Utilities use a variety of construction materials for both direct buried and concrete encased ducts. Various commercially available material options are to be analysed based on their benefits to the system and associated costs. This will be taken into consideration when assessing each method of duct burial. For direct buried systems, the size, wall thickness, impact resistance, polymer type (rigid PVC/HDPE) and chemical resistance of the duct can greatly impact life expectancy and durability. For concrete encased systems, the extent of mechanical protection can vary depending on the characteristics of the concrete matrix and reinforcement. Such characteristics include compressive strength, chemical resistance, chemical admixtures, exposure class, rate of strength gain and presence of reinforcing steel.
The objective of this project is for the research group to provide their expertise in helping Utilities understand the costs and benefits associated with the two different duct systems direct buried and concrete encased). In evaluating the costs and benefits the researcher should use a 60 year lifecycle unless the researcher has a rationale for using another timeframe. As each method may have their own benefits depending on application, it may be concluded that cable burial method that is to be used could be a combination of these two methods. In this case, we would like to determine which setting each method is more conducive to.