Analysis and modelling of buried pipe deformations

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Mechanics


Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Mechanics


Ömer Bilgin


Pipelines are used by many industries to transport different materials, such as water, gas, oil and sewage. Although they are crucial part of the daily life for all, the importance of it may get lost by many, since they are almost exclusively buried underground. Over the years, pipeline industry has grown significantly with continuous development of technology and manufacturing capabilities, as well as the development and use of new pipe materials. The pipelines are almost exclusively buried in the ground, therefore their interaction with the surrounding soils is very important in pipe behavior and deformations. The main objective of this thesis is to investigate soil-pipe interaction, mainly the deformation of the pipeline buried in the soil. Pipe deformations are investigated by performing numerical modeling to simulate lab tests and by using field tests performed by others to develop simple mathematical models. This thesis aims to develop simple methods to predict deformations of pipes buried in the soil. In this study, first PLAXIS, finite element software package, was used to simulate earlier laboratory tests performed on polyethylene pipes. Numerical simulation and lab test results were used to assess applicability and reliability of ring-deflection theory for buried pipe deformations. Then, the ring-deflection theory was used to calculate deformations of metal pipes of different sizes and burial depths. The ring-deflection theory was calibrated using the experimental study results used for validation. Finally, it is concluded that the ring-deflection theory can simply and reliably be used to predict deformations of pipes buried in soil.


Civil Engineering, pipe deformations

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