Corrugated culvert metal pipes are preferred for use in road transportation systems for drainage-related applications. There are various reasons that explain this preference including the fact that corrugated metal pipes have a remarkable lifespan and that they are affordable.

In order for the general public to appreciate the benefits associated with the use of corrugated culvert metal pipes, those charged with road and highway maintenance need to ensure that these pipes are in good working conditions at all times. This article discusses two reasons for the failure of corrugated culvert metal pipes for the benefit of those training to become road construction/maintenance specialists.

Defective Joints

This is among the main reasons for the failure of corrugated culvert metal pipes. Once joints in a culvert metal pipe have become defective, the pipe loses its ability to handle the load weight around the culvert. This makes it necessary to have the pipe repaired or replaced depending on how severe the joint defect is.

Joint defects that are common on corrugated culvert metal pipes include, but tare not limited to the following:

  • Joint separation: This refers to a situation in which pipe sections in a corrugated culvert metal pipe undergo longitudinal displacement while maintaining their original alignment
  • Joint misalignment: This refers to a situation in which the relative vertical and horizontal alignment of culvert metal pipes is disrupted. This problem often results from poor installation of the corrugated metal pipe and from the infiltration of soil into a culvert via a separated joint.

Compromised Integrity Of Culvert Walls

Another common reason for the failure of corrugated culvert metal pipes is the compromised structural integrity of walls within the culvert. This is commonly attributed to the dangerous effects of corrosion on corrugated metal pipes.

The extent of corrosion can be minor, medium or major. Minor corrosion results in the development of superficial rust and minor pits on culvert walls. Minor corrosion is remedied using non-structural methods.

Medium corrosion results in relatively deep pitting and the occurrence of heavy rust on culvert walls. It is remedied through semi-structural repair and rehabilitation techniques.

Major corrosion can make culvert walls collapse due through the extreme development of rust on culvert walls and the formation of extremely deep pits. A fully structural solution is required for culvert walls that have suffered the effects of major corrosion.

Other reasons for the failure of corrugated metal pipes include deformation of culvert walls as well as bedding deficiencies.