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Title: Rocker pipe solution to alleviate settlement induced distress in flexible pipes
Author: Reginold, Jesuthasan Terence
ISNI:       0000 0001 3512 4546
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2006
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A number of earlier researchers investigated the soil structure interaction parameters which affect the structural behaviour of buried flexible pipes. However, it was not until the mid-1990s that the importance of rocker pipe design to accommodate differential settlement raised awareness of the consequent absence in current design procedure [BS EN 1295-3; 1998]. This study widens the understanding of the effect of differential ground movements on the behaviour of flexible pipes to address concerns raised to the Committee European de Normalisation. Many pipeline failures result from the excessive strains developed in the vicinity of the junction between a pipe and a settling structure. Case studies of such failures are presented in this thesis, which demonstrates that it can occur not only in large diameter pipeline but also in small diameter domestic pipeline systems. A method of analysis and the use of developed appropriate rocker pipe length is an industrially useful outcome of this research. Analytical solutions for flexible pipes have been developed based on the concept of beams on elastic foundation approach. Non-dimensional relationships have been developed and are presented in the form of charts. These charts permit hand calculations and rapid verification of structural design of the pipeline and, thus, assess the integrity of the existing pipelines located in areas with ground instability. Knowledge of the soil strength and sub-grade modulus is required, along with pipeline geometry and pipe stiffness, to apply the non-dimensional relationships. The soil parameters can be measured in situ or estimated using empirical correlations. The cause for failure has been investigated with the proposed analytical soil structure interaction approach which identifies the zone of distress in the pipeline. The analysis has been extended to demonstrate how a rocker pipe system can be incorporated to alleviate such distress. The concept of rocker pipes has also been investigated in the study through laboratory scale testing. Soil box tests, with ground conditions defined through plate/pipe load testing, have been developed. Full-scale testing on flexible pipes instrumented with FlexiForce pressure sensors at the pipe invert, strain gauges measuring strain due to induced differential settlement on the pipe crown and deflection transducers measuring deflection profiles along the pipe length due to differential settlement of the end structure, have been used to validate the mathematical modelling. Ile combination of rocker pipes with flexible joints and elastic effects removes the distress imposed by the differential settlement, and provides the possibility for a better comparison with the data obtained from both theoretical analysis and experimental tests. Results from each of these approaches are compared with those from experiments. It is concluded that there is need for a rational design procedure analysis for rocker pipes to be incorporated into codes of practice, such as EN 1295.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available