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Proceedings of the Institution of

Civil Engineers
Geotechnical Engineering 149

January 2001 Issue 1
Page 63^64

Paper 12115

Paper published:
Proc. Instn Civ. Engrs Geotech.
Engng, 2000, 143, Apr., 65^74

Comparison of European bearing capacity calculation methods

for shallow foundations
J.-G. Sieffert and C. Bay-Gress
G. T. Houlsby and B. W. Byrne, Oxford University mended practice for jack-up unit assessment,20 for instance,
The authors are to be congratulated on their compilation of uses this approach.
existing practice for bearing capacity calculations in Europe.
We ®nd it disappointing, however, that all of these treat the What are the advantages of the yield surface approach? Firstly,
problem of combined loading within what we would regard as by expressing the results using the terminology of plasticity
an old-fashioned approach. The paper follows the practice in theory, it brings bearing capacity calculations ®rmly into the
which a combination of vertical, moment and horizontal (V V, M, mainstream of engineering mechanics calculations, rather than
H) loading is treated as a single load, inclined
p to the vertical expressing them as rather unusual ad hoc procedures. Secondly,
at d=tan71 (H H/VV), of magnitude V 2 ‡ H 2 and eccentricity it allows the issue of displacements at yield to be addressed (by
e = M/VV. Much of the early published work (notably that of de®ning either an `associated', or more realistically a `non-
Meyerhof, Hansen and Vesic as cited in the paper) adopts this associated' ¯ow rule as well as the yield surface). Thirdly, it
approach, and this has been followed in European practice. gets away from the idea of bearing capacity being purely an
The moment (or eccentricity) is allowed for by adopting the issue of failure and instead addresses it as one of yield. In many
`effective area' approach, and the inclination is treated by circumstances this yield results in hardening behaviour
introducing a set of semi-empirical `inclination factors' on each (expansion of the yield surface), accompanied by substantial
of the terms in the conventional bearing capacity expression. plastic deformation (settlements).

In our view a more enlightening approach is to express the It is our hope that if a similar comprehensive review of
interaction between vertical, moment and horizontal loads European practice were to be carried out in the future, that the
through the use of a yield surface in (V
V, M, H ) space. An description of the bearing capacity problem in terms of yield
example would be: surfaces would have become common practice.

 2  2 Author's reply
f ˆ ‡ ‡ The authors thank G. T. Houlsby and B. W. Byrne for their
m0 BV
V0 h0 V 0 V 20
m0 h0 BV
20  2  2 interest in the paper. We are completely in agreement with
ÿ 1ÿ ˆ0 them concerning the interest to use a yield surface in (V, M, H)
V0 V0
space. Of course, we know the papers given in references, and
we are enlarging our research works in this way.1±3
which is expressed in terms of four simple constants. The value
of V0 is the bearing capacity under purely vertical loading, and The aim of our paper was not to give a State of Art of the
would be calculated by conventional methods. The dimension- bearing capacity calculation methods, but to give a State of
less factors m0 and h0 de®ne the maximum moment and Practice in Europe using the basic Terzaghi's formulationÐthe
horizontal capacities as m0BVV0 and h0V0 respectively. Finally, e comments con®rm the accuracy of the described practicesÐin
is a factor which allows for interactions between moment and order to prove the very large differences between various
horizontal loading, recognizing that (for instance) if the countries, and the necessity of a common detailed European
horizontal load is from left to right, then a clockwise moment Standard as underlined by Andrew Bond in his Editorial.
has a different effect from an anticlockwise one.
The yield surface approach to this type of problem has a long 14. ROSCOE K. H. and SCHOFIELD A. N. The stability of short pier
history, having been introduced by Roscoe and Scho®eld.14 It foundations on sand. Discussion. British Welding Journal,
was used by Butter®eld and Ticof15 and recently in much 1957, Jan., 12±18.
research work on combined loading.16±19 It is common in 15. BUTTERFIELD R. and TICOF J. Design parameters for granular
offshore engineering practice to express bearing capacity soils. Discussion. Proceedings of the 7th International
calculations in the form of a yield surface (even if the shapes Conference on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering,
are derived from the Hansen or Vesic formulae). The recom- Brighton, 1979, 4, 259±261.

Geotechnical Engineering 149 Issue 1 Discussion 63

16. NOVA R. and MONTRASIO L. Settlements of shallow founda- 19. GOTTARDI G., HOULSBY G. T. and BUTTERFIELD R. The plastic
tions on sand. GeÂotechnique, 1991, 41, No. 2, 243±256. response of circular footings on sand under general planar
17. MARTIN C. M. and HOULSBY G. T. Combined loading of loading. GeÂotechnique, 1999, 49, No. 4, 453±470.
spudcan foundations on clay: laboratory tests. GeÂotechni- 20. SOCIETY OF NAVAL ARCHITECTS AND MARINE ENGINEERS. Guide-
que (in press). lines for Site Speci®c Assessment of Mobile Jack-up Units.
18. BUTTERFIELD R. and GOTTARDI G. A complete three-dimen- New Jersey, 1994, SNAME, Technical and Research
sional failure envelope for shallow footings on sand. Bulletin 5-5A.
GeÂotechnique, 1994, 44, No. 1, 181±184.

64 Geotechnical Engineering 149 Issue 1 Discussion