A series of experiments has been performed to study the characteristics of a pipe arch culvert under a single axle load. The tests were conducted in conjunction with Armco Ltd, Newport, Gwent on a 4 m span corrugated steel culvert. Initially, the culvert was backfilled until the cover height was 1.5 m. This was then reduced in a series of stages: measurements of strain, deformation and soil pressure were made at each depth of cover for five different positions of the test axle and loads up to 48.8 tonnes. Analysis of the results shows that the logarithm of both bending strain and deflection of the culvert are linearly related to the axle load. The culvert was ultimately failed at the maximum axle load and a depth of cover of 0.36m. Failure was taken as occurring at the onset of a reverse curvature of the crown of the culvert, producing a permanent localised buckle. (A)

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