Engineering ToolBox - Resources, Tools and Basic Information for Engineering and Design of Technical Applications!

Underground Pipes - Earth Pressure

Pressure acting on underground pipes due to weight of soil and transport.

The pressure acting on an object in the ground - typical on the outside of a pipe can be calculated as

p = psoil + pwater + ptransport               (1)

where

p = pressure acting on object in the ground (Pa)

psoil = pressure caused by the weight of the soil above the object (Pa)

pwater = hydrostatic pressure caused by the weight of the water above the object (Pa)

ptransport = pressure caused by the transport load on surface of the soil (Pa)

• 1 Pa = 10-6 N/mm2 = 10-3 kPa = 1.450x10-4 psi (lbf/in2)

Pressure caused by soil

psoil = ρs g (h - hw) + ρsw g hw                 (2)

where

ρs = density of soil above the groundwater (typical 1800 - 1900 kg/m3)

g = acceleration of gravity (9.81 m/s2)

h = depth from surface to object (m)

hw = depth from groundwater level to object (m)

ρswdensity of soil below groundwater level (reduced due to Buoyancy of soil - typical value 1100 kg/m3)

Pressure caused by groundwater

pwater = ρw g hw                 (3)

where

ρsw = density water  (1000 kg/m3)

Pressure caused by transport

The pressure caused by transport depends on the force (weight) on each wheel. The figure below indicates the the pressure at different depths for wheel force 75 kN (7500 kg) with dynamic factor 1.75.

Example - Pressure acting on an Underground Pipe

The pressure acting on pipe at buried at depth 2 m and 2 m below groundwater level can be calculated as

psoil = [(1800 kg/m3) (9.81 m/s2) ((2 m) - (1 m)) ] + [(1100 kg/m3) (9.81 m/s2) (1 m)]

= 28449 Pa

= 28.5 kPa

pwater = (1000 kg/m3) (9.81 m/s2) (1 m)

= 9810 Pa

= 9.8 kPa

ptransport = aprox. from the diagram  - 20 kPa

Total pressure

p = (28.5 kPa) + (9.8 kPa) + (20 kPa)

= 58 kPa

• 1 kPa = 1 kN/m2

Underground Pressure Calculator

This calculator is based on the equations below and can used to estimate the underground pressure acting on objects relatively smaller than the depth they are buried - typically pipes with diameter less than 3-500 mm.

Pressure from transport is calculated for wheel force 75 kN (7500 kg) with dynamic factor 1.75.

Related Topics

• Miscellaneous

Engineering related topics like Beaufort Wind Scale, CE-marking, drawing standards and more.

Related Documents

• Bending PE Pipes

Bending PE pipe calculator.
• Dirt and Mud - Densities

Densities - pound per cubic foot and kilograms per cubic metre - of dirt and mud.
• EN 1329 - PVC Piping for Soil and Waste Discharge - Dimensions

Dimensions of PVC pipes according EN 1329.
• EN 1401 - PVC Piping Systems for Non-Pressure Underground Drainage and Sewerage

Dimensions of PVC pipes according EN 1401.
• EN 1451 - Polypropylene (PP) Plastics Piping Systems for Soil and Waste Discharge - Dimensions

Plastic piping systems for soil and waste discharge (low and high temperature) within the building structure.
• Hydrostatic Force acting on Submerged Surface

Calculate the thrust force acting on a submerged surface.
• Hydrostatic Pressure vs. Depth

Depth and hydrostatic pressure.
• Natural Gas Pipes - Minimum Cover

Burial dept and minimum cover of underground natural gas pipes.
• Piping Elbows - Thrust Block Forces

Thrust block forces on pipe bends anchors due to liquid velocities and internal pressures - online resulting force calculator.
• Soil and Rock - Bulk Factors

Soil and rock expansion - or swell - after mining.

Search

Search is the most efficient way to navigate the Engineering ToolBox.

Engineering ToolBox - SketchUp Extension - Online 3D modeling!

Add standard and customized parametric components - like flange beams, lumbers, piping, stairs and more - to your Sketchup model with the Engineering ToolBox - SketchUp Extension - enabled for use with older versions of the amazing SketchUp Make and the newer "up to date" SketchUp Pro . Add the Engineering ToolBox extension to your SketchUp Make/Pro from the Extension Warehouse !

Translate this Page

Translate this page to Your Own Language .

About the Engineering ToolBox!

Privacy Policy

We don't collect information from our users. More about

We use a third-party to provide monetization technologies for our site. You can review their privacy and cookie policy here.

You can change your privacy settings by clicking the following button: .

Citation

This page can be cited as

• The Engineering ToolBox (2018). Underground Pipes - Earth Pressure. [online] Available at: https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/underground-pipe-pressure-soil-transport-d_2145.html [Accessed Day Month Year].

Modify the access date according your visit.

8.21.8

.