A statement on the stress field of pipe-soil structure

O. Bulut*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, stress analyses of buried flexible pipes were carried out using a newly designed experimental setup for the method of photoelasticity. Several universal tests using a Dynamical Mechanical Analyzer and the parallel plate test in a polariscope were performed to obtain the mechanical and optical properties of a ring that is made from a thin plate of optically sensitive Araldite, which modeled the pipe cross section. Additionally, the mechanical properties of soil used in the experiment have been determined by unconsolidated-undrained triaxial compression tests and specifically developed photoelastic tests. This test method, which provided satisfactory results for estimating the coefficient of lateral earth pressure, can be used as a fast method to obtain this coefficient for general cases. From the buried ring experiment, the distributions of the circumferential stresses along the inner surface and the absolute value of the Tresca stresses along the outer surface of the ring were calculated by some precise photoelastic measurements. Comparing the results with those from the parallel plate test, the lack of design criteria were clarified. The buried ring experiment clarified that the pipe-soil structure keeps the field of elastic stress-strain that is due to a loading until a higher load is applied. The distributions of stresses were compared to those obtained from the finite element analysis of a half ring under the loads determined by Michell’s formulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)719-737
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Testing and Evaluation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2018 by ASTM International.


The author would like to thank the Management of Scientific Research Projects of Istanbul Technical University (ITU) (Grant No. 39013), Experimental Mechanics Lab and Soil Mechanics Lab in ITU, and Dr. Cagri Mollamahmutoglu for the support.

FundersFunder number
Society for Experimental Mechanics
Istanbul Teknik Üniversitesi39013


    • Buried flexible pipes
    • Coefficient of lateral earth pressure
    • Parallel plate test
    • Photoelasticity
    • Pipe-soil structure


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