Relating the structural strength of concrete sewer pipes and material properties retrieved from core samples

Nikola Stanic, Jeroen Langeveld, Theo Salet, François Clemens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
54 Downloads (Pure)


Drill core samples are taken in practice for an analysis of the material characteristics of concrete pipes in order to improve the quality of the decision-making on rehabilitation actions. Earlier research has demonstrated that core sampling is associated with a significant uncertainty. In this paper, the results of core samples are compared with the results of full-scale pipe cracking lab experiments. It is shown that the concrete of deteriorated sewer pipes shows a significant variability in material characteristics. Further it is shown that the formation of ettringite due to biochemical sulphuric corrosion is not necessarily limited to the crown of the pipe and also degradation of pipe material, measured by the carbonation depth, is occurring at the inside and outside of the pipe. It is concluded that tensile splitting strength and the carbonation depth are the two material property parameters of core sampling with a sufficiently high correlation (R2 > .90) with the structural strength of the pipe. The thickness of the remaining ‘healthy’ concrete material is the optimal parameter, as this requires the smallest sampling size.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)637-651
Number of pages15
JournalStructure and Infrastructure Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Collapse
  • concrete pipes
  • corrosion
  • degradation
  • sewers and drains
  • structural strength


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