Thermoplastic Drainage Pipe, Design and Testing

The "Soil-Thermoplastic Pipe Interaction System" design procedure (Section 18 and LRFD Section 12) of the AASHTO Bridge Specifications was written in the early 1980s based on the corrugated metal pipe design procedure. This procedure relies on ring compression limits even though this mode of failure may not occur in practice or in research. At the same time, the procedure ignores other relevant performance limits, such as deflection and wall profile stability, and the time-dependent nature of thermoplastic materials is largely ignored. In many cases, these factors limit the cost-effective application of thermoplastic drainage pipe. In other instances, designs may not be conservative or may be susceptible to unexpected failure modes. With more than 40 states currently using some type of thermoplastic drainage pipe, and with large-diameter thermoplastic drainage pipes readily available, this research was conducted to develop a recommended load and resistance factor design (LRFD) specification for thermoplastic pipe for culverts and drainage systems for consideration by AASHTO as well as a QA procedure for manufactured thermoplastic pipe. The first objective of this research is to develop a recommended load and resistance factor design (LRFD) specification for the thermoplastic pipe of culverts and drainage systems for consideration by AASHTO. The second objective is to develop a QA/QC procedure to test manufactured thermoplastic pipe.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 4-26

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  USA  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC    20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  USA  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Harrigan, Edward

  • Performing Organizations:

    Simpson Gumpertz and Heger, Incorporated

    297 Broadway
    Arlington, MA  USA  02174-5310
  • Principal Investigators:

    McGrath, Timothy

  • Start Date: 19990618
  • Actual Completion Date: 20081219
  • Source Data: RiP Project 2287

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01463200
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Cooperative Highway Research Program
  • Contract Numbers: Project 4-26
  • Files: RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:18PM