/set"ling, -l ing/, n.1. the act of a person or thing that settles.2. Usually, settlings. sediment.[1400-50; late ME; see SETTLE1, -ING1]
* * *In building construction, the gradual subsiding of a structure as the soil beneath its foundation consolidates under loading.This may continue for several years after the structure's completion. Primary consolidation occurs as water is squeezed out from the voids within the soil mass. Secondary consolidation results from adjustments in the internal structure of the soil mass under a sustained load. Whenever the possibility of settlement exists, care must be taken to choose a structural system and foundation capable of adapting. Fixed-end beams present a problem as they are incapable of rotating under uneven settlement loads and bend in response to the stress; simply supported beams, the ends of which act as hinges, will rotate slightly and remain straight. Special columns with jacking devices may then be used to level the beams. Floating foundations and piles are often used to overcome the problems of building on yielding soils. See also soil mechanics.
* * *in soil mechanics, refers to sedimentation; i.e., the settling out of solid particles from suspension in water. The velocity of settling depends on the size, shape, and density of the particles, and on the viscosity of the water. Particles may be classified in size by relative settling rates.Settling also refers to movement of structures located above deep beds of soft clay. This may continue for several years after a structure is completed. The mineral particles in the clay form an open compressible structure, the voids of which are filled with water, the flow being restricted by the smallness of the openings between voids. When first applied, the load is carried mainly by relatively incompressible water. Settling takes place as the load stress is slowly transferred from the water to the clay structure.
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