A team at Ohio University recently completed a research project related to flowable fill. The main objective of the project was to evaluate the feasibility of constructing an economical drainage pipe system using a flexible thermoplastic pipe and flowable fill. The project tasks were divided into three phases (laboratory characterization tests, field demonstration tests, and engineering analysis). This technical paper summarizes mainly data obtained during one of the Phase 2 field demonstration tests conducted at the load frame site, utilizing a corrugated HDPE pipe, flowable fill, and a variety of sensors. The test results confirmed many previously cited advantages of using flowable fill as pipe backfill material and also showed that some potential problems could be overcome easily. Finite element analysis simulated the field performance of the flexible pipe-flowable fill system reasonably well. In summary, it was concluded that it was quite feasible to construct a sound subsurface drainage system using flexible pipe and flowable fill.
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