Research for AASHTO Standing Committee on Highways. Task 347. Test Methods of Watertightness of Culvert Joints

Pipe joint design considerations are a critical component for the overall performance of culvert and storm drain installations. Experience has shown that the component responsible for many culvert and sewer performance problems and failures can be traced back to the pipe joint. The structural and hydraulic performance of the joint affects the stability of backfill and soil envelope around the pipe, the line and grade of the culvert, integrity of the overlying embankment and pavement, and compliance to storm and sanitary sewer permits. Structural design methods have been developed for moment-transfer and moment-release joints in reinforced concrete, corrugated steel, and thermoplastic culverts in the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Web-Only Document 190: Structural Design of Culvert Joints. The proposed structural design methods provide values of shear force, and bending moment or rotation associated with earth loads and vehicle loads. In addition, a new pipe joint test frame which focused on structural performance was developed to establish whether joints have the capacity to accommodate the expected shear forces, moments and rotations. For hydraulic performance there has been no investigation for joint leakage of water infiltration or exfiltration. In addition, gaskets, o-rings or other seals used in joints normally feature natural or synthetic rubber that can exhibit time dependent response (e.g. creep under sustained load, or stress reductions under sustained deformations). Therefore, changes in contact pressures are expected between the surfaces of the seal and the surfaces of the pipe or band, so the ability to resist internal or external fluid pressure may change with time. Test methods need to be developed to establish whether specific joints in specific products remain watertight under short and long-term operation. The objective of this research is to develop recommended test methods for joint leakage (i.e., watertightness) in the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) standard format. The test method should consider the AASHTO Standard Practice for Pipe Joint Selection for Highway culvert and Storm Drains -AASHTO Designation: PP63-09. Accomplishment of the project objective will require at least the following tasks: (1.) Conduct a literature search necessary to support the project objective; (2.) Identify testing variables and performance criteria for various joint types and pipe materials that should be specified as part of the recommended test methods; (3.) Develop a test plan to fully assess the proposed test methods in Task 2. Submit the test plan for panel review. NCHRP approval will be required before proceeding with the remaining tasks; (4.) Conduct the test plan approved in Task 3; (5.) Identify key parameters affecting testing outcomes and prescribe revised test methods; (6.) Submit draft test methods no later than 4 months after the Task 3 approval. NCHRP approval will be required before proceeding with the remaining tasks; (7.) Present the proposed test methods in AASHTO standard format to the AASHTO Subcommittee on Bridges and Structures, Technical Committee T-13 Culverts; and Subcommittee on Materials, Technical Sections: 4a--Rigid Pipe and 4b--Flexible and Metallic Pipe for review and comment; (8.) Update proposed test method after consideration of review comments and develop an implementation plan for the recommended test methods; and (9.) Prepare a final report that documents the entire research effort. Following receipt of the draft final report, the remaining 2 months shall be for NCHRP review and comment and for research agency preparation of the revised final report.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $100000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-07, Task

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

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

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

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

    Dekelbab, Waseem

  • Performing Organizations:

    Queen's University, Ontario

    Department of Civil Engineering
    Kingston, Ontario  Canada  K7L 3N6
  • Principal Investigators:

    Moore, Ian

  • Start Date: 20131017
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20141017
  • Source Data: RiP Project 38202

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01547403
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-07, Task
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Dec 9 2014 1:01AM