Application of a non-coaxial soil model in shallow foundations

Y. Yang, H. S. Yu

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


The influence of a non-coaxial model for granular soils on shallow foundation analyses is investigated. The non-coaxial plasticity theory proposed by Rudnicki and Rice (J. Mech. Phys. Solids 1975, 23, 371–394) is integrated into a Drucker–Prager model with both perfect plasticity and strain hardening. This non-coaxial model is numerically implemented into the finite-element program ABAQUS using a substepping scheme with automatic error control. The influence of the non-coaxial model on footing settlement and bearing capacity is investigated under various loading and boundary conditions. Compared with the predictions using conventional coaxial models, the non-coaxial prediction results indicate that the settlement of a footing increases significantly when the non-coaxial component of plastic strain rate is taken into consideration, although ultimate footing bearing capacities are not affected significantly. The non-coaxial model has a different effect on footing settlements under different loading and boundary conditions. In general, the discrepancies between coaxial and non-coaxial predictions increase with increasing rotation of principal stresses of the soil mass beneath a footing. It can be concluded that if the non-coaxial component of plastic strain rate is neglected in shallow foundation problems using the finite-element method, the results tend to be non-conservative when designs are dominated by settlement of footings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-150
Number of pages12
JournalGeomechanics and Geoengineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Finite-element method
  • Non-coaxial model
  • Perfect plasticity
  • Shallow foundation
  • Strain hardening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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