The Versatility of Corrugated Metal Pipe

While many people can easily picture a length of pipe under a driveway when asked if they have seen corrugated metal pipe (CMP), most people are unaware of the versatility the product. CMP has been produced since the early 1900’s, and it has evolved to fill the need for many requirements. Here are some benefits which might be applicable to your project.

  1. Sizes and Shapes – CMP is made in round pipe diameters from 6” through 144” (and even larger under certain conditions), and in arched (Pipe Arch) and elongated (typically 5%) shapes where cover heights or clearance requirements are critical. Structural Plate, which are field-bolted corrugated plates, is also available to even further expand the size and shape options! (Conventional structural plate supports spans to 26’ and deep corrugated plates can handle clear spans to approximately 70’.)
  2. Service Life – CMP is available in either steel or aluminum, and there are a number of coating options that may be applied to steel. Service life estimates of 100 years or more are common for applications, depending on the site conditions.
  3. Applications – While often used at subdrainage, culvert and storm sewer sites, CMP can be found in a broad variety of other applications as well. These include underground detention systems, pond risers, dams and levees, caissons, pedestrian tunnels, relines of existing structures, grade separations, aggregate conveyor housings, and aerial conduits. Many other very unique applications have been provided over the years, so check with Contech if you have a special need!

    Example: CMP Riser Stacks for Air Venting
  4. Strength – CMP is capable of handling vehicular and soil loadings which vary depending on the project requirements, and an option can typically be designed to suit your needs.
  5. Hydraulics – In drainage applications, CMP may be supplied with a Manning’s “n” coefficient as low as 0.012 if needed in order to increase the flow capacity of a pipe size that is restricted by the available headroom.
  6. Custom Fabrications – While CMP is factory-made in lengths that are typically 20’ to 24’ long, a site may require horizontal and/or vertical turns and bends, and there may be a need for other pipes to inlet or outlet into a pipe run. The ends of a run may need a skew or a bevel (or even a combination skew and bevel!) to match the site grading. Shop cutting and welding is available to eliminate the need for this work to be done in the field, and for faster installation time.
  7. Acceptance and Shipping – AASHTO, AREMA, the FHWA, the FAA, the Army COE and most state DOT’s approve of the use of CMP. Steel pipe is produced from coils that are made in the USA, and all fabrication is completed in plants that are located across the country to minimize shipping costs. Over-sized loads may be accommodated, and pipes of varying sizes may be nested inside of each other on a truck to maximize the footage of pipe per truckload.

Please check-out Contech’s website at as well as the National Corrugated Steel Pipe Association (NCSPA) at for much more information to assist you with your project!