n, Us, M) corresponding
to the mean normal stress along the shearing surface (Fig. 11).
This is a very rough approximation, but it eliminates intricate calculations based on the
curved shape of the intrinsic curve, and finds justification in the good correlation which
Meyerhof (1950) obtained between the values calculated with this approximation and his
test results.
Further, the triaxial angle d(rt, a,, M) is used irrespective of the shape of the footing. This
means that the influence of the state of strain on the shearing characteristics is not directly
taken into consideration. Therefore this influence will be hidden in the experimental values
of NPs, and N,s,.
44’
Fig.10 Fig.11
SHAPE FACTORS AND BEARING CAPACITY FACTORS OF SAND 395
The way in which the value of N,s, can be deduced from the tests without overburden pres
sure is now described.
Equation (2) shows that at the start the problem is indeterminate. For loading tests
without overburden equation (2) can be written as
NY
J”, = Nsdsss~lr, $@a/,+~ %yk, 8 . . . . . . (16)
which includes the unknowns N,s, and N,s,. Solving for s,,N, gives
s N
Y=_ Pr sNd 3
y2 qqqb * ’ ’ ’ * . . (17)
Yk, ib
In order to find a more approximate value of N, expressions (1 l)(14) are introduced into the
91
second term of equation (18). Introducing this value of N,, together with expressions (13)
and (14) for s, and d, into (17) one obtains a first approximate value N$%$l) of Ngsy.
The value of ug, M can be determined from equation (15) and, from this value and the
value of D,, one can determine the value of +(rt, a,,,).
For each tested footing the values of Nkl)~$~)/2can be plotted against the secant angle
+(% u’g,M). On Fig. 12 the experimental points corresponding to rectangular footings (S=&)
are shown by small rectangles, those corresponding to square footings by squares and those
corresponding to circular footings (6= 1) by circles. The curve AB gives the mean curve
obtained for all circular footings irrespective their size, and the curve CD the mean curve for
all rectangular footings (6 = 6) irrespective their size.
From the ratio of the ordinates of the curves AB and CD it can be deduced that the shape
factor sp) can be expressed by
$,l) = l04b/l . . . . . . . . (19)
if 0 IO.8
12.3 19.1
16.8 20.5
l&O
:t=0 IS.9
13.8 ;::: 265
23.0
40” IS.8 29.2 31.3
::a 0 225
27.6 4P9
34.9 46.0
37.5
s= I 6=& 6=0
___
Fig. 12
396 E. E. DE BEER
Using this expression for 6 = 0 the values Nil)/2 of the curve EF as a function of #lz, Q, J are
obtained.
The ordinates corresponding to the same values of +(n, Up,M)are compared; thus the derived
shape factor does not directly give the ratio of the bearing capacity of two footings of different
shapes and with the same small dimension placed on a sand with a given relative density.
The defined shape factor is related to the case of two footings with the same small dimen
sion placed on sand with the same straight substitution line of the intrinsic curve.
I
I
44.
36’
Il.7
12.8
14.2
16.0
18.3
ii3
27.0
35.0
50.0
75.0
120.0
Fig. 13
SHAPE FACTORS AND BEARING CAPACITY FACTORS OF SAND 397
All experimental points for circular footings are shown on Fig. 13. The same mean curve
AR is drawn, based on the points for all circular footings (6 = 1) and for all values of q,,.
On Fig. 14 are shown all experimental points for the rectangular footing 38 x 228 mm.
Similar diagrams have been drawn for the other rectangular footings which were used. Based
on the points for all rectangular footings (6 = $J and for all values of q0 the same mean curve CD
has been drawn.
The curves AB and CD are shown on Fig. 15. From the ratio of the ordinates of these two
curves it may be deduced that
b
s’ql) = l+dtan+(rz,u,,,) . . . . . . . (21)
Based on this value, the curve EF for the values of NY) against +(Pz,(TV,M)is obtained.
The shape factor, expressed by equation (21) is not related to the case of a sand with a given
relative density D,, but to the case of sands characterized by the same value of #(n, ug,M), and
thus by the same straight substitution line of the intrinsic curve.
