• Buried flexible pipes behaviour in unreinforced and reinforced soils under cyclic loading

      Elshesheny, Ahmed; Mohamed, Mostafa H.A.; Sheehan, Therese (201-04)
      Because of the recent worldwide construction expansion, new roads and buildings may be constructed over already existing buried infrastructures e.g. buried utility pipes, leading to excessive loads threatening their stability and longevity. Limited research studies are available to assess the effect of geogrid reinforcing layers inclusion on mitigating the additional stresses on buried structures due to cyclic loadings. In this research, large-scale fully instrumented laboratory tests were conducted to investigate the behaviour of flexible High-Density Polyethylene pipes (HDPE), in unreinforced and geogrid-reinforced sand, subjected to incrementally increasing cyclic loading, e.g. due to different vehicles capacities or load increase with passing time. Results illustrated that deformation rate in pipe and footing, strain generation rate in pipe and reinforcing layers are rapidly increased in the initial loading cycles, in particular during the first 300 cycles, and then the rate of change decreases significantly, as more cycles are applied. In the unreinforced case, increasing the pipe burial depth significantly reduced the generated deformation and strain in the pipe; however, it has a situational effect on the footing settlement, where it increased after pipe burial depth to its diameter ratio (H/D) of 2.5. In reinforced cases, deformation and strain significantly reduced with the increase in pipe burial depth and number of reinforcing layers. Measurement of strain illustrated that strain generated in the lower reinforcing layer is always higher than that recorded in the upper one, regardless pipe burial depth and value of applied load.