Correlation between Soil Bearing Capacity and Modulus of Subgrade Reaction

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(Last Updated On: March 11, 2018)
Probably the most widely used value in a soil report is soil bearing capacity. The obvious reason is that basic examples given in most text books almost always use bearing capacity to calculate the plan dimension of a footing. Because of simplicity and ease of use, this method is still the fundamental soil parameter for foundation design. However, that simplicity assumes the footing will behave as a rigid body. That particular assumption works well in practice for small and single column footings. But for large and multi column foundations, most engineers prefer flexible analysis. Manual computation of flexible analysis could be challenging and, in almost all cases, software programs such as STAAD, SAFE, GT STRUDL etc. are used. However, these computer programs often ask for an input called “modulus of subgrade reaction”. Many engineers are not familiar with this term and often try to compare it with bearing capacity. As more and more engineers will use software to design foundations, it is essential for engineers to have a fundamental understanding of this soil parameter. 
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Correlation between Soil Bearing Capacity and Modulus of Subgrade Reaction
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