Undrained capacity of surface foundations with zero-tension interface under planar V-H-M loading

Zhichao Shen, Xiaowei Feng, Susan Gourvenec

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    © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Undrained capacity of strip and circular surface foundations with a zero-tension interface on a deposit with varying degrees of strength heterogeneity is investigated by finite element analyses. The method for simulating the zero-tension interface numerically is validated. Failure envelopes for strip and circular surface foundations under undrained planar V-H-M loading are presented and compared with predictions from traditional bearing capacity theory. Similar capacity is predicted with both methods in V-H and V-M loading space while the traditional bearing capacity approach under-estimates the V-H-M capacity derived from the numerical analyses due to superposition of solutions for load inclination and eccentricity not adequately capturing the true soil response. An approximating expression is proposed to describe the shape of normalised V-H-M failure envelopes for strip and circular foundations with a zero-tension interface. The unifying expression enables implementation in an automated calculation tool resulting in essentially instantaneous generation of combined loading failure envelopes and optimisation of a foundation design as a function of foundation size or material factor. In contrast, the traditional bearing capacity theory approach or direct numerical analyses for a given scenario requires ad-hoc analyses covering a range of input variables in order to obtain the 'best' design.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)47-57
    Number of pages11
    JournalComputers and Geotechnics
    Early online date17 Dec 2015
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


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