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Emerging Technologies a Suggested Design Method for Curved Jacked Steel Pipe

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Emerging Technologies:

A Suggested Design Method for Curved, Jacked Steel Pipe

J.L. Robison, P.E.1, R.D. Hotz, II, P.E.2 and C.C. Chen, Ph.D.3

1

(417) 831-9700; FAX (417) 831-9777; email: jrobison@geoengineers.com

2

GeoEngineers, Inc., 3050 South Delaware Avenue, Springfield, MO 65804; PH

(417) 831-9700; FAX (417) 831-9777; email: rhotz@geoengineers.com

3

Missouri University of Science and Technology, 117A Kemper Hall, 901 S. National

Ave., Springfield, MO 65897; PH (417) 836-4912; FAX (417) 836-6260; email:

chenchi@mst.edu

ABSTRACT

Proven technologies, such as straight-line, conventional microtunneling, or curved

solutions like horizontal directional drilling (HDD) have served the pipeline industry

well but have their limitations. Less well-known (especially in the United States)

solutions such as Direct Pipe (DP) and vertical-curved Directional Microtunnelling

(DMT) are beginning to find acceptance and application.

Existing microtunnelling and HDD engineering design methods do not address the

specific issues involved with the estimation of jacking forces or the specific stress

analyses of a curved steel pipe loaded in compression. Building on conventional

microtunnelling theory and API Recommended Practices, the authors developed a

design method for estimating the anticipated loads generated during a curved steel

pipe drive and for assessing the steel pipe axial, bending, and hoop stresses along

with buckling and combined stress conditions. The design method includes

calculations for estimating jacking loads and for calculating a maximum allowable

(not to exceed) axial loading for a given geometry and pipe specifications.

This paper will introduce the DP and DMT methods, detail the authors suggested

design methodology and give example applications of completed DP and DMT

designs slated for 2013 construction in the United States.

INTRODUCTION

The purpose of this paper is to discuss potential applications and provide a suggested

design method for curved, jacked steel pipeline. The design method presented herein

has been applied by the authors to directional microtunnel (DMT) and Direct Pipe

(DP) designs for high-strength steel, natural gas-carrying pipelines. DP is a

trademarked process with specific patented equipment developed by Herrenknecht

AG (Herrenknecht); more than 18 DP crossings have been completed worldwide to

date, primarily in Europe. The design method presented below uses existing,

864

865

enable the trenchless design engineer to make evaluations on the suitability of pipe

size, wall thickness, strengths, drive length, and other parameters for a given

trenchless crossing geometry and geology. This paper does not discuss the

geotechnical explorations required for trenchless crossings; there are several good

sources on this topic. The reader is assumed to have some familiarity with

geotechnical and structural engineering principles and the process of design of a

trenchless crossing such as horizontal directional drilling (HDD) and/or

microtunnelling.

PROCESS

A simplified description of

the construction method of a

DMT or DP is to think of a

combination of HDD and

microtunnelling. As with

conventional microtunnelling,

a microtunnel boring machine

(MTBM) head is jacked

through the soil. However, to

create the desired curve,

Pipe Thruster

articulated joints within the

machine assembly provide

Figure 1. Schematic of Direct Pipe Crossing

for steering capability as the

pipe is jacked producing a

curved alignment similar to

those possible with HDD

(see Figure 1). Unlike HDD,

the hole is continuously

supported

and

during

installation the pipe is in

compression, not tension.

Also unlike HDD, the soil

formations in the near

vicinity of the tunneling

machine are not subject to

high pressures from slurry

Figure 2. Pipe Thruster and String

systems. Unlike traditional

microtunnelling, the entry and exit pits may be designed at or near the ground

surface, eliminating the expense of deep entry and exit pits required for straight-line,

conventional microtunnelling. Also unlike traditional microtunneling, the use of the

pipe thruster allows the pipe to be jacked in a continuous string by clamping around

the pipe. A photograph of a pipe thruster and stringing area is shown in Figure 2.

866

There are some obvious technical challenges to consider with the above-described

process. There are also many benefits. The obvious advantage of this method over

conventional microtunneling is the near-surface entry and exit to a large extent

reduces the requirements of deep excavations. Compared to a conventional

microtunnel, a curved drive allows for potentially much shallower entry and exit pits.

