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Effect of ground borne vibrations on underground pipelines

Effect of ground borne vibrations on underground pipelines

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Effect of ground borne vibrations on underground pipelines

N. I. Thusyanthan, S. L. D. Chin & S. P. G. Madabhushi

Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Proceedings of the International Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics 2006, Hong Kong.

Vibrations produced on the ground surface by engineering construction processes can damage underground

structures. At present, there is little knowledge on the level of surface vibrations that could result in such

damage. This paper presents experimental investigation on small scale model pipes buried in dry sand and in-

strumented with an array of miniature accelerometers. Experiments were conducted in a geotechnical centri-

fuge up to 4g. Impulse and harmonic surface loadings were generated by dropping a standard mass and by us-

ing an electric eccentric mass motor respectively. It was found that different pipe materials absorb different

amounts of energy. A relationship between the ratio of energy transferred and the impedance mismatch ratio

between the pipes and the soil has been proposed.

with regard to underground structures.

Construction activities such as blasting, pile driving, In order to analyse vibration related problems

dynamic compaction and traffic loading such as train thoroughly, many factors such as the vibration

and vehicle loading generate vibrations to varying source characteristics, site characteristics, propaga-

degrees (Hope & Hiller, 2000; Kin & Lee, 2000). tion of body waves and response of the structure

The vibrations are transmitted through the ground in need to be considered. It is therefore important to

the form of stress waves. When these waves encoun- gain an understanding of how ground borne vibra-

ter an underground structure such as a pipeline, part tions are transmitted into underground pipelines.

of the wave is reflected and part of it is transmitted This paper discusses findings based on the behav-

into the structure. The cyclic nature of these vibra- iour of two different model pipes made of brass and

tions will induce changes in stress levels in the concrete under impulse and harmonic surface load-

pipes. This in turn may lead to fatigue related dam- ing at 1g and at varying g-levels up to 10g in a geo-

age such as crack propagation. Therefore it is impor- technical centrifuge (Schofield, 1980). This study is

tant to understand the magnitude of vibrations a continuation of research presented by Thusyanthan

transmitted into an underground pipeline. and Madabhushi (2003).

At present there is little knowledge on the level of

surface vibrations that could cause damage to under-

ground pipelines. Guidance on the levels of ground-

borne vibration that may cause damage to buildings

is given mainly in two British Standards, BS 5228 2 EXPERIMENTAL TECHNIQUES OVERVIEW

and BS 7385. Both of these give guidance on the

peak particle velocity (ppv) above which cosmetic The propagation of waves in the vicinity of under-

damage could occur in buildings. British Standards ground pipelines was studied using both impulse and

have very little reference to underground structures. harmonic surface loads placed in an 850mm tub

BS 7385 states: ‘Structures below ground are known filled with dry sand. Miniature accelerometers bur-

to sustain higher levels of vibration and are very re- ied at different locations were used to measure the

sistant to damage unless in very poor condition.’ BS vibration levels in the sand and model tunnels. All

5228 gives threshold ppv values for underground measurements were logged using DASYLab (Data

services: a maximum ppv of 30 mm/s for transient Acquisition System Laboratory) onto a computer.

and 15 mm/s for continuous vibrations. The standard The experimental apparatus is shown in Figure 1.

fails to state the basis on which these levels were ob-

3 SOURCES OF VIBRATIONS Peak particle acceleration = 2πf × ppv (1)

3.1 Impulse load where f = frequency; ppv = component peak particle

A 1kg standard mass was dropped onto the base velocity (ppv).

plate from a height of 60mm to simulate an impulse

load.

4 MODEL PREPARATION AND SOIL TYPE

gravity of 2.65 and a critical friction angle of 32o.

All models were prepared by pluviating the sand

through air with the aid of a hopper to ensure similar

void ratio and uniformly distributed packing. A sand

voids ratio of 0.75, which corresponds to a medium-

dense state, was used in the experiments.

used. Both pipes had the same outer dimensions of

length 320mm and outer diameter 55 mm. The brass

and concrete pipe had a mass of 0.720 kg and 0.670

kg corresponding to a density of 7500 kg/m3 and

Figure 1. Experimental setup for centrifuge experiments 1977 kg/m3 respectively. Ordinary Portland cement

and builder’s sand was used at a cement/sand ratio

of 1:4 for the concrete pipe. Two accelerometers

were fastened at right angles in the middle of each

pipe to measure the vibration of the pipe walls. Ex-

periments on plaster of Paris model pipes were also

conducted in a similar manner to the brass and con-

crete pipes. However, results obtained from this set

of experiments will not be described due to space

constraints.

