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Effect of Tie Beams on Settlements and Moments of Footings
R. R. Al-Omari
Civil Engineering Dept., Al-Nahrain University, Jadiriah, Bahgdad, Iraq
L. H. Al-Ebadi
Formerly Postgraduate Student, Al-Nahrain University, Jadiriah, Bahgdad, Iraq
Keywords: footings, tie beams, settlement, moment, finite element ABSTRACT: It is known that the soil condition may be characterized by heterogeneity even within small areas. Furthermore, accidents like a broken pipe and environmental conditions may often cause a local soil weakness underneath a certain part of the superstructure. Uneven settlement induces structural, functional and operational problems. Thereby, it is customary to connect isolated footings by tie beams even when the soil bearing capacity is adequate. The present work is devoted to investigating the effect of tie beams on settlement, moments and shear developed in the foundation. A case study is selected, it is the case of grid foundation composed of nine footings. Three dimensional non linear finite element analyses have been conducted. The soil has been assumed to follow the Drucker-Prager rate independent plasticity criterion. The parametric study conducted involved the effects of tie beams proportion, tie beams soil contact and an induced soil weakness beneath parts of the total foundation area. The detailed results indicated that the tie beams reduce the total and differential settlements of footings but this restriction is often on the expense of increasing the shear and moment particularly in the central footing. However, the settlement reduction may be considered invaluable in view of avoiding the excessive stresses in beams and slabs of the superstructure.
Footings are members used to support columns and walls by transmitting and distributing their loads to the soil. It is an essential design criterion that total and differential settlements remain within the tolerable limit specified for the structure. Adequate safety against tilting and rotation of footings should be maintained. Differential settlements cause excessive stresses in beams and slabs and induce excessive moments on columns. Even when the soil condition is very good and isolated footings are recommended, the foundation engineer remains in fear of differential settlements due to the possible environmental effect on part of the subsoil. To account for these requirements, it is the custom to connect isolated footings by tie beams. Tie beams are sometimes used to connect an exterior column to the nearest interior column. It is an alternative solution for a combined footing. If the spacing between the exterior and interior footings is larger than 4.5 m, a tie beam footing type may be used because it will be more economic than a combined footing (Waked, 1998). Also, sometimes it is necessary to build spread footings very close to a property line, another structure, or some other places where no construction may occur beyond one or more of the exterior walls. Because such footings can not be centered beneath the column, the load is eccentric. This can cause the footing to rotate and thus produce undesirable moments and displacements in the column. One solution to this problem is to use cantilever footing, which consists of an eccentrically loaded footing under the exterior column connected to the first interior column using a tie beam. This arrangement, which is similar to a combined footing, provides the necessary moment in the exterior footing to counter the eccentric load. The use of tie beams to connect all the spread footings in a structure provides a more rigid foundation system (Coduto, 2001). In the last decade, many authors investigated some parameters in the design of footings particularly using the finite element method, as briefly given below. However, they did not deal with the quantitative assessment of the advantages of tie beams. Borel and Combarieu (1998) studied a pile footing in direct contact with the soil. Observations made on two bridge piers are presented: the first pier was designed with the usual assumption that the piles carry the entire applied load; the second pier was designed taking into account the footing capacity, which allowed for using
shorter piles. Jao et al. (2002) studied the behavior of interacting parallel strip footings. The settlement, tilting, and soil plastic yielding behavior of closely spaced parallel strip footings were presented. The results of study were obtained from computer analyses using a finite element computer program. Maharaj (2003a) used a two dimensional nonlinear finite element analysis under plane strain condition to study a strip footing on reinforced clay. The footing and soil have been discretized by four-noded isoparametric finite elements while reinforcement has been modeled by four-noded one dimensional finite element. The soil has been idealized as Drucker-Prager elasto-plastic medium. Maharaj (2003b) conducted three dimensional nonlinear finite element analyses of piled raft foundation which is under the application of uniformly distributed load. The raft, pile and soil have been discretized by eight-noded brick elements. The soil has been idealized as a Drucker-Prager elasto-plastic continuum. Maharaj (2003c) studied a square pile with a square cap embedded in ground and under lateral load using a three-dimensional nonlinear finite element model. The soil has been modeled as an elasto-plastic medium using Drucker- Prager yield Criterion. The cap, pile and soil have been discretized into eight-noded isoparametric brick finite elements. Jawad (2006) studied a spread foundation with sheet piles on both sides to provide confinement. Nonlinear threedimensional finite element analysis has been used to conduct an analytical investigation on the overall behavior of the foundation. ANSYS program is utilized. Nonlinear material behavior is adopted for the soil in which a Drucker-Prager model is employed. In the present study the finite element method is adopted through the ANSYS program to evaluate the effect of tie beams on settlement, shear and bending moment of footings. The case of grid footings is considered to evaluate the effect of connecting the footings by tie beams. The Drucker-Prager criterion for the soil is employed in this work. A parametric study has also been conducted to estimate the effect of soil bearing underneath the tie beams as well as studying the effect of the ratio of tie beam width to footing breadth on the results. Furthermore, a study is presented when the environmental effects induce a local weakness under a certain footing causing the soil to be heterogeneous, a case which sometimes happens in practice.
