A cradle is a structure, typically constructed from concrete or masonry, which provides structural support for various types of piping. This type of support is usually needed to mitigate the effects of possible differential settlement and also limits lateral movement which can adversely affect the performance of the newly installed pipe.
Trenchlesspedia Explains Cradle
Soil settlement can be potentially damaging to newly installed piping. As the soil moves downwards, it ceases to provide support to the pipe resting on it, leaving sections of the pipe run with support. To alleviate this concern, reinforced concrete cradles can be used to provide support for the pipe run. Similar to the footings of a building, the cradle transfers the load of the supported pipe to the ground level.
Cradles may also be used as anchor points for the placement of pipe restraints to prevent lateral movement of the pipe.
One concern with the use of cradles is that unwanted stress concentrations may arise since the pipe is rigidly held in place and not allowed to deflect or move. However, additional research is needed to properly assess the effects of cradles on concentrated pipe stresses.