The cross section of the experimental setup for

the 1g experiments are shown in Figure 3. Twelve

accelerometers were used in the 1g experiments. Six

accelerometers were placed horizontally to measure

the horizontal acceleration while the other 6 were

placed vertically at mirror locations. Two sets of ex-

periments, A and B were carried out to measure the

accelerations in the model pipes.

Figure 4 shows the experimental setup for the

centrifuge experiments (set C). 20 accelerometers

Figure 2. Vibratory motor attached to base plate, with acceler- were used to measure both vertical and horizontal

ometers components of acceleration simultaneously. Centri-

fuge experiments were conducted at 1g, 1.1g, 2.0g

3.2 Vibrating Load and 4.1g respectively. At 4.1g, the corresponding

prototype would have a pipe diameter of 220 mm

A 50Hz electric eccentric mass a.c. motor was used buried at a depth of 492 mm below ground level.

to simulate a harmonic load as shown in Figure 2. These dimensions are representative of typical pipe-

The motor was attached to the same plate as was lines buried in the field. Figure 5 shows the plan sec-

used in the impulse load. Accelerometers were also tion of the model during the set C experiments.

attached to the plate to measure the input horizontal

and vertical accelerations. The base plate experi-

ences a peak particle acceleration of 3g and can be

approximated by a sinusoidal wave. Hence the com-

ponent peak particle velocity can be estimated by

equation 1 to be 93.7 mm/s.

6 DATA ACQUISITION AND FILTERING

SYLab software at a sampling frequency of 5 kHz.

Post processing of the data was done in MATLAB.

Any zero error in the signals were corrected and then

filtered to eliminate high frequency noise. The ac-

celeration signals were filtered using an 8th order

‘low pass’ Butterworth filter with a cutoff frequency

of 500Hz.

tion in the brass and concrete pipes under harmonic

loading. The concrete pipe experiences higher peak

accelerations compared to the brass pipe. This shows

that concrete absorbs a larger proportion of the vi-

brations compared to brass.

Velocity-time profiles of the signals were ob-

tained by integrating the acceleration signal using a

MATLAB routine and passing the signal through a

Figure 3. Cross-sectional view of the models used in the 1g ex-

periment. ‘low pass’ Butterworth filter to eliminate any zero

error. The peak particle velocity was then taken as

half the peak-to-peak velocity amplitude. Table 1

summarises the vertical ppv of the brass and con-

crete pipes under harmonic loading. The mean of the

ratio of vertical ppv in brass to that in concrete is

0.93 (standard deviation 0.12) . This implies that the

vertical ppv in the concrete pipe is 7% higher than

that in the brass tunnel.

vibratory loading

Test Input Brass Concrete Ppv

ppv ppv ppv Brass/Concrete

mm/s mm/s mm/s

Figure 4. Cross-sectional view of the model used in the centri- AV1 132.1 1.37 1.87 0.73

fuge experiment. AV2 130.4 1.06 1.30 0.82

AV3 113.3 1.19 1.24 0.96

AV4 101.8 1.00 1.35 0.74

AV5 79.60 1.17 1.31 0.89

AV6 77.59 1.04 1.09 0.95

BV1 135.5 1.81 1.97 0.92

BV2 154.1 1.84 1.76 1.04

BV3 152.5 1.79 1.83 0.98

BV4 186.5 1.99 1.77 1.12

BV5 152.8 2.20 2.03 1.09

BV6 112.0 1.55 1.65 0.94

pipes can be quantified by the ratio of the vertical

peak particle velocity in the brass model pipe to that

in the concrete pipe which is 0.93. The energy trans-

ferred into the pipes is proportional to the square of

the peak particle velocity in the model tunnel and

can be obtained by Equation 2.

Figure 5. Plan section of Experiment C

Energy tra nsferred into brass model pipe

= 0.93 2 (2)

Energy tra nsferred into concrete model pipe

= 87%

The brass model pipe absorbs only 87% of the en- Concrete Plastic Plaster n=0.1

ergy absorbed by the concrete model pipe. The im- 1.2

pedance mismatch appears to be the main parameter

Energy transferred to pipe

1

which determines the amount of vibration energy

transferred into the model pipe. Table 2 shows the Concrete 0.8

impedance mismatch of several media. An expres- Plastic

Plaster (0.19, 0.87)

(0.060, 0.76) 0.6

sion relating the impedance mismatch ratio to the (0.021, 0.71)

than & Madabhushi (2003) as 0.2

n 2

IT − I s Brass ppv 0

= (3) 0.01 0.1 1

Ib − I s T ppv Impedance mismatch of pipe /

Impedance mismatch of Brass

where IT, Is and Ib are the impedances of the pipe, Figure 7. Ratio of energy transferred vs ratio of impedance

sand and brass respectively. Brass is used as the con- mismatch

trol experiment and IT refers to any other material.

