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Concrete pavements’ repair techniques and numerical assessment of dowel bar load transfer efficiency

Time: Tue 2024-03-12 13.00

Location: B3, Brinellvägen 23, Stockholm

Video link:

Language: English

Subject area: Civil and Architectural Engineering, Concrete Structures

Doctoral student: Saima Yaqoob , Byggvetenskap, Concrete Structures

Opponent: Dr. Anne Beeldens, KU Leuven

Supervisor: Professor Johan Silfwerbrand, Byggvetenskap; Dr. Larissa Strömberg,

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QC 240207


Concrete pavements are a suitable alternative for high-traffic volume roads, concentrated loads and roads exposed to severe weather conditions. In Sweden, among other reasons, the scarcity of concrete pavements is attributed to the need for more national knowledge and expertise in the field. The most recent concrete pavement was constructed seventeen years ago in Uppsala. Concrete pavements are renowned for their longevity and durability. Jointed plain concrete pavements (JPCP) are the most frequent type of concrete pavements. However, it is important to note that the joints in concrete pavements are critical components that can lead to various distresses, necessitating rehabilitation. Rehabilitating concrete pavements is particularly challenging in areas with heavy traffic and requires substitute routes because of the imperative to maintain traffic flow during construction. Developing effective detours might involve significant alterations to the existing routes or building temporary roads, which entails substantial cost investment and time consumption.

A literature review has been conducted to study the available methods that can be used to repair concrete pavements. The strategy for selecting a repair technique is based on rehabilitating the concrete pavement within a short work window, deterring traffic congestion and ensuring the long service life of the pavements. The study showed that the precast concrete technology based on the precast slab is a promising technology that effectively shortens the lane closure for repairing damaged pavements and produces durable pavements, thereby extending the service life of pavements. However, the construction or rehabilitation cost of concrete pavement using precast slabs is 1.6 to 4 times higher than that of conventional cast-in-place concrete. Therefore, rehabilitation using precast slabs is inappropriate for low-traffic roads and temporary routes.

Joints are crucial for the rehabilitation of concrete pavements with precast slabs. The structural performance of concrete pavement is, however, greatly affected by the joints, as the presence of joints creates a discontinuity between adjacent slabs and thus diminishes the load transfer to the abutting slab. To maintain the structural integrity of the pavement system, dowel bars are used at the transverse joints.

A numerical study has been conducted to evaluate the influence of various dowel-related parameters on the interaction between adjacent concrete slabs. The study revealed that the dowel bar’s position, mislocation and diameter had an obvious effect on joint efficiency, while the bond between the concrete slab and the dowel bar slightly affected the load transfer efficiency. It was also investigated that the dowel bar’s intended performance, i.e., load transfer efficiency, was reduced as the joint gap between adjacent slabs increased.