2 Finite element modeling
The finite element method is a numerical procedure whereby the region or the continuum is discretized into small elements connected at nodes. The method can be applied to obtain approximate solutions to a variety of problems in various fields of engineering; in transient linear or nonlinear problems, in stress analysis, heat transfer, fluid flow and electromagnetism problems (Bathe, 1996). The ANSYS (ANalysis SYStem) program version 10 is designed to be user oriented. The ANSYS program has many finite element capabilities, ranging from a simple, linear, static analysis to a complex non-linear, transient dynamic analysis. The program contains many routines, all for the main purposes of achieving a solution to an engineering problem by the finite element method. In the current study, three-dimensional 8-node solid brick isoparametric elements, solid 65 elements, are used to model the concrete footing. The solid is capable of cracking in tension and crushing in compression. Solid 45 elements are used for three dimensional modeling of the soil. The element has plasticity, creep, swelling, large deflection and large strain capabilities. The type of yield criterion used to characterize the behavior of the soil through this study is the Drucker-Prager model. The elements have eight corner nodes, and each node has three degrees of freedom u, v and w: translation in the global directions x, y and z respectively, as shown in Figure 1. The shape functions of the solid elements are introduced to express the coordinates and displacements of any point in the element in terms of the coordinates and displacements of the nodes of the element. The local coordinates of the 8-node brick element are ξ, η and ζ with the origin of the system taken at the center of the element; these local coordinates have a range between -1 and +1 as given in Figure 1b. The Drucker-Prager failure surface in the principal stress space is a right circular cone with its central axis as the line of hydrostatic stress. This failure surface can be looked upon as a smooth Mohr-Coulomb surface or as an extension of Von-Mises surface for hydrostatic pressure-dependent materials such as soil. The Druker-Prager yield criterion may be either with an associated or non-associated flow rule. The Yield surface does not change with progressive yielding, hence there is no hardening rule and the material is elastic plastic. In the present study the numerical integration was carried out using the Gauss-Legendre quadrelature scheme. The ANSYS employs an incremental-iterative procedure to account for the material nonlinearity. In order to verify the results of the program, it was decided to compare the ANSYS results with some analytical calculations, of moment and shear which can be performed manually. The selected cases were two footings connected by a tie beam not in contact with soil and the same case but the tie beam is in contact with soil. The ratios of tie beam width to footing breadth were 0.333, 0.500 and 0.666. In all cases the percent difference between hand and ANSYS calculation results ranged between 1.93 and 3.84 for both positive and negative shear and moment.
3 Analyses 3.1 Goal of the work
The work is aimed at quantifying the advantage of using tie beams to reduce total and differential settlements and the expected reflection on shear and moments in footings. Although tie beams are commonly used, the authors could not trace a theoretical or experimental quantitative determination of their effect. The present paper focuses on the case of grid footings and considers the advantage of using tie beams besides the effect of some design parameters like the soil bearing beneath the beams and the proportion of beams. The capability of tie beams to hold the structure when a soil heterogeneity has been developed is also studied. More details and further case studies may be consulted in a thesis by Al-Ebadi (2006).
