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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Pipe-soil interaction aspects in buried extensible pipes Weerasekara, Lalinda


The performance of buried pipelines in areas subjected to permanent ground displacements is an important engineering consideration in the gas distribution industry, since the failure of such systems poses a risk to public and property safety. Although, the ground movements and its variations over time can be detected and mapped with reasonable confidence, these data are of little use due to a lack of reliable models to correlate such displacements to the condition of the buried pipe. The objective of this thesis is to develop methods to estimate the pipe performance based on the measured ground displacement. An analytical method was developed to estimate the pipe performance when the pipe is subjected to tensile loading caused by the relative ground movements occurring along the pipe axis. As a part of the derivation, a modified interface friction model was developed considering the increase in friction due to constrained dilation of the soil, and the impact of mean effective stress on soil dilation. This interface friction model was combined with a nonlinear pipe stress–strain model to derive an analytical solution to represent the performance of the pipe. Using the proposed model, axial force, strain, and mobilized frictional length along the pipe can be obtained for a measured ground displacement can be obtained. Large-scale field pipe pullout tests were performed to verify the results of the proposed analytical model, in which good agreements were observed for tests conducted at different soil/burial conditions, displacement rates and pipe properties. Considering the similarities in the axial pullout mechanism, the analytical model was extended to explain the pullout response of geotextiles buried in reinforced soil structures. In this derivation, a new interface friction model was developed for planar members by considering the changes in normal stress due to constrained soil dilation. Another analytical model was derived for the case of a pipe that is subjected to combined loading from axial tension and bending when the initial soil loading is acting perpendicular to the pipe axis. With the direct account of the axial tensile force development, more realistic pipe performance behaviors were obtained as compared to the results obtained from traditional numerical formulations.

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