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Predicting Soil Expansion Force in Static Pipe Bursting Using Cavity Expansion Solutions and Numerical Modeling Open Access


Other title
Cavity expansion solutions
Soil expansion force
Static pipe bursting
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Ngan, Ka Hou
Supervisor and department
Bayat, Alireza (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Bayat, Alireza (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Deng, Lijun (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Chan, Dave (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Construction Engineering and Management
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
The prediction of total pull force is critical to the design of static pipe bursting installation and soil expansion is the major component of the total pull force. However, there are currently limited methods available for its prediction. In this thesis, three cavity expansion solutions, namely Carter, Delft solution, and Yu and Houlsby, as well as numerical modeling using ABAQUS software, were used to predict soil expansion pressure acting upon the expander (bursting head) during static pipe bursting installation. The determined soil expansion pressures were then used to calculate the expansion force required for static pipe bursting with or without consideration of soil collapse due to crack propagation in pipe during expander’s forward advancement. Calculations were then compared to results from laboratory static pipe bursting experiments to evaluate the feasibility of the prediction methods. The comparison indicated that numerical and Yu and Houlsby solutions reasonably predicted the soil expansion force. Carter solution significantly overestimated the soil expansion force due to its small-strain assumption, while Delft solution moderately underestimated the results, as soil dilation was not considered. There was no significant difference between the results from numerical modeling and Yu and Houlsby solution due to the small scale of the experiments. However, Yu and Houlsby solution cannot capture the effects of depth of cover, initial borehole radius (only the radius ratio), and coefficient of lateral earth pressure. A parametric study for numerical and Yu and Houlsby solutions was also conducted to examine the influence of depth of cover as well as different initial and final borehole radii on the calculated expansion force using typical underground condition in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The results revealed that, although the soil expansion force obtained from Yu and Houlsby solution is higher than that obtained from numerical modeling, the difference decreases when the depth of cover increases. It was found that the Yu and Houlsby solution can provide a conservative prediction with a discrepancy of less than 30% for typical condition in Edmonton.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Ngan, K. H, Nassiri, S., Bayat, A., and Fernando, S.(2013). "Evaluation of Pull Force Field Data for a Deep Pipe Bursting Project in Edmonton, Alberta" Proc., 2013 North America No-Dig Conference, Sacramento, USA.

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