A new equation to predict the footings settlement on sand based on the finite element method

J. Requena-Pérez, J. Ayuso Muñoz, J. R. Jiménez-Romero, F. Agrela


In the design of shallow foundations normally used in rural buildings on sand, the settlement criterion is more critical than the bearing capacity of the soil. Likewise, it has also been found that widely used methods to estimate the footings settlement on sand, generates differences with the observed in full scale field tests. The aim of this study was to find a new equation based on finite element method (FEM) easy to apply to estimate the footings settlement on sand. This new equation considers the effect of the depth of the founding level, the footing breadth, the equivalent soil stiffness, the Poisson’s ratio and the net increase in the effective stress on settlement values. To obtain this equation, a three-dimensional finite element model was generated and subsequently validated using actual footings settlement measured during field tests. The results of settlement predictions extracted from this method are slightly better than those obtained by other methods, but this equation has the advantage of being easier and faster to apply, which implies a savings in computation time.


granular soils; rural buildings; shallow foundations; vertical displacement

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2012104-3013