Analysis of the Response of Concrete Pavement Slabs Jointed by Dowel Bars


The present paper aims to contribute to the study of the structural response of concrete slabs jointed by dowel bars in pavements. As is known, a common construction technique of pavements is this one that uses concrete slabs interconnected each other in both directions by equidistant dowel steel bars. A common problem of significant importance on the structural response of these jointed concrete slabs is the pull-out phenomenon of the dowel bars from the neighbouring slabs during certain loading processes (vehicle passing). In the present paper the structural response of a discrete numerical model of pavement is mathematically described in a variational from that expresses from the standpoint of Mechanics, the principle of virtual work for the concrete pavement slab at hand. This formulation leads equivalently to the formulation of a substationarity problem of the potential energy of the structure. The latter is effectively numerically treated by applying an effective algorithm appropriately combined to a finite element computer code. In the last part of the paper, a numerical example illustrates the proposed method.

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