Preliminary Investigation of a Buried Pipe Excited by an Earthquake

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Law, Hubert K.; Ko, Hon-Yim; Tohda, Jun; Li, Liming; Hamada, Takeshi
University of Missouri--Rolla
Geotechnical Engineering
conference paper description
The consequence of a devastating earthquake is usually a result of fires, which are caused by breakage of gas pipelines and lack of water supply from damaged water pipelines. The seismic response of a buried pipe was studied using the geotechnical centrifuge facility at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Ottawa sand labeled F-75 was used to model the ground, which was contaminated in a rigid container with inside dimensions of 48 in. long, 12 in. wide and 9 in. deep. A 4-foot long micro PVC pipe having a 1/4-inch-inside diameter and a 5/16-inch-outsIde diameter was used to model a prototype pipe. When it is tested in a centrifuge at a 50 g acceleration, the model pipe represents a 1-foot-inside diameter prototype PVC pipe with a 1.5 in. wall thickness (200 ft. long). The model pipe was instrumented with 12 pairs of strain gages to measure axial strains at 12 locations along the pipe, and was buried in the soil, which was underlain by a bedrock. The bedrock formations were d1fferent from one test to another. Each model was excited with the N-S component of the 1940 Imperial Valley earthquake recorded at the El Centro Site, and the shaking direction was parallel to the long axis of the pipe. Axial strains of the pipe, accelerations of the ground, and settlements of the surface were measured during the earthquake. It appeared that the geologic feature of the bedrock played an important role on the pipe behavior.