Performance of Corrugated HDPE Pipes Manufactured with Recycled Content Underneath Commuter Railroads

Villanova University and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) commenced a pilot study in 2013 to evaluate the long-term performance of corrugated HDPE pipes manufactured with recycled content in commuter railroad applications. In this study, two 750-mm (30-inch) diameter corrugated High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) pipes, one manufactured with 100% virgin materials and one manufactured with 49% post-consumer recycled (PCR) content, were installed underneath a SEPTA regional commuter rail line in northeast Philadelphia. The pipes were instrumented with strain gages and extensometers to record and monitor their response to live loads over time. A laboratory study was developed to assess the long-term durability of the pipes relative to cracking based on the measured cyclical live loads as well as sustained earth loads. As a result of this research, a new test method for HDPE pipes containing recycled materials was developed. The test method was published in 2016 as ASTM F3181-16, Standard Test Method for The Un-notched, Constant Ligament Stress Crack Test (UCLS) for HDPE Materials Containing Post- Consumer Recycled HDPE. Based on the UCLS test, a model was developed and validated that predicts the service life of these pipes with regards to fatigue and slow crack growth. Based on this, recommended minimum material properties can be established to ensure the pipes meet the service life criteria for the given application.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee AFF70 Standing Committee on Culverts and Hydraulic Structures.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Authors:
    • Pluimer, Michael
    • McCarthy, Leslie
    • Welker, Andrea
    • Musselman, Eric
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2017


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 12p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 96th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01626771
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 17-05202
  • Files: PRP, TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 27 2017 9:26AM