Compared to an HDD, DP or DMT allows:

1. Potentially much shorter and shallower drives (see Figure 3 below).

2. Continuous support of drilled hole potentially for crossing of gravels and

other collapse-prone soils.

3. Significant reduction of hydraulic fracture and inadvertent returns risk.

Figure 3 below graphically depicts the potential differences between DP/DMT and

HDD techniques. As discussed above, length and depth requirements may be greatly

reduced for DP/DMT versus a traditional HDD.

for Small River Crossing in Alluvial Soils

The engineering analyses required for design of a DMT or DP focus around four

items:

1. Estimation of jacking forces required to accomplish the drive.

2. Calculation of allowable jacking forces for the design pipe size, strength, and

geometry.

3. Assessment of the difference between estimated and allowable jacking force

and associated risk.

4. Calculation of the operating condition stress for a given pipe geometry, size,

strength, and operating pressure.

Items 1 thru 3 are discussed in this paper, item 4 is not discussed in this paper as it is

the same evaluation used for HDD; a good reference for calculation of item 4 is the

PRCI Design Guide (Watson, 1995).

ESTIMATION OF REQUIRED JACKING FORCE

In a general sense, the jacking force is the force required to overcome the skin friction

between the pipe wall and surrounding soils and/or lubrication combined with the

force required at the face of the excavation to allow the tunneling machine to cut into

the soil or rock through which the machine is advancing. Another, typically smaller

force to consider for a pipe in a vertical curve is that force caused by the alignment of

the pipe in the drive, i.e., the vector portion of the weight of the pipe as it is jacked

non-horizontally, when summed over the course of the drive this contribution may be

positive or negative depending upon the elevations of the entry and exit locations.

Several good references are available for estimation of jacking force for traditional,

straight-line microtunneling; those specifically used in the development of the authors

design analyses for jacking forces include Bennett and Cording (1999) and Staheli

(2006). To perform the calculations needed for the analysis, the proposed drive length

is discretized into nominal increments, such as 5 or 10 feet, and a ground surface and

proposed pipe elevation are input into the design program. Soil parameters such as

unit weight, cohesion, and phi angle are used along with the proposed pipe and

existing ground surface geometry to estimate the normal stress and interface friction

factor to calculate the frictional resistance and the face pressure resistance to jacking.

Additionally, an estimate is made of the effectiveness of lubrication and the friction

forces are reduced accordingly. The estimates of skin friction and face pressure are

added to the cumulative weight of pipe contribution to develop the total jacking load

estimate.

Because the ultimate goal of the jacking force analysis is to evaluate the suitability of

a proposed pipe and jacking system in a given geometry and geology, the end result is

necessarily an estimate of the maximum jacking force on the pipe. In our analysis, we

do not estimate incrementally the theoretical required jacking loads during the course

of the drive but rather estimate the load experienced by the pipe along its length just

prior to completion when the highest combination of skin friction and face pressure

loading is expected. This may be thought of as a snapshot in time load diagram just

prior to tunnel completion. An example graph is shown on the following page as

Figure 4. Jacking Load Estimate Just Prior to Drive Completion.

867

According to Dr. Gerhard Lang, of Herrenknecht, an evaluation of nine of the DP

projects completed to date in clay, sand, and gravel resulted in average values of

0.03-0.09 tonnes/square meter in clay and 0.06 to 0.15 tonnes/square meter in sand

and gravel (Lang, 2012). Compared to the values calculated using the more

traditional method used by the authors, those suggested by Herrenknecht represent a

significant reduction (on the order of roughly three or more times less). The current

design process (using traditional microtunnel jacking force calculations) therefore

appears conservative. This is an area where additional refinements will likely be

possible as additional DMT and DP projects are completed and more data is gathered.

As may be inferred from the data presented above, the estimate of jacking forces

should be considered a fairly coarse evaluation that is highly dependent on the

engineers judgment of the subsurface conditions. Other factors that also influence

the loads ultimately incurred during construction include the procedures and skill of

the machine operator, the condition of the tunneling equipment, and the effectiveness

of the lubrication system.

