A Review on Bearing Capacity Factor Nγ of Shallow Foundations with Different Shapes

There are several methods for calculating the bearing capacity factors of foundations and retaining walls. In this paper, the bearing capacity factor Nγ (shape factor) for different types of foundation have been investigated. The formula for bearing capacity on c–φ–γ soil can still be expressed by Terzaghi’s equation except that the bearing capacity factor Nγ depends on the surcharge ratio, and friction angle φ. It is apparent that the value of Nγ increases irregularly with the friction angle of the subsoil, which leads to an excessive increment in Nγ of foundations with larger width. Also, the bearing capacity factor Nγ will significantly decrease with an increase in foundation`s width. It also should be highlighted that the effect of shape and dimension will be less noticeable with a decrease in the relative density of the soil. Hence, the bearing capacity factor Nγ relatively depends on foundation`s width, surcharge and roughness ratio. This paper presents the results of various studies conducted on the bearing capacity factor Nγ of: different types of shallow foundation and foundations with irregular geometry (ring footing, triangular footing, shell foundations and etc.) Further studies on the effect of bearing capacity factor Nγ on mat foundations and the characteristics of this factor with or without consideration for the presence of friction between soil and foundation are recommended.