Time dependent response of pulled-in-place HDPE pipes

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Chehab, Abdul Ghafar
High density polyethylene , Horizontal directional drilling , Constitutive modeling , Pipe-soil interaction
Horizontal directional drilling is increasingly used to install pipes without costs and disruptions associated with conventional ‘cut and cover’ installations. This technique, which was developed by industrial innovators, feature complex soil and pipe response which is not well understood. The success of this operation depends on knowledge of the pulling forces applied, level of ground disturbance, ground expansion or fracture from mud pressure, and the effect of the pulling operation on the pipes. Tensile stresses in the pipe vary with time during and after installation, and along the pipe. This applies especially to polymer pipes where the stresses during insertion and those over the service life of the pipe may influence its performance. The main objective of this study is to model the short term and long term response of pipes installed using horizontal directional drilling and to investigate the effect of the time dependent behaviour of polymer pipes, as well as other installation variables on the performance of the pipe during and after installation. The mechanical behaviour of high density polyethylene used to manufacture a significant portion of pipes installed using horizontal directional drilling is investigated and two sophisticated constitutive models are developed to simulate the time-dependent behaviour of high density polyethylene. The interaction between the pipe and the surrounding soil during horizontal directional drilling installations is also investigated and modelled. A FORTRAN algorithm is developed to calculate the short and long term response of elastic and polymeric pipes installed using horizontal directional drilling. The program uses the HDPE constitutive models as well as the pipe-soil interaction model developed in the study. After evaluation, the developed program is employed in a parametric study on the sensitivity of short term and long term pipe response to different parameters, including the effect of overstressing the pipe during installation. As Multiaxial modeling is necessary for accurate analysis of some applications including the swagelining method, a uniaxial constitutive model developed in the current study is generalized to a multi-axial model that can simulate the response to biaxial stress-strain fields. The multi-axial model is implemented in a finite element code and its performance in simulating multiaxial stress-strain fields is evaluated.
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