Corrugated Pipe

Published: February 10, 2018 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Corrugated Pipe Mean?

A corrugated pipe is a pipe with a series of ridges and grooves running parallel to each other on its surface. The ridges and grooves follow a pattern that is perpendicular to and bisecting the centerline of the pipe. Corrugated pipes are made of different materials such as iron, steel, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or high-density polyethylene (HDPE).

Corrugated pipes are used where flexibility is an important factor other than strength and durability, such as in storm drains and culverts. Flexibility makes corrugated pipes more useful and suitable for a wide variety of uses compared to rigid and non-corrugated pipes.

Trenchlesspedia Explains Corrugated Pipe

Corrugated pipes can be of different sizes ranging from small-sized corrugated pipes for use as drainage to carry runoff from gutters, to larger sized corrugated pipes for storm drains and culverts.

The range of applications to which corrugated pipes can be put to can be attributed to its flexibility. The height of the ridges in a corrugated pipe determines its degree of corrugation; the higher the number, the greater its flexibility. Of the different types of corrugated pipe materials, HDPE is considered as the most versatile, flexible, durable, and long-lasting.

Corrugated HDPE Pipes

Corrugated HDPE is primarily used for gravity flow water management systems such as storm drainage, subsurface drainage, sanitary sewers, and leachate collection. HDPE is considered suitable for use in underground structures, due to its light-weight and non-brittle properties. It is also easy to transport and install, reducing the overall cost of a project.

According to AASHTO the structural stability of corrugated pipes is defined by three pipe designs:

Type C – full circular cross-section with annular corrugated surface inside and outside.

Type S – full circular dual-wall cross-section with an outer corrugated pipe wall and a smooth inner liner.

Type D – circular cross-section with an essentially smooth inner and outer wall with annular or spiral connecting elements.

Curved Alignments

Curves allow drainage systems to follow the bends along roads and prevent interference with existing utility lines.

Type C corrugated pipes can easily accommodate many curved installations; for additional curvature, coupling bands can be used.

Type S corrugated pipes have longitudinal rigidity and are not very suitable for significant bending, and curvature is recommended at joints.

Corrugated Pipe Joining

Depending on the pipe style and project requirements manufacturers provide various methods to join corrugated pipes:

  • Gasketed bell and spigot joints

  • Coupling bands with or without gasket, secured with plastic ties.

  • Non-rated and non-pressure tested watertight joints for gravity flow drainage applications.

  • Pressure-rated watertight joint for non-pressure applications for environmental reasons.

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