ALLOWABLE JACKING FORCE AND STRESS ANALYSES

As opposed to the anticipated jacking load, the allowable jacking load may be

computed fairly precisely. This is due to the relatively low level (compared to

geotechnical conditions) of variability in manufactured steel pipe. Given the proposed

geometry, pipe specifications (strength, modulus of elasticity, diameter, and wall

thickness) and the allowable factor of safety, the allowable load calculation is

possible.

868

Following the guidance provided in Chapter 3 of API Recommended Practice 2AWSD (API), the following stress conditions should be considered:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Bending Stress

Hoop Stress

Combined StressAxial and Bending

Combined StressAxial and Hoop

Additionally, buckling must be considered between the jacking frame or pipe thruster

and the launch seal (or where the pipe enters the ground and is assumed to be laterally

supported against buckling).

Buckling

For jacked, curved pipe, the buckling analysis takes one of three forms, depending on

the diameter to wall thickness ratio (D/t) of the jacking pipe. Assuming that D/t is less

than 60, and we do not recommend that it be greater than 60 for steel trenchless

installations, then the allowable axial compressive stress (Fa) is calculated using the

methods described in API 3.2.2. The length used in the buckling calculation is the

distance between the pipe thruster clamp and the entry seal. (See Figure 5. The pipe

thruster clamp is in the foreground, and the launch seal is incorporated in the far sheet

pipe wall.) Once the pipe has passed the entry seal it is assumed to be essentially fully

supported as the pipe overcut is on the order of one inch, and it is partially filled with

slurry lubrication fluid.

Figure 5. Direct Pipe Launch Pit with Pipe Thruster and Launch Seal

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870

To calculate the design factor of safety for axial compressive stress, first the applied

axial stress (fa) is calculated from the estimated maximum load by dividing the load

by the cross sectional area:

Where P is the applied load and A is the cross-sectional area of the pipe. The

allowable axial stress (Fa) is then calculated using the equations in API section 3.2.2,

depending upon the pipe D/t, the steel design strength (Fy), the unbraced length, and

Youngs Modulus of elasticity for steel. A factor of safety is built in to the Fa

calculations. Therefore, to check that the design is acceptable, the applied

compressive stress must simply be less than the allowable.

Bending Stress

To calculate the design factor of safety for bending stress, first the applied stress (fb)

is calculated from the estimated maximum load by the following equation derived

from beam mechanics from the PRCI design guide:

Where E is the steel modulus of elasticity, D is the pipe diameter (in inches) and R is

the radius of pipe curvature (in feet).

The allowable bending stress (Fb) is then calculated using one of three equations in

API section 3.2.3, depending upon the pipe D/t and the steel design strength (Fy). A

factor of safety is built in to the Fb calculations. Therefore, to check that the design is

acceptable, the applied bending stress must simply be less than the allowable.

Hoop Stress

To calculate the design factor of safety for hoop stress, first the applied stress (fh) is

calculated from the estimated external and internal pressures by the following

equation from the PRCI design guide:

pressure) and outside the pipe from groundwater and drilling fluid, D is the pipe

diameter (in inches) and t is the pipe wall thickness.

The allowable hoop stress (Fh) is then calculated using one of three equations in the

API section 3.2.5, which checks both elastic and inelastic hoop buckling stress. The

length of cylinder between stiffening rings is set equal to the length of the crossing. A

factor of safety is built in to the Fh calculations. Therefore, to check that the design is

acceptable, the anticipated hoop stress must simply be less than the allowable.

871

The graph below (Figure 6. Estimated Stresses in Pipe Just Prior to Drive

Completion) illustrates all of the stresses calculated for a crossing with proposed pipe

alignment and ground surface profile. As with the jacking force graph presented in

Figure 4, from which this information is partially derived, this graph is a snapshot in

timejust prior to drive completion. Note that for this design the pipe enters and

exits on straight tangents, and the pipe is curved between the point of curvature (PC)

and point of tangency (PT).

After the initial stress calculations are completed, the pipe must be checked for

combination loading or combined stress to evaluate its behavior under anticipated,

interactive combined loading.

