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PE technical guidance
HDPE Pipe technical guidance (High quality Polyethylene Pipes)

How do customers design a PE pipe to resist external loads e.g. traffic, soil and seismic loads?

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The action of the vertical external loads

Plastic pipes, including PE100 & PE100-RC pipes, are normally classed as flexible pipes in structural terms and hence their design to resist external loading is different from that of rigid pipes such as ductile iron, concrete, etc.

The action of the vertical external loads, e.g. traffic loads, causes the flexible PE pipe to deflect. The deflection is resisted by the passive horizontal soil pressure acting on the pipe.

This means that the bedding and stiffness of the surrounding soil are considered as important as the mechanical properties of the pipe when traffic loading is being considered.

A number of models have been developed by the industry to allow the designer to specify the correct pipe and soil properties. BS9295:2020 and Interactive Pipe Calculator - TEPPFA provide information on buried pipe design of PE pipes. In addition commercial design software is available. An example is EasyPipe from IngSoft in Germany; this can be used for design of buried PE pipes and for PE rehabilitation methods such as sliplining and pipe bursting.

IngSoft EasyPipe

Last update Wednesday 27 March 2024

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