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Admn.No:613 222
Selection of the Topic
Powerful technique for finding
“approximate” solution for “real-world”
Widely accepted by scientific and industrial
Less time - maximum observation
Ability to handle complex problems of
unusual shapes,sizes & loading condition.
Need of understanding the behavior of
foundation strata…

Very important for the safe as well as

economic design and implementation of
mega to mini engineering structures like
dams etc.,
Objectives of this investigation:
Settlement analysis of weak floor
strata(massive&layered) by Finite Element

Thereby finding the stability of spread

footings on it and comparing it with field/
model plate load test data.
Pros and Cons of FEA of
present topic.
unusual shapes and/or unusual loading
conditions as well as in situations where
the foundation rock is highly variable.
 The primary advantage is that the
method is able to handle complex
conditions and also provides direct
solutions for deformation/ settlement.
 The primary disadvantage of the finite
element method is that the method
does not provide a direct solution for
the ultimate bearing capacity.
What is FEM & Why FEM?
 FEM is a computational technique used to obtain
approximate solutions of boundary value problems
in engineering.
 The method utilizes an integral formulation to
generate a system of algebraic equations.
 Can be applied to irregular shaped objects
composed of several different materials and having
mixed boundary conditions.
 Applicable to steady-state and time dependent
problems as well as for problems involving non-
linear material properties.
How FEA gets done?
Define the geometric domain of the problem.
Define the element type(s) to be used.
Define the material properties of the elements.
Define the geometric properties of the
elements (length, area, and the like).
Define the element connectivities (mesh the
Define the physical constraints (boundary
Define the loadings. (Conti…)
 During the solution phase, finite element
software assembles the governing algebraic
equations in matrix form and computes the
unknown values of the primary field variable(s).
(3) Postprocessing :-
 Sort element stresses in order of magnitude.
 Check equilibrium.
 Plot deformed structural shape.
 Animate dynamic model behavior.
 Produce color-coded plots.
Stability analysis of spread footings:
 FE modeling(ANSYS 11) for floor strata of
various thickness(T) and for various sizes(B) and
shapes of footing keeping B/T ratio
constant(0.625 ) to varying ratios.

 The input parameters obtained from existing

literature for laboratory simulated weak floor
strata and footing.
What to find?
 Settlement of foundation(simulated floor) with
regards to the size and shape effects (i.e, effect of
size and shape of footing on stability floor strata).

 Settlementof foundation containing weak layers of

varying thickness.
Parameters used for FE Analysis
Parameters used for FE Analysis
Parameters used for FE Analysis
 For FEA ,the bearing strength of simulated floor
strata was taken as loading pressure which has to
be applied for the observation of settlement of
 The Non-linear analysis (stress-strain relation is
non –linear) with “Drucker-Prager” criteria for
non metal plasticity was followed as failure
FE Models
Floor strata: Massive
Thickness of strata(T):4 cm B/T ratio= 0.625
Footing plate size(B):2.5 cm Footing plate shape:circular
visualize what is happening -the biggest
advantage of FEA
FE Models
Floor strata: Massive
Thickness of strata(T):12 cm B/T ratio= 0.625
Footing plate size(B):7.5 cm Footing plate shape:circular
More models
FE Models of strata containing weak layer.
Results of FEA
FEM result of the footing settlement (central
circular footing).
FEA result of the footing settlement (central
square footing).
FEA result of the footing settlement (central
square footing in the presence of weak layer).
Why the variation ??
 InFEM analysis it is always assumed that the
model material is fully isotropic. But the
material properties of physically simulated floor
strata might not have been fully isotropic as they
were prepared in the laboratory using the
mixture of cement, sand and water.

 InFEM the model floor strata were fully

confined using boundary constraints. Whereas
in laboratory the physical model may face
problems in confinement.
 The minimum and maximum deviation of results
from lab data are about 0.01% and 40% respectively.
 Tensile cracks are initiated at the rim of footing
forcing a depression beneath the footing leading to a
stable crack growth as load increases.
 The maximum stress concentration extends to a
distance 2 to 3 times the footing plate width in all
 It can be concluded that the result obtained by FEM
analysis is closely matches with experimental results.