What is the importance of uniform support for precast concrete pipes?

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Concrete pipes are designed to be uniformly supported along the length to carry vertical loads on its top. They are normally not intended to serve as a beam to carry loads in longitudinal direction under poor ground supports (i.e. high and low spots in bedding).

Under cantilever beam action and simply support beam action as shown in the diagram below, circumferential cracks would develop in concrete pipes. Circumferential cracking develops in concrete pipes only when pipe bedding becomes non-uniform. Therefore in unstable ground conditions such as soft spot and hard foundations, care should be taken to provide firm and even support to concrete pipes.


This question is taken from book named – A Closer Look at Prevailing Civil Engineering Practice – What, Why and How by Vincent T. H. CHU.


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