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The response of flexible pipes buried in sand to static surface stress
journal contributionposted on 28.04.2017, 11:49 by David N. Chapman, Paul Fleming, C.D.F. Rogers, Robert Talby
A series of laboratory tests on thin-walled PVC-U (i.e. very flexible) pipes buried in sand is described. The tests were conducted in a glass-fronted test tank, the pipe being positioned up against the glass with its longitudinal axis perpendicular to the glass. This allowed direct observation of the sand-- pipe interactions. Photographs were taken through the glass allowing discrete measurement of pipe and soil displacements during pipe installation and subsequent surface loading. This paper discusses the influences on pipe response of installation method, cover depth and pipe stiffness as increasing static surface stress was applied. The results of the laboratory tests indicate very clearly the importance of well-controlled backfilling around flexible buried pipes to ensure their long-term performance. The stiffness of the pipe affects the way it behaves and hence its performance in resisting applied stresses. This is demonstrated by the observed changes in arching effects above pipes of different stiffness. The effect of increasing cover depth is demonstrated and confirms previous research findings regarding the influence of the ground surface on pipe performance. The results clearly demonstrate the valuable insight afforded by direct observation of the soil--pipe interaction during installation and the subsequent loading of flexible pipes.
- Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering