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Infiltrator Chambers and Tanks - The Mechanics of Corrugated Thermoplastic Structures

Corrugated shapes are commonplace in a variety of materials today including but not limited to corrugated cardboard, plastic sheet, metal siding and roofing, and metal and thermoplastic pipe. The undulating shapes of corrugations provide greater strength to products than what they would have using just a flat sheet of the same material. For example, corrugated metal roofing is better able to support a heavy snow load than a flat sheet of the same metal. The advantage corrugated shapes provide is the creation of many small interconnected “beams” that collectively serve as reinforcing structures, leading to improved load-resisting capability. Infiltrator’s molded thermoplastic Quick4 and Arc chambers and IM-Series tanks employ corrugated designs. 

Beams support bridges and buildings all around us.  The beams supporting a bridge or roof system for a building are visible from below and can help gain an understanding for how the structure supports itself.  Beams come in many sizes and shapes, from the traditional “I” shape, or “I-beam,” to square and rectangular configurations, referred to as “box girders.”  The traditional I-beam includes three components, the web, which is the vertical portion of the “I” shape, and two flanges, which are the horizontal sections connected to the top and bottom ends of the web.  A typical I-beam is shown below, along with an example of I-beams on a bridge under construction.

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