Geotechnical Assignment 1

Coulomb Wedge Method


Index Introduction p. 6 Appendix  Problem  Drawing p. 2. 7 p. 5 References p. 8 1 . 3 Calculations p. 4 Conclusion p.

g. 3. He assumed that the failure surface of soil is a plane. If the drawing is finished then measure the lines and make use of equations to help calculate the values for W and C. taking into account for the angles of the soil working against the wall. He was one of the first to take the friction of soil into consideration. The method is used mainly to calculate a mechanism of failure in the soil against a retaining wall. Now draw the trail failure planes. 2. of the proposed retaining wall. 40° and 45°. He presented a theory for active and passive earth pressures against retaining walls. He was put in charge of the building of the new Fort Bourbon. Make an accurate drawing. 2 .INTRODUCTION Charles Augustin de Coulomb Born: 14 June 1736 in Angoulême. Now. 30°. e. How the method works 1. 25°. to scale. France Died: 23 August 1806 in Paris. while working as a structural engineer in the French army. France Coulomb presented the “Coulomb-wedge theory”(also known as the Limit Equilibrium method) more than 200 years ago. start with a common point and draw the calculated C-values at the specified angles. because of his significant engineering skills. 20°.

( R = reaction force between the soil mass and the wedge of soil. At an angle of δ. to get the maximum value for T. until it cuts the horizontal line. Das CALCULATIONS 3 . The distance of this line from C to the point. and mark the point. at angle φ. draw a line. At the c-value point. kN) 7. Cross section through retaining wall: Force diagram (Braja M. (T = reaction force of retaining wall due to the wedge of the soil. Draw a horizontal line through each point. The length of the line is the value for T. At the common point. connect the end of R to the vertical line. draw a vertical line and mark the measurements for the Wvalues. Connect all the points at R with a polygon. 5. At an angle of δ. connect the tangent point to the vertical line. kN) 6. is the value for R. and draw a tangent line against it.4.

59 W (kN) 407.3 482. the following results were then calculated by measuring lengths of the lines and then simply calculating the force according to scale of the drawing. Calculation of R R1 = Measured distance x 100kN = kN Calculation of T T1 = Measured distance x 100kN = kN Results for R and T from figure 2 R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 Reaction Force R 216 kN 290 kN 376 kN 570 kN 688 kN Reaction Force T T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 Maximum T = 88 kN CONCLUSION 4 75 kN 82 kN 88 kN 50 kN 16 kN .54 46.1 431.8 302.Calculation for Area A= 0.6 567.63 26.41 51.5 From figure 2 that will indicate the polygon forces.2 323.7 783.1 385.81 31.7 928.6 C (kN) 285.5 x AB x AD x sinα = m² Calculation for W W1 = Area x Density of soil = kN Calculation for C C1 = Length BD x c = 362 kN Calculated values for W and C ANGLE 20° 25° 30° 40° 45° AREA (m²) 22.

5 . or measured incorrectly. which could lead to expensive and even fatal failures in the retaining wall. or to long. Accuracy is therefore vital in using the Coulomb Wedge method when determining the reaction forces on a retaining wall. the calculations will be wrong. If a lines to short. because most of the values are obtained by measuring the distances of the lines.It is very important to draw the drawings as accurate to scale as possible.

Solving problems in Geotechnical Engineering 3 3. Braja 2004.References 1. http://www. Fundamentals of Geotechnical Engineering. 2. De Jager CJ. Das. 2005.html 6 .