Soil Bearing Capacity

Published: June 26, 2020 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Soil Bearing Capacity Mean?

Soil bearing capacity can be defined as the maximum amount of load per unit area that the soil can withstand without failure or displacement.

When soil is stressed due to loading, such as in the case of a buried pipeline, it tends to deform. Its resistance to deformation will depend on soil properties such as shear strength, density, permeability, and factors such as water content, bulk density, and loading conditions.

Soil bearing capacity is also known as bearing capacity of soil.

Trenchlesspedia Explains Soil Bearing Capacity

The soil bearing capacity can be determined using a static cone penetration test also known as the cone penetration test (CPT.) This test is best performed in soft clay, silt, medium, and fine sands and is unsuitable for gravelly soil or soil with SDT (standard density test) value > 50.

To prevent problems such as subsidence or heaving during a trenchless construction project, it is important to understand the physical properties, chemical composition, and bearing capacity of the soil through which the bore will pass.

Before beginning work, OSHA regulation stipulates a geotechnical survey be performed in the work area to determine the soil type and bearing capacity.


bearing capacity of soil

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