In foundation engineering, due to the complexity of the problems investigated, the need for laboratory testing of prototype models arises. The results of these tests are usually utilized to validate theories, or to develop empirical formulae for design purposes. The success in obtaining good predictions from these theories and empirical formulae lies heavily on the reliability of the experimental test results, and accordingly, on the test setup used and the procedure followed.
In literature, a wide range of discrepancies can be found among various design theories for shallow and deep foundations in cohesionless soils. These discrepancies can be explained by the fact that the in situ stress levels in the prototype model have not been evaluated but rather ignored, in developing design theories. Accordingly, different theories may generate different results, depending on the techniques and procedures followed in developing the experimental results used to validate the theory.
This paper presents the results of an experimental investigation on the effect of compaction duration in a prototype model on the mechanical properties, and the induced stress levels in the sand mass. The results of this investigation should develop some awareness of the validity of using the results of model testing as a guide in developing design theories. Furthermore, attempts should be made to measure and incorporate the in situ stress level as a governing parameter in design theories.
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