Scour protection of submarine pipelines using rubber plates underneath the pipes

Lipeng Yang, Bing Shi, Yakun Guo, Lixiang Zhang, Jisheng Zhang, Yan Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents the results from laboratory experiments to investigate the protection of scour around submarine pipelines under unidirectional flow using a rubber plate placed underneath the pipes. The pressure difference on the two sides of the pipeline is the driving force to initiate the movement of sediment particles and can be obtained by force balance analysis. Experiments covering a wide range of incoming flow velocity, pipe diameter and plate length show that there exists a critical pressure difference over which the movement of sediment and, thus, scour takes place. Analysis of the experimental results demonstrates that this critical pressure difference is related to the pressure difference of the axial points between upstream and downstream of the pipe, which can be easily determined. This critical pressure difference is used to develop an empirical formula for estimating the critical length of the rubber plate, over which the sediment movement and scour will not take place. Good agreement between the experiments and calculated critical plate length using the proposed formula is obtained.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-182
Number of pages7
JournalOcean Engineering
Early online date4 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2014


  • submarine pipeline
  • unidirectional flow
  • rubber plate
  • critical pressure difference
  • critical length of plate


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