INVESTIGATION OF THE PERFORMANCE OF PARTING STRIPS IN THE FORMATION OF LONGITUDINAL JOINTS IN PCC PAVEMENTS. FINAL REPORT

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) first permitted constructors to use polyethylene parting strips for forming longitudinal joints in Portland Cement Concrete (PCC) pavements during the 1984 construction season. Prior to that time all longitudinal joints in PCC pavements were formed by sawing the pavement during initial curing. Recently several districts within the WisDOT have noticed deterioration along the longitudinal joints of pavements whose longitudinal joints were formed using parting strip. Data collection for this research project consisted of 1) observing the approximately 1,500 miles (2,414 km) of highways constructed in rural areas of Wisconsin since 1984; 2) selecting 20 sites for further study; 3) making observations of longitudinal joint performance and parting strip installation at the 20 sites; 4) collecting three core samples at each site; and 5) measuring the depth of the parting strip from the surface, angle from the vertical, and the amount of curvature for each of the 60 cores. Finally, a comparative analysis was performed between parting strip constructed pavements and those constructed by sawing, the currently accepted alternative longitudinal joint forming technique. This analysis was aimed at determining the relative performance of the two construction methods. This research concluded that improper installation of the parting strip leads to an increase in the amount of spalling along the longitudinal joint. However, based on a random sampling of projects it appears that parting strip constructed pavements exhibit less longitudinal joint distress than pavements constructed by sawing the longitudinal joint. As a result of this research investigation, the researchers recommend that polyethylene parting strip be allowed to continue as a method by which longitudinal joints are formed in PCC pavements for Wisconsin highways. However, it is recommended that the specification be modified so that the depth from the pavement surface to the uppermost edge of the parting strip be 1.8 in. +/- 1.8 in. (4.6 cm +/- 4.6 cm) at an angle between 0 deg and 7 deg from the vertical. Finally, it is recommended that a method by which the installation of the parting strip can be inspected be developed to ensure adherence to the specification.

  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Wisconsin, Madison

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    1415 Engineering Drive
    Madison, WI  United States  53706

    Wisconsin Department of Transportation

    Division of Highways, 3502 Kinsman Boulevard
    Madison, WI  United States  53704

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Russell, J S
    • Hanna, A S
    • Lawrence, S P
  • Publication Date: 1995-1

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: v.p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00674228
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: WI/S PR-04-94, Tech Rept 119
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Feb 6 1995 12:00AM