Laboratory Investigation of the Structural Performance of a Large Diameter 1 Steel Reinforced Polyethylene Pipe

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Mai, Van Thien
Moore, Ian D.
Hoult, Neil A.
Large-diameter pipe testing , Reinforced polyethylene , Deep-burial loading , Ultimate capacity
A commissioning test of the deep-burial simulator at Queen’s University, Canada, was conducted on a 3.05-m-diameter steel-reinforced polyethylene pipe to evaluate the behavior and design of this pipe class under deep burial. The diameter change measurements indicated that friction on the side walls was mitigated ensuring that the surface load was transferred to the pipe. Measurements of the displacement and rotation of the surface loading plates and strain in the steel reinforcing strips combined with visual observations after exhumation indicated that the pipe failed due to yielding of the steel reinforcing ribs. The surface pressure that the pipe was able to withstand exceeded the maximum burial depth specified by the manufacturer. Comparisons are also made between the experimental thrust forces at the springline and estimates from two design codes and a finite-element estimate; all were similar, with the rate of thrust increase with overburden pressure from the computer analysis approximately 8% larger than the measurement. Thus, the experimental results confirm that use of finite-element and code-equation analyses to design this pipe class for deep-burial conditions appear to be appropriate.