With equation (18) deduced from the general law (2) a more exact value of N, can be
obtained by calculating the ratio syN,/2N, of the second member from the approximate
1:o
0 33.0
273
2,, 40.0
50.0
Fig. 16. Regression 45' 63.5
analysis : circular 46” 85.0
footings, q0 = 0
47" I IS.0
___
Fig. 15 M
398 E. E. DE BEER
Table 2
Data regression analysis syN,/2 = F[$(n, Q, M)]
Footing Limits 4(n, c~, M) ! Number log syN,/2 =a+(%, og, M) b Co;~daton
of tests
Footing Limits +(ti, ug, M Number log ssiVs = a+, og, M) b Correlation
of tests factor
. . (22)
A better approximation for syN, is obtained by introducing this value of N, and that of s, from
equation (21) into equation (17).
The experimental points obtained for all circular footings (S = 1) are shown on Fig. 16.
The linear regression analysis could be applied on the obtained points. However, on a semi
log diagram the variation of s,N, is not exactly linear but is represented by a slight curve with
its concavity turned to the large values of jyN,. Therefore the experimental points were not
considered as a whole, but were divided into groups on which the linear regression analysis
was applied separately. From the linear relationship obtained a smooth curve a/3 has been
deduced. The data of the linear regression analysis are given in Table 2.
The experimental points obtained for all rectangular footings (6 = Q) are shown on Fig. 17.
As for the circular footings the mean curve yS has been obtained. The data of the linear
regression analysis are given in Table 2.
The two curves a/3 and yS are shown on Fig. 18. From these the value of
(syNy)d=1,6/(sYNy)6=1
can be deduced. The ratio appears to be independent of the value of +(n, (TV,M). Its value is
[(sY),=~,GI/II(s~)~=~I
= 1.476
In order to be able to determine correctly the variation of s, in B = b/l, it is necessary to have
experimental data for some other values of the shape ratio 6.
SHAPE FACTORS AND BEARING CAPACITY FACTORS OF SAND

I
20.9
23.0
25.5
29.2
34.7
40.3
48.7
59.0
73.8 Fig. 17. Regression
93.7 analysis: rectangu
125.5 lar footings, qo=O,
169.7 S=b/f=1/6
YS
AB CD EF
I
IO.7 lb7 18.0
12.0 18.9 20.2
13.8 21.4 23.0
15.9 24.7 26.5
IS.8 29.2 31.3
22.5 34.9 375
27.6 42.9 46.0
34.5 53.6 57.5
44.4 69O 74.0
60 6 94.2 101.0
05.2 132.5 142.0
122.0 192.0 208.0
__
s= I s=_6 6=0
Fig. 18
With lack of such data, an approximate relationship between sy and S may be obtained in
one of the following two ways.
First, based on previous test data (de Beer and Ladanyi, 1961) one could in a first approxi
mation assume that for S = 1 the value of sy is 0.6. If this assumption is made, the experi
mental value of (s~)~=~,~should be given by
1+0*2S
SY=m * . . . . . . . (23)
both give sy= O6 for S = 1. For S = 6 the first expression gives
Therefore, if s,, d= r = 0.6 expression (23) should correspond better with the experimental results
than expression (19).
Second, however, it is possible to make no assumptions concerning the value of sy for S = 1,
and to assume arbitrarily a linear relationship between s,, and 6. The tests give
s,=Ims . . . . . . . . . (24)
sy,6=1/6 = 1.476s,,,=,
0.476
m =  = O363
1.318
s, = l0.3636 . . . . . . . . (25)
For S= 1
s, = 0.637
The experimental results are therefore also covered by expression (25), in which case for foot
tings S = 1, the shape factor s,, related to #(n, (TV,
M) is no longer 0.6 but 0.637.
However, as long as experimental data for other shape ratios are not available, it is impos
sible to find out which of expressions (23) and (25) is the more exact. It can be seen that the
difference between the results is not very great, and that for practical purposes one of the
expressions (19), (23) or (25) can be used.
The following deductions use expression (23) giving s, = 0.6 for S = 1. Given the expression
of s, the values of NJ2 can be calculated. The curve l5 shown in Fig. 18 gives the variation
of NJ2 against the secant angle +(n, (T~,~). For comparison also shown are the curves AB,
CD and EF corresponding to the first approximate values N$l)~$,~)/2 of N,s,/2. It can be seen
that the difference between the value of the first approximation and the more exact ones is
not negligible.
