A Different Perspective for Investigation of PCC Pavement Deterioration, HR-2074, Interim Report, 1996

(1996) A Different Perspective for Investigation of PCC Pavement Deterioration, HR-2074, Interim Report, 1996. Transportation, Department of


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Many early Iowa Portland Cement Concrete (PCC) pavements provided good performance without deterioration for more than 50 years. In the late 1950's, Iowa was faced with severe PCC pavement deterioration called D cracking due to crushed limestone containing a bad pore system. Selective quarrying solved the problem. In 1990, cracking deterioration was identified on a three year old US 20 pavement in central Iowa. The coarse aggregate was a crushed limestone with an excellent history of performance in PCC pavement. Examination of cores showed very few cracks through the coarse aggregate particles. The cracks were predominately confined to the matrix. A high resolution, low vacuum Hitachi Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) with an energy dispersion detector was used to investigate the deterioration. Subsequent evaluation identified very little concentration of silica gel (silicon-Si), but did identify substantial amounts of sulfur-s and aluminum-Al (assumed to be ettringite) in the air voids. Some of these voids have cracks radiating from them leading us to conclude that the ettringite filled voids were a center of pressure causing the crack. The ettringite in the voids, after being subjected to sodium chloride (NaCl) brine, initially swells and then dissolves. The research has led to the conclusion that the premature deterioration may be due to ettringite and may have been mistakenly identified as Alkali-Silica reactivity (ASR).

Item Type: Departmental Report
Keywords: Alkali silica reactions, Concrete pavements, Crushed limestone, D cracking, Defects, Electron microscopy, Ettringite, Pavement cracking, Pavement distress, Pavements, Porosity, Portland cement concrete, Sodium chloride, Swelling
Subjects: Transportation > Pavements
Transportation > Pavements > Concrete
Transportation > Roads and highways
Transportation > Research
Transportation > Research > Concrete
Transportation > Maintenance and preservation
ID Code: 22009
Deposited By: Iowa DOT Library
Deposited On: 02 May 2016 16:17
Last Modified: 02 May 2016 16:17
URI: https://publications.iowa.gov/id/eprint/22009