Civil Engineering ETDs

Publication Date

Fall 12-14-2019


Culverts are water conveyance structures, typically used to allow water flow and maintain a balance between the flow streams without interrupting structures such as highways and bridges. Corrugated metal pipes (CMPs) have been used as culverts in North America since the 1950s because of their low cost and simple construction method. Today, the corrosion of CMPs is a major problem faced by all U.S. Departments of Transportation. There is an urgent need to provide an efficient solution, one that is corrosion-resistant, to retrofit thousands of corroded CMPs across the country. High specific strength, high strength to weight ratio, corrosion resistance, and a significant reduction in the cost of material and fabrication, over the past two decades, have made fiber-reinforced polymers an engineer’s choice material for conditions where corrosion is a problem. In the current study, filament wound glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) pipe profile is used as a slip-on liner inside a CMP, and the gap between CMP and GFRP is filled with an epoxy-based grout. A full-scale experimental investigation of the load capacity of a CMP retrofitted using a GFRP profile liner is conducted. We show that the proposed retrofit technique, using GFRP, develops full composite action with CMP and works as one composite section with improved capacity and superior ductility. Subsequently, a laboratory corrosion cell was developed to corrode a CMP to reciprocate the field condition of a corroded culvert. Then, the corroded CMP was retrofitted using GFRP slip liner, and a full-scale test was conducted to understand the behavior post corrosion, and the technology post corrosion also achieved a complete composite action until the peak load. A finite element model is developed to provide inference on the mechanics of the GFRP-CMP retrofitted pipe section. Experimental observations verified the FE model. A design for field implementation was developed using the proposed technique to retrofit a 24 in. diameter existing corroded CMP. A Life-Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) model was developed to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the proposed retrofitting technique and compare it with other existing technologies.


Culvert, retrofit, glass fiber reinforced polymers, corrugated metal pipe, corrosion, composites

Document Type




Degree Name

Civil Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Civil Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Mahmoud Reda Taha

Second Committee Member

Yu-Lin Shen

Third Committee Member

Susan Bogus Halter

Fourth Committee Member

Eslam Soliman