Asbestos cement (AC) pipes are among the oldest assets in many water supply networks. With increasing failure rates and cost consequences, asset management tools are required to pre-empt unplanned failures and schedule future replacement at the most cost-effective time during service. This paper develops a physical probabilistic failure model for AC pipes under combined internal pressure and external loading. Uncertainty in the degradation process is accounted for using the Weibull extreme value probability distribution. Monte Carlo simulation is then used to estimate the probability of pipe failure as ageing proceeds. In the final stage of the model, a cost/benefit analysis is conducted to determine optimal scheduling of future inspection and replacement activities. The end result is a potentially useful asset management methodology in which both the probable physical lifetime and the economic lifetime of an AC pipe can be estimated.

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