Engineers Australia

Performance of Sewer Pipes with Liner during Earthquakes

C. Heyes, S. Ram, C. Evans, H. Lambourne and R.P. Orense


Recent earthquakes have shown that liquefaction and associated ground deformations are major geotechnical hazards to civil engineering infrastructures, such as pipelines. In particular, sewer pipes have been damaged in many areas in Christchurch as a result of liquefaction-induced lateral spreading near waterways and ground oscillation induced by seismic shaking. In this paper, the addition of a flexible AM liner as a potential countermeasure to increase sewer pipe capacity was investigated. Physical testing through 4-point loading test was undertaken to characterise material properties and the response of both unlined pipe and its lined counterpart. Next, numerical models were created using SAP2000 and ABAQUS to analyse buried pipeline response to transverse permanent ground displacement and to quantify, over a range of pipe segment lengths and soil parameters, the effectiveness of the AM liner in increasing displacement capacity. The numerical results suggest that the addition of the AM liner increases the deformation capacity of the unlined sewer pipe by as much as 50 times. The results confirmed that AM liner is an effective countermeasure for sewer pipes in liquefied ground not only in terms of increased deformation capacity but also the fact that AM-Liner can prevent influx of sand and water through broken pipes, making sewer pipes with liner remaining serviceable even under severe liquefaction condition.