Polypropylene pipe interface strength on marine sandy soils with varying coarse fraction

Lawrence W De Leeuw, Gary Martin, Henry Milewski, Matthew Dietz, Andrea Diambra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
118 Downloads (Pure)


The interface shear strength of polypropylene pipeline coatings and marine sandy soils was investigated through direct and surface-over-soil interface shear box testing. Polypropylene specimens were acquired by removal from existing manufactured steel pipes and test soils were fabricated to closely resemble typical compositions and particle size distributions of North Sea marine sediments. The test sands varied according to their coarse particle fractions, with 0, 15 and 35% being retained on a 0·4 mm sieve. Testing was carried out at the very low stresses pertinent to pipeline interfaces, between 2·5 and 37·5 kPa, in both loose and dense states. The experimental results suggest a dependency of the interface shear strength on the stress level and relative density, with the coarse particle fraction playing a modest role. Surface characterisation and lack of volumetric deformation suggests that the shearing kinematic is predominantly grain sliding rather than rolling. Interface efficiency was largely constant despite some scatter due to variability in surface specimens. The distinct seams apparent on some of the polypropylene surfaces as inherent manufacturing artefacts had a negligible influence on interface strength. The relationship between interface strength, normalised roughness and Shore D hardness was assessed, discussed and compared with results from other works.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalProceedings of the ICE - Geotechnical Engineering
Early online date27 Jan 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Jan 2020


  • laboratory tests
  • pipes
  • pipelines
  • offshore engineering


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