Building Knowledge from Failure Analysis of Plastic Pipe and Other Hydraulic Structures

    Volume 8, Issue 3 (March 2011)

    ISSN: 1546-962X

    CODEN: JAIOAD

    Published Online: 21 March 2011

    Page Count: 17


    Sharff, Phillip A.
    Principal, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc., Waltham, MA

    Bellemare, Simon C.
    Staff II-Materials, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc., Waltham, MA

    Witmer, Lisa M.
    Staff II-Materials, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc., Waltham, MA

    (Received 12 November 2009; accepted 9 February 2011)

    Abstract

    Structural plastics have long shown exceptional performance in products used for fluid transport and containment, such as pipes, tanks, and drainage structures. The development and use of plastics enhances the versatility and durability of these important infrastructure components, as well as their economy. However, like all materials, plastics have performance limitations, and serious failures can occur as the result of improper design, fabrication, or installation. Understanding failure mechanisms of plastics can provide valuable insight into those limitations and aid the designer, manufacturer, and installer in optimizing structural and functional performance. We review forensic techniques, including field investigation, material and mechanical laboratory tests, optical and scanning electron microscopy, and stress analysis. The example cases highlight mechanical, environmental and installation issues. These include failure to account for material creep and fatigue, defects in fusion bonding, incompatibility of solvent cement, strength limitation of joint elements, and improper installation techniques. The case studies suggest ways to avoid similar mistakes in the future.


    Paper ID: JAI102870

    DOI: 10.1520/JAI102870

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    Author
    Title Building Knowledge from Failure Analysis of Plastic Pipe and Other Hydraulic Structures
    Symposium Symposium on Plastic Pipe and Fittings, 2009-11-09
    Committee F17