Combined StressAxial and Bending

Using the API equations for combined axial and bending stresses, two conditions

must be satisfied as detailed in API 3.3.1:

And

If fa/Fa is less than or equal to 0.15, then the following formula is used in lieu of the

first two.

872

Using the API equations for combined axial and bending stresses, two conditions

must be satisfied as detailed in API 3.3.4:

And

If fx is greater than 0.5Fha, then the following formula is used in lieu of the first two.

Combining all of the stress analyses factors of safety together with the combined

stress analyses, we can develop the graph below (Figure 7. Stress and Capacity

Analysis) that details the design checks of the adequacy of the proposed pipe for the

anticipated jacking loads and geometry. Note that because the allowable compressive,

bending and hoop stress calculations (Fa, Fb, and Fh) include required factors of

safety, the indicated capacity analysis (capacity divided by anticipated stress) must

simply be greater than 1.0. The combined stress analyses are the results of the

equations given above and must be less than 1.0; only the highest set of combined

stress calculations is presented for clarity. The hoop stress capacity analysis does not

appear on the graph because it is much higher than the other analyses, i.e., for the

example scenario the hoop capacity is much greater than the anticipated applied

stress.

If the completed analysis results indicate that stress violations are likely at the asdesigned geometry and pipe specifications, then the geometry and/or pipe

specifications may need to be altered to provide for an acceptable design.

After the pipe geometry, stress conditions, and other parameters are summarized in

the design model, it is very simple to assess higher than anticipated loads by

replacing the anticipated, calculated jacking loads with arbitrary values. This analysis

provides a maximum load that may not be exceeded without potential stress

violations for a given pipe geometry and pipe strength and size specifications.

The maximum allowable load should be compared to the anticipated jacking force

load and a decision made whether the design is acceptable or if pipe specifications or

geometry should be changed to provide a larger cushion between allowable and

anticipated loading. Several factors must be weighed in this evaluation, including the

confidence the designer has in the anticipated jacking load calculations, the amount

and quality of geotechnical information available, the consequences of a failed drive,

the amount of risk of which the owner is tolerant, and many other site-specific

factors.

APPLICATIONS

The authors have provided detailed design services on four DMT and DP crossings

for 2013 construction and are currently providing preliminary design services on

several additional crossings. These trenchless sites all have geometry or geotechnical

issues that make an auger bore, traditional microtunnel, or HDD infeasible, costly,

and/or risky.

Specifically, the following challenging conditions have been faced:

1. Deep, granular (gravels, cobbles) soils not optimal for HDD work.

2. Short, shallow design profiles required by right of way constraints and

geologic conditions.

3. Continuous casing in a curved drive beneath an Interstate highway.

SUMMARY

The DP and DMT trenchless applications offer great promise and utility to the

pipeline engineer needing to cross an area with a minimum of impactparticularly

where traditional methods such as HDD or microtunneling are not possible or risky

due to geometry and geological conditions. DP and DMT technology is gaining

acceptance in the American pipeline design community and has been shown to work

in Europe where more than 15 DP crossings have been completed. Engineering

design and stress analyses for these crossings is possible using the design procedures

discussed above, and it is responsible for owners to require the analysis be completed.

As data is gathered from future construction projects, additional refinements in the

design procedures will be possible.

873

REFERENCES

API Recommended Practice 2A-WSD. (21st Ed., December 2000, with errata and

supplements December 2002, September 2005, and October 2007).

Recommended Practice for Planning, Designing and Constructing Fixed

Offshore Platforms-Working Stress Design.

Bennett, D., Cording E.J. (1999). Jacking Loads Associated with Microtunneling.

Geo-Engineering for Underground Facilities, G. Fernandez and R.A. Butler,

eds., ASCE Geotechnical Special Publication No. 90, 731-745.

Lang, G. (2012). Herrenknecht AG, Personal Communication.

Staheli, K. (2006). Jacking Force Prediction: An Interface Friction Approach Based

On Pipe Surface Roughness. Ph.D. dissertation, Georgia Institute of

Technology.

Watson, D. (1995). Installation of Pipelines by Horizontal Directional Drilling an

Engineering Design Guide. Pipeline Research Council International, Inc.

874

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