A Failure Analysis of Small-Diameter Cast Iron Pipes in Reactive Soil Zones of Melbourne

The research reviews the failure process of reactive ground movement induced small-diameter cast iron pipe failures in Melbourne. Finite element method is used to simulate the soil-pipe interaction and to identify the locations where high pipe stresses are likely to occur (stress hotspots) in the pipe network. The concept of stress hotspots is corroborated by collecting field information from recent pipe failures in reactive soil zones. The outcome of this study is presented as simplified analytical equations to estimate pipe stresses based on the soil moisture changes that could be implemented in a GIS platform for failure prediction and visualisation.