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Horizontal Bearing Capacity - Elastic Subsoil (p-y Method)

Horizontal bearing capacity of a pile, dimensioning

The horizontally loaded pile is analyzed using the finite element method as a beam on elastic Winkler foundation. The soil parameters along the pile are represented by the modulus of subsoil reaction. By default the pile is subdivided into 30 segments. For each segment the program determines the values of the modulus of subsoil reaction, internal forces and deformation (displacements). The program also allows for dimensioning of the steel-reinforced concrete pile based on the method specified in the frame "Settings" and on the parameters input in the "Piles" tab.

The program also enables to analyze a pile loaded by the prescribed displacements (translation or rotation of the pile head). In such a case the analysis is carried out only with the prescribed displacement. The input mechanical load is excluded.

The following options for inputting the modulus of subsoil reaction are available in the program:

  • by distribution (distribution of the modulus of subsoil reaction along the pile is specified)
  • constant distribution
  • linear distribution (Bowles)
  • according to CSN 73 1004
  • according to Matlock and Reese
  • according to Vesic

In general, the modulus of subsoil reaction corresponds to the spring stiffness in the Winkler model. This model describes settlement of a rigid slab as a function of the applied load. The corresponding relationship is represented by the following formula:




load acting along slab-soil interface



stiffness of Winkler spring



translation (displacement) of slab into subsoil

Definition of the modulus of subsoil reaction