Field performance of in-service cast iron gas reticulation pipe buried in reactive clay

D. Chan, P. Rajeev, J. Kodikara, C. Gallage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Field instrumentation of an in-service cast iron gas pipe buried in a residential area is detailed in this paper. The aim of the study was to monitor the long-term pipe behavior to understand the mechanisms of pipe bending in relation to ground movement as a result of seasonal fluctuation of soil moisture content. Field data showed that variation of soil temperature, suction, and moisture content are closely related to the prevailing climate. Change of soil temperature is generally related to the ambient air temperature, with a variation of approximately −3°C per meter depth from the ground surface in summer (decrease with depth) and winter (increase with depth). Seasonal cyclic variation in moisture content was observed with maxima in February and March, and a minimum around September. The pipe top was under tensile strain during summer and subsequently subjected to compressive strain as soil swelling occurred as a result of increase in moisture content. The study suggests that downward pipe bending occurs in summer because of soil shrinkage, while upward pipe bending occurs in winter when the soil swells.
Original languageEnglish
Article number04015025
Pages (from-to)1 - 15
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Pipeline Systems Engineering and Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


  • Field instrumentation
  • Cast-iron gas main
  • Soil movement
  • Expansive soil
  • Soil moisture content
  • Meteorological conditions

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