Knowing the more exact values of syN,/2 (curves c+Iand yS in Fig. 18), these values can
be introduced into equation (18) to give a more exact value of N,s,
. . . . (26)
A more exact value of ssN, can now also be deduced from the tests without initial overburden
pressure (q,,=O). Equation (18) can be written as
In equation (27) are introduced the values of syN,/2 from the curves c@ or yS in Fig. 18, and
SHAPE FACTORS AND THE BEARING CAPACITY FACTORS OF SAND 401
the values of shl)Nhl)from the curves AB or CD of Fig. 15, and thus a more exact value of s,N,
is obtained.
For all circular footings the points representing the values of ssN, in function of +(rt, ug, M)
are shown in Fig. 19. All points are shown, irrespective of the diameter of the footing and the
overburden pressure. The open circles represent the points corresponding to the tests with an
initial overburden pressure, and the solid circles those corresponding to the tests without an
initial overburden pressure. The circles are quite well related.
The experimental points are divided into two groups, and for each group the linear regres
sion analysis is applied. From the two straight lines shown in Fig. 19 the curve cl’s’ is deduced.
The data of the linear regression analysis are given in Table 2. As all points are located
around the same curve, irrespective of the value of the overburden pressure q,,, it is obvious
that if the values of ssN, are drawn against the secant angle +(n, ug, M) the values of sPN, are
independent of the overburden pressure.
For all rectangular footings 6 = 8, irrespective of their width or the initial overburden pres
sure, the points giving ssN, against +(+z,Ok,J are shown in Fig. 20. The open circles represent
l
36' 40'
17.0
15.2 % 0 IO.2
II2
214
19.0
:z*
0 12.5
13.9
24.6
28.5 Zk0 IS.8
18.1
42.0
34.4
:L0 21.5
26.0
72.0
53.0 41" 32.5
43.5
64.0
173.0
107.0 Fig. 19. Regression Fig. 20. Regression 102.0
308.0 analysis: circular analysis:rectangu 180.0
660.0 380.0
footings h&oomgs: S= b/l
da' Y6
E. E. DE BEER
B
I SqN,
I :I
d(n. ~&Y.M) Regression analysis Curves drawn at sight
t
> 
D
AB CD EF
0
4 16.2
176
P IV5
21.9
25.0
28.8
34.2
43.6
57.2
82.8
25.5
!lO.O I


6=l
Fig. 21
the results of the test with initial overburden, and the solid circles those of the tests without
initial overburden pressure. The experimental points are divided into three groups, giving
three straight lines, from which the curve yS is deduced. The data of the regression analysis
are given in Table 2.
The two curves c$=c(‘/?’ and y6 are shown together on Fig. 21. From the ratio of the
ordinates of these two curves, the following expression for sq is found
s, = l+ptan [+(n,a,,,)] . . . . . . .
Given the values of s,, the values of N, can be calculated. The variation of N, against
IS
d(V %.M) . g’ iven by the curve 65 in Fig. 21.
Also in Fig. 21 are given the curves AB, CD and EF corresponding to the first approxima
tion shl)N&l) of s N
Again the de&r&l shape factor does not give the ratio between the bearing capacities of two
footings of different shape but of the same small dimension, placed on a sand with a given
density, but the defined shape factor is related to the same value of $(n, u=, M).
In Fig. 22 the angle of shearing strength 4 is plotted against the theoretical values of NJ2
as given by Brinch Hansen (1961), Buisman (1940), Kerisel and Caquot (1956), Lundgren and
Mortensen (1953) and Meyerhof (1955). The curve l5 represents the experimental values of
N, against the secant angle +(n, cr=,M). The experimental values are seen to be lower than the
values of Lundgren and Mortensen (1953).
That the experimental values are lower than the theoretical ones can be explained easily
by the fact that the theoretical values are based on the assumption of a general shear failure
of a material with constant volume. In fact at medium and low densities the failure is
SHAPE FACTORS AND BEARING CAPACITY FACTORS OF SAND 403
. . 32. 40’
I6 &,“,
Fig. 22 Fig. 23
induced by local shear failures or by punching, phenomena which are not considered in the
theoretical deductions.
It can also be seen that at high relative densities the experimental curve has the tendency
to give higher values than the theoretical ones. Also at low densities the experimental values
of NY/2 tend to become larger than the theoretical values. An explanation for this anomaly
can be sought in the fact that in very loose soils as soon as the footing starts to penetrate into
the soil an increase in density occurs. Therefore to be correct the values of NY/2 should not
be related to the angle $(n, ug, J corresponding to the initial relative density, but to a higher
value of that density.
