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Rigid & Flexible Foundations

Rigid Foundations
o Assumed to settle uniformly under concentrated load
o The ground pressure from below (the soil) is assumed to be
uniform

Flexible Foundations
o Base pressure cannot be assumed to be uniform
o Base pressure will be varying along its length, depending
on the settlement along its length

The ground pressure under flexible structure


on elastic foundation cannot be
determined by empirical method.
Modulus of Subgrade Reaction
The reaction pressure sustained by the soil
sample under a rigid plate of standard
diameter per unit settlement measured at a
specified pressure or settlement.
Modulus of Subgrade Reaction
The value of k is effected by various parameters,
namely:
o Size of footing
o Shape of footing
o Depth of foundation below Ground Level

Effect of Size
2
( +30)
o =
( +30)

Effect of Shape
1+0.5/
o =
1.5

Effect of depth
2
o =1+

Modulus of Subgrade Reaction

Approximate estimation of the value of modulus of


subgrade reaction (Bowles, 1982)
Net ultimate bearing capacity of a footing occurs
at a settlement of 25mm.

= . + 1 . . + 0.52


= = 40 /2
0.025
Modulus of Subgrade Reaction
As per IS:2950, part I, values of Ks obtained from
plate load test conducted on 300mm x 300mm
plate.
Beam on Elastic Foundation
Reactions due to external loading is distributed
along the length of the member.
The reaction force offered by continuous support is
a function of displacement of the member.
Examples: rail tracks, foundation resting on soil, etc.

=
Beam on Elastic Foundation
The basic differential equation for and ordinary
beam is:
4
4
+ = 0

Beam on Elastic Foundation

The differential equation has a general solution:

= + () + + ()

On solving the equation, a variable is introduced:


1/4

=
4
A, B, C, D are constants of integration, determined
by boundary conditions.
Beam on Elastic Foundation

Final solution:
= + ()
Boundary Condition:

= 0 = 0

This implies: C = D

On solving the equation we get,



= + ()
2

= .
2
Beam on Elastic Foundation

Similarly,
2
= .


= .
4


= .
2
Where,
= + ()
= . sin()
= ()
= . cos()
Beam on Elastic Foundation

For convenience, values of Aax , Bax , Cax , Dax for


different values of ax are given in Table below:
Classification of Beams
Case I:

If , The beam acts as a rigid beam
4
Case II:
3
If < < , The beam is a flexible beam of
4 2
finite length
Case III:
3
If > , The beam is a flexible beam of infinite
2
length
References
Varghese P.C., Design of Reinforced Concrete
Foundation, Third Print, January 2010.
Saran Dr. Swami, Analysis and Design of
Substructures Limit State Design, Second Revised
Edition.
IS: 9214-1979, Method of determination of modulus
of subgrade reaction (k-value) of soils in field.
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