In road opening, it is sometimes noted that asbestos cement pipes are broken up into pieces. Why?

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Asbestos cement is mainly a mixture of cement and asbestos fibres with density greater than 1000kg/m3. It contains about 10% asbestos fibres and it is a light grey hard material. The fibres are tightly held in cement mixture and they shall be discharged if asbestos cement undergoes significant disturbance such as drilling and sawing.

However, one of the important characteristics of asbestos cement is the relative brittleness. As such, asbestos cement pipes can be broken easily when falling at height or driven over by heavy vehicles. Hence, it is not uncommon that asbestos cement pipes are observed to break up into pieces in inspection pits.


This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

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