Assessment of Deteriorated Corrugated Steel Culverts
Mai, Van Thien
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The goal of this thesis is to develop more effective quantitative procedures to evaluate the stability of deteriorated metal culverts and a better understanding of the deteriorated culverts' behaviour through non-destructive testing, full scale experiments and numerical analyses. First, three design cases were examined using numerical analysis to study the effects of corrosion, burial depth and staged construction on the capacity of deteriorated steel culverts. Then, a method to measure the remaining wall thickness of two 1.8 m diameter corroded metal culverts using ultrasonic device was developed. Both culverts were then buried in the test pit at Queen's University and tested under nominal and working vehicle loads at 0.9m cover and 0.6m cover. The more heavily corroded structure (CSP1) was tested up to its ultimate limit state, inducing local bending across the crown, as well as local buckling of the remnants of the corrugated steel wall between perforations at the haunches. The results suggest that the single axle pads interact to influence the culvert's behaviour despite the shallow cover used in these experiments. CSP1 was able to carry the working load and did not fail until reaching 340 kN, which was equal to 90% of the fully factored load. The experiment suggests that less deteriorated metal culverts (as compared to CSP1) may have the required capacity. Two finite element packages, CANDE and ABAQUS, were used to perform the numerical investigation and the AASHTO and CHBDC approaches were then used to calculate the thrust force in the culverts. Although the numerical analysis produced conservative values for the thrust forces, it failed to capture the non-linear behaviour of both specimens in the experiments. Both the AASHTO and the CHBDC approaches produced unconservative thrust forces compared to experimental results while numerical analysis using Moore's spreading factor produced the most conservative results in terms of thrust. The analysis suggests that CANDE could be used to predict thrust forces in less deteriorated metal culverts. A procedure to assess the stability of deteriorated corrugated metal culverts based on quantitative data was developed using the numerical analysis and experimental results.