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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 640273, 17 pages
Research Article

Bearing Capacity Factors for Eccentrically Loaded Strip Footings Using Variational Analysis

School of Civil Engineering, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing 100044, China

Received 20 June 2013; Revised 5 August 2013; Accepted 8 August 2013

Academic Editor: Xu Zhang

Copyright © 2013 Xinggao Li. 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.


Bearing capacity factors for eccentrically loaded strip smooth footings on homogenous cohesive frictional material are deduced by the variational limit equilibrium method and by assuming general shear failure along continuous curved slip surface. From the calculated results, the effective width rule suggested by Meyerhof for bearing capacity factors due to cohesion of soil is justified, and the superposition principle of bearing capacity for eccentrically loaded strip smooth footings is derived together with the bearing capacity factors for cohesion and unit weight of soil. The two factors are represented by soil strength parameters and eccentricity of load. The bearing capacity factor related to unit weight for cohesionless soil is less than that for cohesive frictional soil. The reason for this discrepancy lies in the existence of the soil cohesion, for the shape of the critical rupture surface of footing soil depends on both soil strength parameters rather than on friction angle alone in the previous limit equilibrium solutions. The contact between footing and soil is decided by both the load and the mechanical properties of soil. Under conditions of higher eccentricity and less strength properties of soil, part of the footing will separate from the underlying soil.