Dowel Bar Optimization: Phases I and II, October 2001

(2001) Dowel Bar Optimization: Phases I and II, October 2001. Iowa State University


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America’s roadways are in serious need of repair. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), one-third of the nation’s roads are in poor or mediocre condition. ASCE has estimated that under these circumstances American drivers will sacrifice $5.8 billion and as many as 13,800 fatalities a year from 1999 to 2001 ( 1). A large factor in the deterioration of these roads is a result of how well the steel reinforcement transfers loads across the concrete slabs. Fabricating this reinforcement using a shape conducive to transferring these loads will help to aid in minimizing roadway damage. Load transfer within a series of concrete slabs takes place across the joints. For a typical concrete paved road, these joints are approximately 1/8-inch gaps between two adjacent slabs. Dowel bars are located at these joints and used to transfer load from one slab to its adjacent slabs. As long as the dowel bar is completely surrounded by concrete no problems will occur. However, when the hole starts to oblong a void space is created and difficulties can arise. This void space is formed due to a stress concentration where the dowel contacts the concrete. Over time, the repeated process of traffic traveling over the joint crushes the concrete surrounding the dowel bar and causes a void in the concrete. This void inhibits the dowel’s ability to effectively transfer load across the joint. Furthermore, this void gives water and other particles a place to collect that will eventually corrode and potentially bind or lock the joint so that no thermal expansion is allowed. Once there is no longer load transferred across the joint, the load is transferred to the foundation and differential settlement of the adjacent slabs will occur.

Item Type: Departmental Report
Keywords: Pavementts, Concrete, joints, Dowels
Subjects: Transportation > Design and Construction
Transportation > Roads and highways
Transportation > Research
Transportation > Research > Concrete
ID Code: 2628
Deposited By: Margaret Barr
Deposited On: 06 Jul 2005
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2005