Figure 7 shows the above relationship plotted for

the concrete pipe. Also shown is the data point for 8 RESULTS FROM CENTRIFUGE

plastic from Thusyanthan & Madabhushi (2001) and EXPERIMENTS

plaster of paris from present experiment. A best fit 8.1 Variation of peak particle velocity with g-level

line corresponding to n=0.1 in Equation 3 appears to

agree well with experimental results. Figure 7 can be Table 3 shows the vertical ppv of brass and concrete

used to predict the energy transferred into a material at different g-levels. At all g-levels, the concrete

T at shallow depths (low soil stresses). pipe experienced a higher peak particle velocity than

the brass pipe. However the ratio of vertical ppv in

Table 2. Impedance of several media brass to that of concrete reduces with increasing g-

Material Den- Young’s Velocity of Impedance, level as evident in Figure 8. PPV ratios from the 1g

sity, Modulus, pressure I= Vp experiments are also plotted on the same figure. At

E wave, Vp 1g, the spread of the vertical ppv ratio is quite large.

kg/m3 GPa m/s kg/m2s × 103

The spread of the data narrows at higher g-levels.

Sand 1499 - 159 238

Brass 7500 110 4440 33300 This is because at higher stress levels in the sand,

Concrete 1997 25 4105 8198 there is more consistent coupling between the model

Plaster 1222 3.0 1825 2230 pipes and the surrounding soil. As the g-level in-

Plastic 950 0.7 996 946 creases, the vertical ppv ratio decreases until it fi-

nally bottoms out at about 4g. A best-fit line through

the mean of all the data points can be modeled by

Equation 4.

PPV Brass

= g − 0.58 (4)

PPV Concrete

where g is the g-level.

ppv ratio is at high g’s since the source motor

stopped operating above 4g. This is evident from

Figure 9, which shows the variation of the vertical

input ppv of the motor with g-level. However the

data gives a vertical ppv ratio of brass to concrete of

Figure 6. Accelerations in model pipes under vibratory loading 0.44 at 4g. If we assume that the rate of decrease in

the ppv ratio levels out at higher g’s, this implies

that the final vertical ppv in the concrete pipe is ap-

proximately 27% higher than in the brass pipe.

The ratio of energy transferred into the brass pipe

to the concrete pipe can then be calculated as per

Equation 2 to be 19% at 4g. This value is 4.6 times

lower than the value of 87% obtained from the 1g

experiments. This implies that under higher stresses,

much more energy is absorbed by the concrete pipe 8.2 Wavelet analysis

than the brass pipe.

The peak particle velocity experienced by the pipes

indicates the amount of energy transferred into the

Table 3. Vertical peak particle velocity in model pipes

structure but does not provide the frequencies at

Test g- Input Brass Con- Ppv which this energy is transferred. Wavelet analysis

set level ppv ppv crete Brass/Concrete (Newland, 1993a,b&c, 1995) shows both the fre-

ppv quency content of the signal and time duration of its

mm/s mm/s mm/s occurrence. Wavelet analysis of the vertical accel-

C1 1.0 130.0 1.18 1.89 0.63 eration signals in brass, concrete and the vibrating

5.1 6.20 1.52 4.00 0.38

9.9 3.79 0.78 2.87 0.27

source was carried out using a MATLAB routine.

C2 1.0 94.8 0.92 1.01 0.91 Results show that the energy distribution in brass is

1.1 97.5 3.66 4.05 0.90 very different from that of concrete and may not

2.0 45.0 2.14 3.22 0.66 necessarily occur at the same frequencies as the

4.1 6.40 1.33 3.01 0.44 source frequencies (Fig.10).

7.2 4.84 0.92 2.97 0.31 Figure 10 shows the results of this analysis at 2g

9.9 5.12 0.82 3.10 0.26

C3 1.0 99.0 1.54 1.34 1.16 during steady state harmonic loading. The input en-

1.3 115.0 2.83 3.53 0.80 ergy has peaks at the first 5 harmonics of the input

2.8 35.7 2.03 3.56 0.57 frequency of 50Hz. However, the brass pipe selec-

5.3 7.14 1.18 3.32 0.36 tively absorbs the most energy at 30 Hz, 150 Hz,

7.2 5.25 0.98 3.44 0.28 180Hz and 400 Hz while the concrete pipe absorbs

9.9 5.33 0.98 3.56 0.28

the most energy at 50Hz and 200 Hz.

