South Australia & NT Chapter

Design of buried pipes and culverts

Professor Ian Moore

Over the past decade, a number of developments have been made in buried pipe design, based on laboratory testing and computer analysis. These rely on improved understanding of soil-pipe interaction, and new information regarding the strength limits of metal, fibre reinforced cement, thermoplastic and composite pipes. Various aspects of buried pipe and culvert design are outlined, and explained in the context of both experiments and design equations. Examples include the effect of soil support on circumferential shortening, global and local buckling in profiled thermoplastic pipes, three dimensional effects under vehicles in long span structures, and consideration of backfill placement and compaction on metal and polymer pipe structures. These findings have been or are being incorporated into AASHTO and other culvert and sewer design standards.

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