STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS AND DESIGN OF PIPE CULVERTS

GENERALLY ACCEPTED METHODS FOR THE STRUCTURAL DESIGN OF PIPE CULVERTS REQUIRE DETERMINATION OF THE MAGNITUDE AND DISTRIBUTION OF LOADING AND SELECTION OF A READILY AVAILABLE RIGID (CONCRETE) OR FLEXIBLE (CORRUGATED METAL) CULVERT COMPATBBLE WITH THE LOADING. ALTHOUGH THE MARSTON-SPANGLER AND THE MORE RECENTLY DEVELOPED RING COMPRESSION THEORIES ARE CURRENTLY BEING USED EXTENSIVELY AS A BASIS FOR DESIGNING BURIED CONDUITS, A GREAT DEAL OF ENGINEERING JUDGMENT IS INVOLVED IN APPLYING THESE LOAD DETERMINATION PROCEDURES, PARTICULARLY IN THE CASE OF RIGID CULVERTS. IN ADDITION, DURABILITY AND HANDLING PROBLEMS, WHICH ARE FREQUENTLY CRITICAL IN THE CASE OF FLEXIBLE CULVERTS, REQUIRE THE EXERCISE OF CONSIDERABLE ENGINEERING JUDGMENT. ONE OF THE MAJOR UNCERTAINTIES FACED BY THE PRESENT-DAY DESIGNER IS ASSOCIATED WITH THE APPROPRIATE CONSIDERATION OF CONSTRUCTION PRACTICES. THIS PROBLEM, TOGETHER WITH THE DIFFICULTY OF SPECIFYING A GENERALLY ACCEPTABLE FAILURE CRITERION, MAKES THE SELECTION OF A SUITABLE SAFETY FACTOR EXTREMELY COMPLICATED. PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT REASONS THAT DICTATE THE NEED FOR AN EVALUATION OF CURRENT DESIGN PRACTICES FOR BOTH RIGID AND FLEXIBLE CULBERTS ARE THE FOLLOWING: (1) THERE IS SERIOUS CONCERN ABOUT THE EXTRAPOLATION OF CURRENTLY USED EMPIRICAL RELATIONSHIPS AND FIELD EXPERIENCE TO THE LARGER DIAMETER PIPES AND HIGHER FILLS COMING INTO USE; (2) WITH CULVERT-SIZE HIGHWAY DRAINAGE STRUCTURES RESULTING IN AN EXPENDITURE OF ABOUT $500,000,000 ANNUALLY, THE POSSIBILITY OF OVERCONSERVATISM IN CULVERT DESIGN SHOULD BE EXPLORED; AND (3) CURRENT METHODS USED IN THE DESIGN OF PIPE CULVERTS FAIL TO REFLECT IN A RATIONAL WAY MANY OF THE FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE BEHAVIOR IN THE FIELD (FOR EXAMPLE, A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF SOIL-PIPE INTERACTION IS NEEDED TO FURTHER THE DEVELOPMENT OF INTERMEDIATE-STIFFNESS PIPES MADE OF DIFFERENT MATERIALS, SUCH AS PLASTICS). EMPHASIS DURING THE STUDY WAS PLACED ON (1) IDENTIFICATION OF CONDITIONS FOR WHICH CURRENTLY USED DESIGN PROCEDURES, WITH MODIFICATIONS AND IMPROVEMENTS, ARE SATISFACTORY FOR CONTINUED JUDICIOUS USE; (2) IMPROVEMENTS TO METHODS FOR SELECTING SOME OF THE MORE IMPORTANT MATERIAL PROPERTIES USED IN EXISTING DESIGN METHODS; (3) DETERMINATION OF CONDITIONS FOR WHICH DIFFERENT APPROACHES SHOULD BE DEVELOPED; AND (4) RECOMMENDATION OF LONG-RANGE RESEARCH NEEDS. FROM THE DESIGNERS' STANDPOINT, A MOST IMPORTANT FINDING IS THAT DURABILITY, HANDLING, AND CONSTRUCTION CONSIDERATIONS ARE MUCH MORE SIGNIFICANT THAN STRUCTURAL DESIGN PARAMETERS WHEN SELECTING A SUITABLE GENERALLY AVAILABLE PIPE CULVERT FOR CASES INVOLVING SMALL PIPES TO BE PLACED UNDER SHALLOW-TO-MODERATE FILLS. CURRENTLY USED EMPIRICAL DESIGN PROCEDURES APPEAR ADEQUATE FOR THE MAJORITY OF THESE CASES. MORE COMPLEX ANALYSIS AND DESIGN PROCEDURES SHOULD BE EMPLOYED WHEN LARGE-DIAMETER PIPES ARE TO BE USED, AND THERE IS A VITAL NEED FOR EXTENSIVE RESEARCH IN THE AREA OF EXTRA LARGE PIPES, PIPE ARCHES, AND OTHER THAN ROUND SHAPES. ALSO, THERE IS A NEED TO INVESTIGATE MORE FULLY THE EFFECT OF HEAVY CONSTRUCTION LOADS ON PIPES UNDER SHALLOW FILLS. /HRB/

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    • Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. 155 PP, FIGS, TABS, 124 REF, 14 APP
  • Authors:
    • Krizek, R J
    • Parmelee, R A
    • Kay, J N
    • Elnaggar, H A
  • Publication Date: 1971

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Serial:
    • NCHRP Report
    • Issue Number: 116
    • Publisher: Transportation Research Board
    • ISSN: 0077-5614
  • Publication flags:

    Open Access (libre)

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  • Accession Number: 00204378
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 8 1971 12:00AM