Venting manhole cover: A nonlinear spring-mass system

Arris S. Tijsseling, Jose G. Vasconcelos, Qingzhi Hou, Zafer Bozkus

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Manholes are vertical shafts connecting underground sewers with street-level terminals. They are covered by heavy lids. During periods of heavy rainfall, the air column in the upper part of the manhole may be compressed to such high level that the lid moves up. Of course, this is a dangerous situation for pedestrians and road traffic. Bolting the lid may provide a solution to the problem, but it is known that air pressurization underneath can result in structural damage. A simple model is proposed to describe the lifting of the lid (manhole cover). When the lid moves up, air is allowed to escape so that the lifting pressure decreases and the lid moves down, whereupon the air pressure increases again. This repetition might lead to the realistic phenomenon of the dancing manhole cover. Since the model is strongly nonlinear, interesting dynamic behavior is expected.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFluid-Structure Interaction
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780791883846
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventASME 2020 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference, PVP 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 3 Aug 2020 → …

Publication series

NameAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers, Pressure Vessels and Piping Division (Publication) PVP
ISSN (Print)0277-027X


ConferenceASME 2020 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference, PVP 2020
CityVirtual, Online
Period3/08/20 → …


  • Fluidstructure interaction (fsi)
  • Gas pocket
  • Liquid slug
  • Manhole cover
  • Mass oscillation
  • Nonlinear spring
  • Orifice
  • Vent


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