Longitudinal Cracking

Longitudinal cracking is cracking that runs along the length of a pipe or road.

Longitudinal Cracking in Pipes

Longitudinal cracks are splits along the length of a pipe. These types of cracks occur most commonly in large diameter pipes ( e.g > 200 mm).



  • internal pressure, in the case of rising main,
  • loads due to soil cover or external loading such as heavy vehicular loads.

Longitudinal Cracking in Roads

Longitudinal cracking is cracking in the surface of road that runs longitudinally along the pavement. It can consist of a single crack or as a series of parallel cracks.



As with other sealed road failure modes there are two main attributes taken into account when measuring longitudinal cracking; extent & severity.

Cracking Extent is the percentage of the road surface subject to cracking.
Cracking Severity is related to the width of cracks and is typcially recorded as a number.


Longitudinal Cracking can occur for a number of reasons, including;

  • the reflection of a crack or joint in the road pavement,
  • poorly constructed joints in the asphalt surface;
  • asphalt hardening,
  • diurnal temperature fluctuations.

Where a number of parrallel cracks exist, this may be the result of;

  • an expansive clay sub-grade,
  • a cyclical weakening of the pavement edge,
  • differential settlement between cut & fill.

External Links & References

  1. A Guide to the Visual Assessment of Pavement Condition
  2. Google Search
  3. Pavement Interactive
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