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STRUCTURAL

MECHANICS
OF

BURIED PIPES
Reynold King Watkins
Utah State University
Logan, Utah

Loren Runar Anderson


Utah State University
Logan, Utah

CRC Press
Boca Raton London New York Washington, D.C.

2000 CRC Press LLC

2000 CRC Press LLC

GENERAL NOTATION
Geometry
A
= cross sectional wall area per unit length of pipe,
B
= breadth of the trench
D
= pipe (tank) diameter,
H
= height of soil cover,
h
= height of water table,
L
= length of tank or pipe section,
r
= radius of curvature of the pipe (tank) cylinder,
R
= radius of a bend in the pipe,
t
= thickness of the wall,
x
= horizontal coordinate axis,
y
= vertical coordinate axis,
z
= longitudinal axis (with exceptions),

= angle of soil shear plane.


Forces, Pressures, and Stresses
P
= external pressure on the pipe or tank,
P'
= internal pressure,
p
= vacuum in the pipe or tank,
Q
= concentrated force,
W
= surface wheel load,

= unit weights,

= direct (normal) stress,

= shearing stress.
Subscripts refer to directions of forces and stresses.
Properties of Materials
c
= cohesion of soil,
E
= modulus of elasticity of pipe (tank) material,
S
= allowable stress (strength) of material,

= unit weight of material,

= Poisson ratio,

= soil friction angle.

2000 CRC Press LLC

CONTENTS
Chapter
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30

Introduction
Preliminary Ring Design
Ring Deformations
Soil Mechanics
Pipe Mechanics
Ring Stresses
Ring Deflection
Ring Stiffness
Non-circular Cross Sections
Ring Stability
Encased Flexible Pipes
Rigid Pipes
Minimum Soil Cover
Longitudinal Mechanics
Thrust Restraints
Embedment
Parallel Pipes and Trenches
Special Sections
Stress Analysis
Plastic Pipes
External Hydrostatics
Buried Tanks and Silos
Flotation
Leaks in Buried Pipes and Tanks
Long-Span Structures
Non-circular Linings and Coatings
Risers
Analysis of Buried Structures by the Finite Element Method
Application of Finite Element Analysis to a Buried Pipe
Economics of Buried Pipes and Tanks
Appendix A: Castigliano's Equation
Appendix B: Reconciliation of Formulas for Predicting Ring
Deflection
Appendix C: Similitude
Appendix D: Historical Sketch
Appendix E: Stress Analysis
Appendix F: Strain Energy Analysis

2000 CRC Press LLC

PREFACE
Buried pipes are an important medium of transportation. Only open channels are less costly to construct.
On the average, pipelines transport over 500 ton-miles of product per gallon of fuel. Gravity systems
require no fuel for pumping. Ships transport 250 ton-miles per gallon. Rails transport 125 ton-miles per
gallon. Trucks transport 10 ton-miles per gallon. Aircraft transport less than 10 ton-miles per gallon of
fuel.
Buried pipelines are less hazardous, and less offensive environmentally than other media of transportation.
They produce less contamination, eliminate evaporation into the atmosphere, and generally reduce loss and
damage to the products that are transported.
The structural mechanics of buried pipes can be complicated -- an interaction of soil and pipe each with
vastly different properties. Imprecisions in properties of the soil embedment are usually so great that
complicated analyses are not justified. This text is a tutorial primer for designers of buried structures -most of which are pipes. Complicated theories are minimized. Fundamentals of engineering mechanics
and basic scientific principles prevail.
"Science is understanding gained by deliberate inquiry."

-- Philip Handler

ACKNOWLEDGMENT
Gratitude is expressed to Becky Hansen for her patient and expert preparation of manuscript.

2000 CRC Press LLC

2000 CRC Press LLC

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