Mechanism of transverse crack development in continuously reinforced concrete pavement at early ages

Seongcheol Choi, Soojun Ha, Moon C. Won

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The transverse crack in continuously reinforced concrete pavement (CRCP), more specifically transverse crack spacing and crack widths, has been cited as one of the most important pavement structural responses determining CRCP performance. Efforts have been made to predict crack spacing and crack widths for given environmental conditions and traffic loading, pavement structure, and material properties, with the primary objective of developing rational CRCP designs. However, that most transverse cracks develop at or near transverse steel implies substantial interactions between transverse steel and other factors causing transverse cracks. These interactions have not been fully incorporated in the theoretical models developed so far to predict transverse crack spacing and crack widths in CRCP. This study investigated the interactions between transverse steel and other factors and identified the mechanisms of transverse crack development at or near the transverse steel. Drying shrinkage and temperature drop in concrete cause concrete volume contractions in all directions (not just transverse and longitudinal, but vertical directions as well). Interactions between concrete volume contraction vertically and transverse steel cause larger concrete tensile stresses at or near transverse steel than at other areas and cause a higher probability of transverse cracks near transverse steel. Traditionally, subgrade drag theory has been used in the design of transverse steel even though current practice is to place just enough transverse steel to support longitudinal steel during concrete placement. If transverse cracks have such substantial effects on CRCP performance as currently thought, interactions between transverse steel and other factors should be considered in the design of optimum transverse steel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-58
Number of pages17
JournalTransportation Research Record
Volume2524
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

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