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Advances in Civil Engineering
Volume 2012, Article ID 947276, 10 pages
Research Article

The Bearing Capacity of Circular Footings in Sand: Comparison between Model Tests and Numerical Simulations Based on a Nonlinear Mohr Failure Envelope

1Esbjerg Institute of Technology, Aalborg University, Niels Bohrs Vej 8, 6700 Esbjerg, Denmark
2Department of Civil Engineering, Aalborg University, Sohngaardholmsvej 57, 9000 Aalborg, Denmark

Received 7 September 2011; Revised 14 November 2011; Accepted 16 November 2011

Academic Editor: Jianqiao Ye

Copyright © 2012 Sven Krabbenhoft et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper presents the results of a series of triaxial tests with dry sand at confining pressures varying from 1.5 kPa to 100 kPa at relative densities of 0.20, 0.59, and 0.84. The results, which are in reasonable accordance with an equation given by Bolton, show that the friction angle is strongly dependent on the stress level and on the basis of the test results, a nonlinear Mohr failure criterion has been proposed. This yield criterion has been implemented in a finite element program and an analysis of the bearing capacity of a circular shaped model foundation, diameter 100 mm, has been conducted. Comparisons have been made with results from 1g model scale tests with a foundation of similar size and a good agreement between numerical results and test results has been found.