Further, no absolute meaning must be attached to the relative situation of the curve l5 of
the experimental values of NJ2 with respect to the theoretical curves. The experimental
values have been obtained using a crude approximation based on the secant angle +(n, (T~,,J
and on a crude approximation of the mean normal stress along the shearing plane. Therefore
the values of NY/2 are to be considered rather as a tool which will enable the calculation of the
ultimate bearing from the classical formula than as a purely physical parameter.
l&T, =
0
%
0
4
0
24.1
156 26.2
17O 28.8
185 31.9
20.3 35.4
22.5 39.2
25.2 44.5
28.5 50.5
:6’:; 57.5
66.5
42.0 77.0
48.7 41” 90.0
57.0 Fig. 24. Regression Fig. 25. Regression 0 104o
66.5 ::a0 121.0
78 0 analysis : circular analysis: rectangu
143.0
92 0 footings, q0 = 0 lar footings, q,=o, ::,J 169.0
108.0 tj=b/l=1/6
GH
Fig. 26
SHAPE FACTORS AND BEARING CAPACITY FACTORS OF SAND 405
The values of the bearing capacity factor N, calculated in this way are also given against the
angle of shearing strength 4 in Fig. 23. The experimental curve ~5 gradually tends to become
the Terzaghi curve.
Instead of drawing the experimental values of syN,12 against the secant angles $(n, ug, M)r
it is possible to draw them against the angles C(S) as determined in conventional triaxial tests.
These values are given as a function of the percentage of voids n in Fig. 1.
For all circular footings, irrespective of their diameter, the points giving sVN,/2 against
4(n) are shown in Fig. 24. They are divided into two groups, giving the straight lines, from
which the curve GH is deduced. The data of the linear regression analysis are given in
Table 3.
For all rectangular footings (a=&), irrespective of their width, the points giving s,N,/2
against q%(n),are shown in Fig. 25. They are considered as one group, and by the method of
regression a straight line is obtained, which is replaced by the curve IJ. The data of the
regression analysis are given in Table 3.
Table 3
Data regression analysis s&,/2 = F[4(n)]
a b
a b
Curves GH and IJ are shown together in Fig. 26. The ratio of the ordinates of both
curves gives
sy = 10.4;
Here the defined shape factor corresponds to the usual definition, giving the ratio between
bearing capacities of two footings with different shape and same width, placed on a sand with
I 40=0
0 go=0
. qo=ltlrn2
0 q0=3tlm2
Fig. 27
__4fi__
_
4(n)
I Regression analysis
MO
163 13.8 I I.2
18.4 149 12.1
21.0 16.2 12.8
25.0 17.9 14.0
30.2 19.8 15.0
37.7 22.0 165
47.4 245 18.0
60.7 27.5 19.9
78.2 31.0 21.8
IOl.0 35.0 24. I
140.0 39.9 26.5
190.0 45.5 29.8 J
270.0 52.0 33.2
390.0 60.2 37.5
576 0 71.0 42.6
 85 0 48O
I I
0 go =3rlm2
Fig. 28 5 I
28’ 32’ 44.
36’ $(“) 40e
SHAPE FACTORS ASD BEARING CAPACITY FACTORS OF SAND 407
given relative density. From this expression of s, the values of NY/2 can be deduced. They
are given as a function of d(s) by the curve KL.
The curve KL is shown in Fig. 22 with the value 4(s) on the abscissa. On the same graph
are also given the theoretical curves from other workers, and the curve ECgiving the observed
values against the secant angle $(+z,I+, M).
The curve KL which gives the experimental values of NY/2 against the conventional tri
axial angles d(n) is well above the theoretical values. The observed values are two to four
times larger than the theoretical values and this corresponds with the data found by other
workers. The explanation of the difference between the observed and experimental values is
in the curvature of the intrinsic curve, which plays an important role in case of very small
model footings tested without overburden pressure, and also in the influence of the state of
strain.
Instead of drawing the values of ssNs against the secant angles +(Pz,Q, M) they can also be
drawn against the angles C(N) deduced from conventional triaxial tests. The values s,N, of
the tests made by a given initial overburden pressure qO, and with different footings but
characterized by the same shape factor 6, are considered as a separate group.
