Thermal performance of trench backfills used for frost protection of water service lines

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1139/cgj-38-1-161
AuthorSearch for: ; Search for: ; Search for:
TypeArticle
Journal titleCanadian Geotechnical Journal
Volume38
IssueFebruary 1
Pages161174; # of pages: 14
Subjectbackfill, frost protection, water pipe, finite element analysis, design, thermal performance, water service; Pipes and pipelines
AbstractThis paper describes the thermal performance of different configurations of trenches using various trench geometries and backfill and insulation materials. A limited number of laboratory tests were conducted to confirm the thermal properties of the backfills reported in the literature. The frost protection of water service is measured in terms of the number of days it takes for the frost front to reach the depth of water service lines under sustained subzero surface temperatures. The study specifically included typical granular materials used within the City of Ottawa (for-merly the Region of Ottawa–Carleton), but the findings can be equally applied to other urban areas in Canada where the surficial terrain is rocky. The thermal analyses of the trenches were conducted using the finite element method that appropriately represents phase changes when the temperature falls below the freezing point of water. The analyses indicate that the use of sandwich insulation is ineffective, and that latent heat of backfill and native soils has a great impact on the frost protection of water service lines. A list of possible trench depths with different backfills and their thermal performance is provided.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number43700
9765
NPARC number20331237
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Record identifier96b1d423-5365-4ea2-8500-3bee86619a3c
Record created2012-07-18
Record modified2016-05-09
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