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Laboratory Testing and Analysis of Joints for Rigid Pavements
Kentucky Transportation Center Research Report
  • Chelliah Madasamy, University of Kentucky
  • Issam E. Harik, University of Kentucky
  • David L. Allen, University of Kentucky
  • L. John Fleckenstein, University of Kentucky

The primary objective of this study was to analyze the concrete pavement system under nonlinear temperature distribution and vehicle wheel loading. The jointed concrete pavement system consists of concrete slabs with transverse and longitudinal joints, dowel bars (across transverse joints), tie bars (across longitudinal joints), subbase and subgrade soil. Under the loading conditions the pavement structural system may fail by cracking of the concrete slab, loss-of-support of slab due to temperature induced curling, closing and opening of joints, and failure of load transfer devices such as dowel bars, etc. In order to understand the cause of these failures or to achieve an economical design, the state of stress in the pavement system should be determined. It is very difficult to predict the stresses accurately in the pavement system with discontinuities and complex support conditions using conventional classical methods. Therefore, this project uses the ANSYS finite element software.

A literature review was performed to identify and evolve an accurate finite element model. It was found from this review that there were difficulties in incorporating the dowel-concrete interface, loss-of-support, contact conditions at the joints, nonlinear temperature distribution, etc. Since there has been no systematic comparison between the experiment and theoretical analysis in the past, the present study conducted the following laboratory testing to determine the respective stiffness quantities: (I) Doweled concrete blocks under bending and shear load, (2) Concrete blocks with tie bars under bending and shear load, (3) Concrete blocks with aggregate interlock joints under shear load, and (4) Concrete blocks with sealed joints under shear load The stiffness values derived from these testing procedures is to be used in the evolution of a finite element model for the concrete pavement system.

In addition to this, it is recommended that field measurement of temperature distribution through the thickness of the slab be performed. Finally, a full-scale field testing using FWD is also recommended. The test results obtained from this full-scale testing could be used to assess the validity of the finite element model.

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The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, nor the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. The inclusion of manufacturer names and trade names are for identification purposes and are not to be considered as endorsements.

Citation Information
Chelliah Madasamy, Issam E. Harik, David L. Allen and L. John Fleckenstein. "Laboratory Testing and Analysis of Joints for Rigid Pavements" (1999)
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