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Past Project in Detail

Ingal Civil Products - analysing durability of buried corrugated metal pipes


Aaron Cassidy gathering test samples in Maryborough   Ken Evans analysing test results in the QUT laboratory   Gathering samples to test durability of Ingal's buried corrugated metal pipes  


Project duration: Summer and 1st semester, 2003

Students: Aaron Cassidy and Ken Evans, QUT B.Civil Engineering


For over 60 years, Ingal Civil Products (Ingal) has been a leading manufacturer and supplier of a wide range of civil construction products including guardrails, culverts, noise walls and buried corrugated metal structures (metal piping).

Ingal is a division of the Industrial Galvanisers Corporation Pty Ltd, set-up by the acquisition of the Australian and overseas operations of BHP Civil Products in 1996.

The strengths and durability of metal structures in above-ground situations is well understood through research, product testing and field data collection. Their associated performance in buried situations however, is not as well understood. The durability of Buried Corrugated Metal Structures requires further research and testing to better understand the initiators involved in product failure as well as the estimated time to failure (service life).

Ingal is currently undertaking an Australia-wide investigation into the durability of their Buried Corrugated Metal Structures. The collation of this data will aid to develop a National design strategy into the durability of this product.

The Queensland component of this National study was set-up as a CEED project via Ingal’s Sydney office and the CEED Program in Sydney, and co-ordinated by CEED in Brisbane. Gary Preddey, Engineering Manager of Ingal supervised the Queensland study in conjunction with other Ingal representatives in Brisbane and Townsville.

Representatives of Queensland’s Department of Main Roads, in Brisbane, also assisted this project.


Aaron and Ken’s research was based on data collected from numerous test sites (culverts) around the South-East Queensland District. The field trips were programmed with the help of the Qld Dept of Main Roads. With their advice, suitable test locations were found and their associated approval granted.

Once the data was collected, it was lab tested at QUT by Aaron and Ken. The results collected were used to construct a statistical model that predicts the service life of a pipe based upon the given environmental conditions.


For client confidentiality reasons, the exact methodology used and results achieved by Aaron and Ken will not be documented here.

The final report contained a valuable review of past projects (and their testing/interpretation) as well as a comprehensive review of their own tests.

Co-ordinating the various inputs from Ingal’s representatives (Sydney, Brisbane & Townsville) and Dept of Main Roads into this reasonably large project have added greatly to the level of industry experience gained by Ken and Aaron during this project.

Gary Preddey indicated that he was very pleased with the high quality of research and testing conducted by Aaron and Ken during their project. He also commented that the final report submitted to Ingal is of a very high quality, and is an excellent contribution to the National study.

Congratulations to both Ken and Aaron for their great work, and for the High Distinction that each of them was awarded for their project.

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