3.2 Drawing the model
The model is set up in the form shown in Figure 2 for the case of grid footings with and without tie beams. Table 1 presents the default values of model dimensions.
Table 1. The default values of model dimensions.
Dimensions width of the footing length of the footing thickness of the footing width of the tie beam length of the tie beam thickness of the tie beam width of the column length of the column height of the column
Default value (m) 1.5 1.5 0.5 0.5 4.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 4
symbol B B' h' b L' h a' a" H
3.3 Materials and properties
The present problem assumes two materials, soil and concrete. Table 2 lists the soil and concrete properties where E is the modulus of elasticity, µ the poisson’s ratio, c the cohesion, Φ the angle of internal friction and γ the unit weight. Table 2. Properties of materials.
Material type Soil Concrete Modulus of 2 Elasticity, E (N/m ) 40×10
Poisson’s ratio, µ 0.4 0.15
Cohesion, c 2 (N/m ) 23 ---
Angle of internal friction, Φ (deg.) 18 ---
Unit weight, 3 γ (kN/m ) 19 25
3.4 Developing the model mesh
The spacing of elements (node to node) for soil volume in the model is 0.5 m and the selection of the free mesh for the footing and tie beam volumes are executed as shown in Figure 3.
3.5 Applying boundary conditions and loads
The nodes at the edge sides of the soil model are rollers in the z-direction and the nodes at the base are fixed as shown in Figure 4. The loads are distributed on the upper nodes of the columns as shown in Figure 5. The load on all the corner columns is W1 = 200 kN. The load on the central column is W3 = 400 kN. The load on the other four columns is W2 = 300 kN.
4 Results and discussions
Figure 6 shows the settlement in case of grid footings with and without tie beams along section A-A. The maximum value of settlement under the footing center is -4.57 mm and -7.15 mm in the presence and absence of tie beams respectively giving a settlement reduction of 56.4%. The differential settlement is mitigated by about 30%. Similar results were obtained along section B-B giving a settlement reduction of 37.5%.
Figure 7 shows the shear force in case of grid footings with and without tie beams along section A-A. The maximum value of shear at column edge is 130.52 kN and 108.26 kN in case of grid footings with and without tie beams respectively. The corresponding values along section B-B are 172.53 kN and 135.2 kN respectively. The shear increase due to the use of tie beams is 20% - 27%. Figure 8 shows the moment in case of grid footings with and without tie beams along section A-A. In the presence of tie beams, the maximum positive value of moment at the footing centre is 16.56 kN.m for the edge footing and 125.25 KN.m for the central footing and the maximum negative value of moment at the tie beam center is -76.75 kN.m. The maximum positive value of moment is 38.75 kN.m in case of grid footings without tie beams. This maximum moment occurs at zero shear points. The use of tie beams decreased the maximum footing moment by 58% for the edge footing and increased the moment by 230% for the central footing. Similar results were obtained along section B-B where the use of tie beams decreased the maximum footing moment by 60% for the edge footing and increased the moment by 203% for the central footing.
5 Parametric studies 5.1 Effect of tie beams soil contact
Figure 9 presents the settlement along section A-A. The maximum value of settlement under the footing center is -4.57 mm in case of grid footings with tie beams in contact with soil and is -4.68 mm in the case of no soil contact. Along section B-B, the maximum value of settlement under the footing center is -5.78 mm in case of grid footings with tie beams placed on soil and is -5.91 mm when the tie beams are not in contact with soil. Thus placing the tie beams directly on soil reduces the footing settlement by about 2.5%.
5.2 Effect of tie beams proportion
Figure 10 demonstrates the settlement along section A-A of the grid footings with tie beams using different ratios of tie beam width (b) to footing breadth (B). Similar results were obtained along section B-B. The results are also presented in Table 3. Increasing the ratio of tie beam width to footing breadth from 0.333 to 0.666 slightly reduced the settlement in harmony with a slight increase in shear. The moment decreased in the footings region while significantly increased in the tie beams region.
