Frost protection of buried PVC water mains in western Canada

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Journal titleCanadian Geotechnical Journal
IssueAugust 4
Pages491501; # of pages: 11
SubjectWater mains; Plastic pipe
AbstractAlthough desirable for many reasons, controlled low-strength material - controlled density fill (nonshrinkablefill) has the potential to promote rapid frost penetration within the trench when used as a backfill material in waterworks construction and repair projects. This paper describes results of a two-dimensional finite-element heat-7 transfer model study carried out to investigate the effectiveness of various insulation systems for frost and frost-heave protection of buried waterlines. Combinations of nonshrinkable fill with horizontal insulation boards, cylindrical pipe insulation, and inverted U-shaped insulations were investigated. It was shown that, while moderate thicknesses of insulation could be found to protect the pipe from freezing, thermal-bridging effects make the location of the maximum frost penetration depth sensitive to details of the insulation geometry. The use of different combinations of insulating backfills was also investigated, and it was shown that a backfill layer of moderate insulating value placed high in the trench may be most advantageous.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number36049
NPARC number20358928
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Record identifier08c47f2a-c08d-4893-bb21-6a4468feec70
Record created2012-07-20
Record modified2016-05-09
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