How to Select Culvert = What Culvert Should I Install?

Oct. 14, 2020

Many materials are available when installing culverts for driveways, private roads, or other drainage requirements.The choice of material can have a significant impact on the life of the culvert, so it is helpful to familiarize yourself with the main causes of pipe deterioration and the most commonly used corrosion resistant culvert materials.

Common causes of tube deterioration are corrosion, wear and physical wear.Corrosion usually occurs through soil or water pollution when a substance with a non-neutral pH balance comes into contact with a metal.When this happens, chemical reactions can cause metal pipes to rust, weakening culverts. Metal culvert in particular is vulnerable to corrosion.

When the water into the Corrugated Culvert Pipe materials (such as sand and small stone) scraping wall and damaged with the passage of time, wear occurs.

The repeated occurrence of heavy loads and other physical wear can also damage the pipe.If the material used to construct the culvert is not properly installed or strong enough to withstand heavy loads driven over it, it may bend or break. Repeated temperature fluctuations (freezing and thawing) may also cause structural damage.

Some materials will resist different forms of degradation better than others. This paper introduces the three main materials (plastic, metal and concrete) used in culvert construction and their advantages and disadvantages in culvert construction.

Aluminum and galvanized steel are commonly used as building materials for culverts. Corrugated metal is strong, reasonably priced and resistant to corrosion by galvanizing. Still, metal culverts have some drawbacks.First, even after being galvanized, the metal will corrode and rust over time, especially when the pH balance of the water or surrounding soil is high or low. In addition, if metal pipes need to be trimmed to fit culverts, they may be heavy, hard to bend and difficult to cut.Weaker metals can also bend or warp over time, especially when the roads involved are crowded.

Plastic tubes are cheaper and easier to install than metal ones. They are light and flexible, easy to transport and install.In addition, plastic can be easily cut to fit any size culvert. One of the drawbacks of plastic's lightness is that erosion and the material's natural buoyancy can cause it to shift over time. However, this displacement can be easily avoided if the piping is properly laid during installation and the surrounding soil is properly pressed.Another advantage of plastic is that it doesn't corrode or rust like metal, so it resists high and low pH balances.

Metal Culvert

Metal Culvert

Whatever you decide to use metal or plastic, should consider to buy corrugated pipe. The wavy pattern of these tubes increases both the material's flexibility and its resistance to warping under weight.In most cases, corrugated plastic tubing will be perfect for this job. Another type of plastic pipe also has its USES. PVC is smaller and less flexible than corrugated plastic tubes.It is ideal for low-flow or long-distance water transport, such as irrigation. Because wood logs in long drains are harder to remove than short drains, PVC is also ideal when long pipes are needed because their smooth walls are easier to clean than bellows.

Concrete is much more expensive than metal or plastic, and because of its weight, it is difficult to transport, pour and install. But it has its USES. Of the three materials, concrete is the most durable.Like plastic, it doesn't corrode.In addition, concrete is more resistant to warping than the other two materials and can withstand greater loads. Because of their durability and long service life, concrete culverts are a good idea for those planning to install concrete driveways or who expect heavy traffic on the culverts.Largely because of the costs associated with it, we don't see many affordable full-cement culverts in Texas.

Whatever material you decide to use when building pipe culverts, the right research is key.Whether you choose metal, plastic or concrete, consult a trained professional to make sure the material meets your needs.A carefully constructed culvert will be more effective in managing water flow and save you money in the long run by reducing maintenance costs.


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