Strain-Rate Influence on the Interpretation of Plate Bearing Tests

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Courtesy of ASTM International

The effect of the rate of load application (or settlement application) during a plate bearing test, on the load-settlement relationships is examined. A series of plate bearing tests on clay demonstrated that when the loading rate increases the bearing capacity and the stiffness also increase. To quantify this increase, an exponential foundation model was proposed, which considers the clay as a viscous material. This model proved very satisfactory in determining the load-settlement response of a bearing plate at any loading rate, provided that the response of the same plate at a different loading rate and the basic geotechnical properties of the clay are known. The importance of the loading rate depends on the viscosity of the clay, which is affected by the plasticity, the water content, and the undrained shear strength.

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