Determination of entrance loss coefficients for pre-cast reinforced concrete box culverts.
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Determination of entrance loss coefficients for pre-cast reinforced concrete box culverts.

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    • Abstract:
      There is an increased interest in constructing Pre-Cast (PC) Twin and Triple Reinforced Concrete Box (RCB) culverts

      in Iowa due to the efficiency associated with their production in controlled environment and decrease of the construction

      time at the culvert sites. The design of the multi-barrel PC culverts is, however, based on guidelines for single-barrel cast-inplace

      (CIP) culverts despite that the PC and CIP culverts have different geometry. There is scarce information for multiplebarrel

      RCB culverts in general and even fewer on culverts with straight wingwalls as those designed by Iowa DOT. Overall,

      the transition from CIP to PC culverts requires additional information for improving the design specifications currently in

      use. Motivated by the need to fill these gaps, an experimental study was undertaken by IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering.

      The goals of the study are to document flow performance curves and head losses at the culvert entrance for a various culvert

      geometry, flow conditions, and settings. The tests included single-, double- and triple-barrel PC and CIP culverts with two

      span-to-rise ratios set on mild and steep slopes. The tests also included optimization of the culvert geometry entrance by

      considering various configurations for the top bevel.

      The overall conclusion of the study is that by and large the current Iowa DOT design specifications for CIP culverts can

      be used for multi-barrel PC culvert design. For unsubmerged flow conditions the difference in the hydraulic performance

      curves and headloss coefficients for PC and CIP culverts are within the experimental uncertainty. Larger differences

      (specified by the study) are found for submerged conditions when the flow is increasingly constricted at the entrance in the

      culvert. The observed differentiation is less important for multi-barrel culverts as the influence of the wingwalls decreases

      with the increase of the number of barrels.

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