Geotechnical Factors Affecting Failure Mechanisms for Jointed Water Pipes

Abstract: The performance of jointed pipes is largely dependent on the strength of the constituent pipe materials as well as the joint connections. Failures often occur when aging water pipes deteriorate due to corrosion, leading to breakage or leakage under external mechanical loadings or soil movement. Delay in detecting such pipe failures can lead to significant water losses and potentially impose substantial damage to the surrounding structures, with associated economic costs of repairs. The research will investigate geotechnical factors affecting failures of buried jointed water pipe failures using stochastic finite element simulations. Finite element models will be developed and used to simulate the effects of spatial variability of bedding soil and seasonal ground movements on the performance of jointed pipes. The results from numerical simulations will be validated against instrumented lab or field tests.