Date of Award

Fall 1977

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Wenzel, Thomas H.


Until recently there has been little investigation into the behavior of shallow buried pipe. The reason for this is that no analytical methods previously available could properly simulate the complexities of the soil-pipe structure. Nearly all previous investigators assumed that the soil-pipe system behaved in a linear, elastic manner. However, it is known with certainty that soil behaves nonlinearly, as does concrete, after initial cracking has occurred. All but a few of these investigators assumed the soil surrounding the pipe to be a completely homogeneous material, even though under actual field conditions this is rarely found to be the case. In this study, buried concrete pipe is analyzed by the finite element method. First, a finite element model which can represent actual field installation conditions was derived for use in the study. The analytical solution of the system was then extended to incorporate nonlinear behavior of the soil-pipe system, and to account for nonhomogeneity of the soil medium. Four specific investigations of conduit behavior are examined in detail. The first assesses the effect of installation techniques, the second, the effect of a variable thickness of pipe bedding, and the third, the effect of varying the modulus of elasticity of the 'in-situ' soil surrounding the pipe. Finally, stresses occurring on the pipe are compared with those occurring when the soil medium is assumed to be weightless.



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