1.4 9 CONCLUSION

C1 C2

PPV Brass / PPV Concrete

1.2

C3 A The material of the pipe plays an important role in

1

B Trendline deciding the amount of vibrations transferred into

0.8

the pipe. Under both impulse and vibratory loading

ppv brass / ppv concrete = g(-0.58) (R = 0.98)

at 1g, the concrete pipe experiences a higher level of

0.6 vibration compared to the brass tunnel. The mean

0.4 vertical peak particle velocity ratio of brass to con-

crete was shown experimentally to be 0.93. Hence

0.2 the ratio of energy transferred into the concrete pipe

0 compared to brass which is proportional to the

0 2 4 6 8 10 square of the peak particle velocity was 0.87. The

g-level / g higher the impedance mismatch between the pipe

Figure 8. Vertical ppv ratio of brass to concrete vs g-level and the sand, the lower the energy transferred into

the pipe.

As the g-level increases, the vertical ppv ratio of

140

brass to concrete shows a decreasing trend. Under

vibratory loading at 4g, the ppv ratio decreases to

120

C1 C2 C3 0.44. This means that the concrete pipe now absorbs

100 nearly five times as much energy as a brass pipe.

Input PPV (mm/s)

frequency distribution is different for different pipe

60

materials. Under vibratory loading at 2g, vibrations

40 transmitted into the brass pipe at higher frequencies

20 than those transmitted into the concrete pipe. At the

start of the load application, most of the energy in

0

0 2 4 6 8 10

the brass pipe is in the 140Hz to 180Hz range which

-20 changes to include a concentration around 50Hz as

g-level / g the vibration progresses. The concrete pipe has most

Figure 9. Vertical input ppv of source motor vs g-level of its energy at 50Hz throughout the load applica-

tion.

The results shown provide preliminary design

guidance for estimating the level of vibrations trans-

mitted into buried pipelines from ground-borne vi-

brations. However, the conclusions reached need to REFERENCES

be validated by further centrifuge experiments, pos-

sibly carried out at higher g-levels than were British Standard BS 5228. 1997, Part 4, Noise and vibration

achieved in this set of experiments. control on construction and open sites. Code of practice for

basic information and procedures for noise and vibration

control.

Britisch Stardard BS 7385. 1993, Part 2, Evaluation and meas-

urement for vibration in buildings, Guide to damage levels

from groundborne vibration.

DASYLab (Data Acquisition System Laboratory), DASYTEC

USA, 11 Eaton Road, PO Box 748, Amherst, NH 03031-

0748, USA (www.dasylab.net)

Hope, V.S. & Hiller, D.M. 2000, The prediction of ground-

borne vibration from percussive piling, Canadian Geotech-

nical Journal, Vol-37, pp 700-711.

Kim, D.S. & Lee J.S. 2000, Propagation and attenuation char-

acteristics of various ground vibrations, Soil Dynamics and

Earthquake Engineering 19, 115-126.

Newland, D.E. 1993a. An introduction to random vibrations,

Spectral and wavelet analysis, Addision-Wesley.

Newland, D.E., 1993b, Wavelet analysis of vibrations.

Part1:Theory, Part II: Wavelet maps, Cambridge University

Engineering Department, Technical Report C-

MECH/TR54.

Newland, D.E., Harmonic wavelet analysis, harmonic and mu-

sical wavelets, 1993c, Cambridge University Engineering

Department, Technical Report C-MECH/TR51.

Newland, D.E., 1995, Signal analysis by the wavelet method,

Cambridge University Engineering Department, Technical

Report, C-MECH/TR65.

Schofield, A.N. 1980. Cambridge geotechnical centrifuge op-

erations, Geotechnique, Vol.25., No.4, pp 743-761.

Thusyanthan, N.I. & Madabhushi, S.P.G. 2003. Experimental

study of vibrations in underground structures, Proceedings

of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Geotechnical Engi-

neering 156, April 2003 Issue GE2. pp 75-81.

Thusyanthan, N.I. 2001. Construction process induced vibra-

tions on underground structures, Cambridge University

MEng Report.

cal acceleration signals in: (a) source input: (b) brass pipe: (c)

concrete pipe

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