Evaluation of Premature Cracking in Urban Concrete Pavement

This study investigated the causes for premature, transverse cracking on urban jointed plain concrete pavements in Illinois. A field survey of 67 sections throughout Illinois coupled with ultrasonic evaluation was completed to synthesize the extent of premature cracking on urban jointed plain concrete pavements (JPCP). The visual survey showed some transverse and longitudinal cracks were a result of improper slab geometry (excessive slab length and width). Ultrasonic tests over the contraction joints determined some notched joints had not activated and adjacent transverse cracks were likely formed as a result. Three-dimensional finite-element analyses confirmed that cracking would not develop as a result of normal environmental factors and slab-base frictional restraint. The concrete mixture also did not appear to be a contributing factor to the premature cracks. Finally, the lack of lubrication on dowel bars was determined to potentially be a primary mechanism that could restrain the transverse contraction joints, produce excessive tensile stresses in the slab, and cause premature transverse cracks to develop.


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  • Accession Number: 01762368
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-ICT-21-001, ICT-21-001, UILU-2021-2001
  • Contract Numbers: R27-193-4
  • Created Date: Jan 6 2021 1:29PM