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Weibull-based methodology for condition assessment of cast iron water mains and its application

Belmonte, HMS, Mulheron, M, Smith, PA, Ham, A, Wescombe, K and Whiter, J (2008) Weibull-based methodology for condition assessment of cast iron water mains and its application Fatigue & Fracture of Engineering Materials & Structures, 31. 370 - 385. ISSN 8756-758X

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Abstract

A qualitative and quantitative understanding of how cast iron water distribution pipes fail in service would facilitate a targeted approach to the management of rehabilitation in the water industry. This paper proposes a technique for assessing the condition of pipes, based on strength characteristics obtained from small samples; this offers an alternative way of estimating the likelihood of failure to current methodologies based on pit-depth measurements. Examination of recovered pipe samples indicates that the strength of the cast iron pipe reduces over time as a result of corrosion, although other time-dependent processes, such as fatigue, may also contribute to this degradation. Taken with previous work, this paper suggests that the variation in strength of small samples removed from cast iron water distribution pipes can be characterized using Weibull methods. It is argued that the Weibull modulus provides a useful indicator of the condition of the pipe. Using scaling arguments, inherent in the Weibull methodology, it is then possible to use data from small samples to predict the likely strength characteristics of water distribution pipes in the ground, which is reasoned to be a good measure of the potential performance of the pipe in service. The Weibull approach is applied to a number of different data sets obtained from testing samples extracted from a range of pipes, which have seen service at various locations in the Thames Water region. One of these data sets was from locations where failure had occurred in service. It is shown that the use of Weibull analysis can identify pipes in the network that have degraded the most significantly. A methodology is suggested whereby this information taken with other performance indicators can be used to identify the local regions where rehabilitation is required most urgently. Alternatively, it can be used to identify those regions of the network, which are in good condition and unlikely to need repair or replacement work.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The definitive version is available at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1460-2695.2008.01233.x/abstract
Divisions: Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Mechanical Engineering Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2012 11:57
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2013 19:34
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/712675

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