For each group a graph is made of the points representing s,N, as a function of $(s). For
circular footings (6 = 1) the experimental points are shown for q0= 0, q0= 1 t/m2 and q,,= 3 t/m2
in Fig. 27. For rectangular footings (S=&) the experimental points are shown for q,,=O,
q,,= 1 t/m2 and q,,=3 t/m2 in Fig. 28.
For each of the graphs corresponding to q. =0 and q,,= 1 t/m2 the experimental points are
subdivided into two groups and for each of these groups the linear regression analysis is
applied. For each of the graphs corresponding to q,, =3 t/m2 the experimental points are con
sidered as a whole, on which the linear regression analysis is applied. The straight lines
obtained are shown in Figs 27 and 28. From these straight lines curves GH and I J are de
duced. The data of the linear regression analysis are given in Table 3.
All the curves in Figs 27 and 28 are shown together in Fig. 29. Each curve corresponds to
a given value of the initial overburden pressure q,, and to a given value of the shape ratio 6.
4a= I. 40= 3,
:q(6= I] t/m” t/m?
_
1
4(n) F;;(6= &) __
(s,N&
(theor.)
i i (%&),I,
Fig. 29
408 E. E. DE BEER
1000 __
qa=o 40= I, 40=3,
t/m’ t/m2
*(n) N ‘1. theor.
N,
__ N,  N,
K&o K,L LLI
__
15l 12.8 103 18 4
170 13.7 I I.1 20 6
19.3 148 I I.7 232
22.8 16.4 12.8 26.1
27 6 18.1 139
34.3 20 I 15.1 ::.:
42.9 22 0 16.4 37a
100
I 55.6
712
25.0
28. I
18.0
19E
42.9
48 9
93.9 31.7 21a 55.9
s 127.8 36. I 239 64.2
172.1 40.6 26 9 739
244 4 46 8 30.0 85.4
350.8 54. I 337 99 0
519.3 63 6 38.2 II53
IO
5 I I I I Fig. 30
26 32’ 36’ 40’ 44’
$ Cn)
All the curves give the variation of sqNq against the angle 4(n). The solid lines GH corre
spond to circular footings (6 = 1) and the dashed lines (I J) to rectangular footings (6 = 4).
Clearly, for a given shape of footing and a given relative density and thus a given valueof
d(n), the value of s,N, depends on the initial overburden pressure q,,. If the ratio of the
ordinates of two curves 8 = 1 and 6 = k corresponding to the same value of q. is calculated,
irrespective of the value of qO,the expression sq is given by
sq = l+Psin #z) . . . . .
The value sq gives the ratio between the bearing capacities of two footings with same width
but different shape placed with the same overburden on sand with the same relative density.
However, N, is now a function of qo. Using expression (32), the values of N, given by the
curves KL in Fig. 30 are found. The solid lines were obtained directly and the dashed lines
were obtained by interpolation.
It is seen that for a given relative density or a given angle 4(n) the values of N, decrease
when the overburden pressure q. increases. Fig. 30 also shows the theoretical values of N,.
For the extreme case of q. = 0 the experimental values of N, are lower than the theoretical
ones in the case of low densities, and become much larger than the theoretical values for high
densities. On the other hand for very large overburden pressures the experimental values
become smaller than the theoretical values, even for very high densities.
The general trend of the curves agrees well with the fact that the zone of general shear
failure gradually disappears when the relative density decreases and the overburden pressure
increases. The curves therefore tend to flatten when q. increases. Further, this also shows
that the dependence of N, on q. is to be explained by the fact that for a given density or C(n),
when gradually increasing values of q,, are considered, the rupture phenomenon gradually
changes from a general failure to a local failure, and finally to a punching failure. It is evi
dent that such different states of failure cannot be covered by a unique value of N,.
SHAPE FACTORS AND BEARING CAPACITY FACTORS OF SAND 409
It must be stressed that the graph of Fig. 30 is not in accordance with the dimensional
analysis, as 4(n) and N, are dimensionless quantities, where q. has the dimensions of a stress.
Thus q. has to be replaced by a dimensionless ratio. Trials have shown that q. cannot be
replaced by qO/ylc,ib as the experimental points are then scattered over the entire area.
