Odey Alshboul, Ghassan Almasabha, Ali Shehadeh ORCID,Omar Al Hattamleh and Ali Saeed Almuflih 3ORCID



Pipelines are widely used to transport water, wastewater, and energy products. However, the recently published American Society of Civil Engineers report revealed that the USA drinking water infrastructure is deficient, where 12,000 miles of pipelines have deteriorated.

This would require substantial financial investment to rebuild. Furthermore, the current pipeline design practice lacks the guideline to obtain the optimum steel reinforcement and pipeline geometry.

Therefore, the current study aimed to fill this gap and help the pipeline designers and practitioners select the most economical reinforced concrete pipelines with optimum steel reinforcement while satisfying the shear stresses demand and serviceability limitations.

Experimental testing is considered uneconomical and impractical for measuring the performance of pipelines under a high soil fill depth. Therefore, a parametric study was carried out for reinforced concrete pipes with various diameters buried under soil fill depths using a reliable finite element analysis to execute this investigation.

The deflection range of the investigated reinforced concrete pipelines was between 0.5 to 13 mm. This indicates that the finite element analysis carefully selected the pipeline thickness, required flexural steel reinforcement, and concrete crack width while the pipeline does not undergo excessive deformation.

This study revealed that the recommended optimum reinforced concrete pipeline diameter-to-thickness ratio, which is highly sensitive to the soil fill depth, is 6.0, 4.6, 4.2, and 3.8 for soil fill depths of 9.1, 12.2, 15.2, and 18.3 m, respectively.

Moreover, the parametric study results offered an equation to estimate the optimum pipeline diameter-to-thickness ratio via a design example. The current research outcomes are imperative for decision-makers to accurately evaluate the structural performance of buried reinforced concrete pipelines.



reinforced concrete pipelines; optimum diameter-to-thickness ratio; buried pipelines; deep embankment soil
1. Introduction