Performance of Buried Pipe Installation

The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of geometric and mechanical parameters characterizing the soil structure interaction developed in a buried pipe installation located under roads/highways. The drainage pipes or culverts installed as part of a roadway project are considered as holistic systems which include not only the pipes and their mechanical properties as determined by materials, geometry and manufacturing procedures, but also the natural soil and the trench into which the pipe is placed, constructed and expected to perform. The research results confirm that the performance of the soil-structure interaction system constituted by the pipe, the trench backfill and the natural soil surrounding the trench depends significantly not only on the pipe material and stiffness but also on geometric parameters defining the trench in which the pipe is installed, such as cover height, bedding thickness and trench width. Minimum requirements for these geometric parameters can be established to obtain equivalent performances of different pipe systems as function of (1) the pipe stiffness and diameter, (2) the local natural soil properties, and (3) the type of road pavement. The results of this research can be used as guidance in establishing guidelines for the alternate selection and application of typical highway drainage products, such as pipes and culverts. This report provides initial data that can be used for a proper comparison of performance, in terms of deformations of the road surface under typical loads, of pipes characterized by different materials and different installation geometry and methodologies. This project suggests also future research directions to delineate a rigorous comparison of different soil-pipe systems under a more general definition of performance, rigorously accounting for economical factors (e.g., initial cost, life-cycle cost) and societal risk.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 123p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01343483
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA/LA.10/467, LTRC Project Number: 08-6GT, State Project Number: 739-99-1520
  • Created Date: Jul 5 2011 4:33PM