American Society of Civil Engineers

Evaluation of Simplified Design Methods for Buried Thermoplastic Pipe

by Ashutosh S. Dhar, (Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5B9), Ian D. Moore, (Professor & Canada Research Chair, Department of Civil Engineering, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6), and Timothy J. McGrath, (Principal, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc., 297 Broadway, Arlington, MA 02474)
Section: Pipeline Installation Methods, Testing and Materials, and Fiber Optics, pp. 1-11, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Pipelines 2002: Beneath Our Feet: Challenges and Solutions
Abstract: Simplified equations to calculate deflections and circumferential strains in buried thermoplastic pipe have been developed for AASHTO based on soil-structure interaction solutions. These equations are evaluated here using measurements of HDPE and PVC pipe responses in full-scale laboratory tests. The comparison indicates that the equations are suitable design tools for standard flexible pipe installations. Structural stiffness of the pipes may have an influence on the performance of the deflection equation, since the method overestimated the deflections for a ribbed PVC pipe with high hoop stiffness. The methods for estimating hoop strain and vertical arching factor worked very well for both pipes, and the equation for bending strains provided somewhat conservative values. Recommended design values for constrained modulus of the soil lead to conservative but reasonable predictions in all cases.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Buried pipes
Soil-structure interactions