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Combining EPS geofoam with geocell to reduce buried pipe loads and trench surface rutting

Tafreshi, S. N.Moghaddas; Darabi, N. Joz; Dawson, A. R.


S. N.Moghaddas Tafreshi

N. Joz Darabi

A. R. Dawson


© 2020 Elsevier Ltd This paper reports full scale experiments, under simulated heavy traffic, of geocell and EPS (expanded polystyrene) geofoam block inclusions to mitigate the pressure on, and deformation of, shallow buried, high density polyethylene (HDPE) flexible pipes while limiting surface settlement of the backfilled trench. Geocell of two pocket sizes and EPS of different widths and thickness are used. Soil surface settlement, pipe deformation and transferred pressure onto the pipe are evaluated under repeated loading. The results show that using EPS may sometimes lead to larger surface settlements but can alleviate pressure onto the pipe and, consequentially, result in lower pipe deformations. This benefit is enhanced by the use of geocell reinforcement, which not only significantly opposes any EPS-induced increase in soil surface settlement, but further reduces the pressure on the pipe and its deformation to within allowable limits. For example, by using EPS geofoam with width 0.3 times, and thickness 1.5 times, pipe diameter simultaneously with geocell reinforcement with a pocket size 110 × 110 mm2 soil surface settlement, pipe deformation and transferred pressure around a shallow pipe were respectively, 0.60, 0.52 and 0.46 times those obtained in the fully unreinforced buried pipe system. This would represent a desirable and allowable arrangement.


Tafreshi, S. N., Darabi, N. J., & Dawson, A. R. (2020). Combining EPS geofoam with geocell to reduce buried pipe loads and trench surface rutting. Geotextiles and Geomembranes, 48(3), 400-418.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 24, 2019
Online Publication Date Jan 7, 2020
Publication Date 2020-06
Deposit Date Jan 22, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jan 8, 2021
Journal Geotextiles and Geomembranes
Print ISSN 0266-1144
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 48
Issue 3
Pages 400-418
Keywords Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology; General Materials Science
Public URL
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