Geosynthetic reinforcement for the reduction of the effects of explosions of internally pressurised buried pipes

Nestor Tupa Fernandez, E. M. Palmeira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Soil reinforcement is a well-established technique for works such as embankments, steep slopes and walls. This paper presents the results of a study on an innovative use of geosynthetic reinforcement for the protection of buried pressurised pipes. The collapse of a pipe inside reinforced and unreinforced sand was simulated in models studies in the laboratory using a large rigid steel tank. Different configurations and types of geosynthetics were tested including woven geotextiles, a geogrid and a metallic reinforcement. The scale of the models in the laboratory was 1:4 and the series of tests involved the simulation of two types of pipe collapse. The first one consisted of a continuous expansion of a cylindrical cavity until failure of the soil mass was achieved and the second consisted of air burst through a longitudinal crack in the pipe. The results obtained showed a significant influence of the presence of the reinforcement on the pressure resisted by the embankment and in reducing the consequences of pipe collapse, depending on reinforcement type and arrangement. The potential use of reinforced embankments to protect pressurised pipes has also been demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-127
Number of pages19
JournalGeotextiles and Geomembranes
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are indebted to the following institution that supported the research activities described in this work: University of Brasilia (Brasilia, Brazil), University of San Agustin (Arequipa, Peru), CAPES-Brazilian Ministry of Education and CNPq-Brazilian Research Council (CTPetro Research Programme).


  • Explosions
  • Geosynthetics
  • Pressurised pipes
  • Soil reinforcement


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