It is now well known that the intrinsic curve of a sand with a given density is not a straight
line but a curve. Further, it is known that the shearing strength characteristics depend on the
state of strain. When taking these two influences into account correctly the classical trinome
formula has to be abandoned and special tests have to be made to define the shearing strength
characteristics in plane strain.
This postulates that the results of rather elaborate calculations based on a curved intrinsic
law should become available and that the plane strain tests should become routine tests.
When this is not the case, approximate calculation methods based on an assumed straight
intrinsic law, obtained by conventional test equipment, have to be used. The triaxial
apparatus is such a piece of conventional test equipment.
There are now two possibilities. The first is to run a large series of tests with the triaxial
equipment in order to define the variation of the shearing strength as a function of the relative
density, and the mean normal pressure om or the normal stress up in the shearing plane. Thus
the curved intrinsic law for triaxial strain for a given relative density is obtained. According
to the simplification introduced by Meyerhof (1950) this curved law is replaced by a straight
law giving the same values as the curve law for Q M=p,/lO.
The second possibility is to run only a series of conventional triaxial tests giving the varia
tion of the conventional angle of shearing strength against the relative density.
Both these possibilities give only data about the shearing strength in triaxial strain. In
order not to overlook the influence of the state of strain, it therefore becomes necessary to base
calculations not on the theoretical values of the bearing capacity factors but on the experi
mental values, in which the influence of the state of strain is implicit.
Against the use of the secant angle $(n, (T=,M) the objection can be made that it necessitates
a large number of triaxial tests. However, compensating for this disadvantage is the fact that
the values of N, to be used are independent of the overburden pressure.
The second method has the advantage of being based on a smaller number of conventional
tests. However, when the angles +(n) are used, it becomes essential to introduce values of N,
which depend on the overburden pressure q,,. Further, in certain cases the method can give
rise to misleading results.
If properly used with the corresponding values of the bearing capacity factors and shape
factors, both methods will in normal cases lead to acceptable results.
According to the law of the corresponding states of Caquot, the shape factor s, for the
cohesion term is given by equation (4). In this expression if the secant angle +(lz, ug,,J is
used the experimental values of N, and the values sq as given in equation (23) have to be
introduced. This gives
b N
% = Ltan$(lz,a,,,)
‘+rN,_1 . . . . . .
The values of s, against +(n, +,J obtained from the experimental values of N, are given in
Fig. 31.
The values of s, with the theoretical values of N, can also be determined, giving the dashed
lines in Fig. 31. By using expression (33) and the method of 1’Hospital it is found that for
410 E. E. DE BEER
SHAPE FACTORS AND BEARING CAPACITY FACTORS OF SAND 411
$=O one obtains sC= 1.2; this is the experimental value found on stiff clays (Skempton, 1951).
Using the values N, corresponding to the reduced shearing angles after Terzaghi (com
pressible material) gives the full lines and s,= 1.3 for $=O. This is the value found many
years ago in Delft on soft clays (Polder clays).
If instead of the secant angles 4(n, u,,J the conventional triaxial angles 4(n) are used,
equation (32) for s, has to be introduced into equation (4) which gives
b N
‘0 = &sin
‘+zN,_1 C(n) . . . . . . .
However, a value for N, which depends on qo has to be introduced into equation (34).
Thus theoretically for each value of qo, another value of s, should be obtained. This is shown
by the experimental curves in Fig. 32. However, the calculations show that the influence of
q. on s, is small and can be neglected.
Introducing the theoretical values of N, in equation (34) gives the dashed curves in Fig. 32,
and introducing the Terzaghi values gives the solid curves. Again with the equation (34),
using the rule of 1’Hospital gives s, = 1.2 for 4 = 0, with the theoretical values of N,, and s, = I3
with the Terzaghi values.
It can be concluded that with the expressions given for sq, the experimental values s, = 1.2
for $=O can theoretically be proven; this shows that the proposed formulae do not contradict
experimental evidence.
CLOSING REMARK
The Author found it worthwhile to give a description of the smallscale tests performed in
Ghent to show that as soon as knowledge concerning the bearing capacity of the cohesionless
materials is refined, the secondary parameters (curvature of the intrinsic curve, influence of
the state of strain, incomplete development of the shearing surface) appear to complicate the
problem. However, these parameters have to be taken into account in interpreting correctly
the results of loading tests, especially those of a small scale.
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