Development of a biomechanical method

Testing the resistance to root penetration of seals
for sewer pipe connections

The currently employed methods for testing the resistance to root penetration of pipe connections, e.g. according to DIN V 1201 and DIN EN 1916, Annex E [1, 2], are based on the sealing tightness under load. They are based on the assumption that alone the level of the contact pressure acting on a seal influences its resistance to root penetration. These test methods, though long used until now, are nonetheless not very convincing, since they do not take account of biological-mechanical aspects. The operators of sewerage systems do not have much confidence in these indirect test methods. The following article reports on a newly developed method that takes into consideration both the mechanical and the biological aspects.

In another area highly susceptible to damage – green roofs – seals have been tested for over 20 years by a method developed and standardized at FH Weihenstephan, and which is recognized by the trade [4]. The many years of experience gained investigating the interaction of roots and seals at FH Weihenstephan should be drawn on in developing a biomechanical method for determining the resistance of pipe connections to root penetration. This method allows roots to act on seals of different compression levels under in-situ-like conditions for a sufficient period of time. Thus, for the fist time,...

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