Table 3. Effect of tie beam proportion on maximum values of settlement, shear and moment.
Section A-A b/B ratio Maximum settlement (mm) -4.57 -4.18 -4.05 Maximum moment (kN.m) in tie beams region -76.75 -102.25 -122.40 Maximum moment (kN.m) in footings region 125.25 124.75 123.25 Maximum settlement (mm) -5.77 -5.48 -5.28
Section B-B Max. shear (kN) 172.53 175.48 182.20 Maximum moment (kN.m) in tie beams region -110.55 -151.72 -181.75 Maximum moment (kN.m) in footings region 158.75 133.76 128.58
Max. shear (kN)
0.333 0.5 0.666
130.52 135.35 137.22
6 Effect of soil heterogeneity
One of the most important reasons to justify the use of tie beams is the fear of accidental or environmental conditions which induce local weakness beneath one or more of the footings causing the soil to be heterogeneous. In this section the advantage of the tie beams is analytically clarified. All the tie beams are assumed to be in full contact with soil. Figure 11 shows the settlement along section B-B of grid footings with and without tie beams on heterogeneous soil when the soil modulus of elasticity, E, under the central footing is degraded to one-third of its value under the corner footings. The maximum value of settlement under the central footing is -9.90 mm in case of grid footings without tie beams and is -5.90 mm in case of grid footings with tie beams. The reduction in settlement is 40%. It is also very important to note that the differential settlement is significantly reduced from 2.80 mm to only 0.133 mm. Figure 12 shows the shear along section B-B of grid footings with and without tie beams on heterogeneous soil when the soil modulus of elasticity, E, under the central footing is also degraded to one-third of its value under the corner footings. The maximum value of shear under the central footing is 58.5 kN when tie beams are not used and 109.25 kN when tie beams are used. The restriction imposed by the tie beams increased the shear force by 30%.
Figure 13 shows the moment along section B-B of grid footings with and without tie beams on heterogeneous soil when the soil modulus of elasticity, E, under the central footing is again degraded to one-third of its value under the corner footings. The maximum value of moment under the central footing is 46.75 kN.m and 169.50 kN.m in the absence and presence of tie beams respectively. The restriction imposed by the tie beams increased the
moment by 270%. This should be accounted of in the structural design of footings if required to resist expected environmental accidents. In choosing the proper type of foundation, the engineer may compare the available options from an economical point of view.
The quantitative effect of using tie beams to connect isolated footings has been investigated in this work. The case of nine grid footings has been studied. Non-linear there dimensional finite element analysis has been utilized to solve the problem. The following conclusions may be drawn; 1) The use of tie beams significantly reduces the settlement, a reduction which exceeds 50% in some footings. The shear at the column edge has been increased by 20-27%. The use of tie beams decreased the maximum moment by 60% for the edge footings and increased the maximum moment by 203% for the central footing. 2) Placing the tie beams directly on bearing soil slightly reduces the settlement of footings. 3) Increasing the ratio of tie beam width to footing breadth from 0.333 to 0.666 slightly reduced the settlement in harmony with a slight increase in shear while the moment decreased in the footings region and increased in the tie beams region. 4) Tie beams can significantly mitigate the detrimental effect when the soil under one or more footings is subjected to degradation in properties due to environmental reasons. Environmental reasons involve the percolation of water or any effluent to certain zones in the supporting soil causing significant weakness in these zones. The total and differential settlements are markedly reduced in the present example. The differential settlement is diminished from 2.80 mm to 0.133 mm. The moment in the central footing is significantly increased by more than 200%. Structural precautions should be taken by increasing the shear and flexural reinforcement if required to account for future accidents. However, minimizing the differential settlement will greatly prevent the development of excessive moments in the columns, beams and slabs of the superstructure.
The work has been conducted in the Civil Engineering Department, College of Engineering, Al-Nahrain University, Baghdad.
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