Concrete Pavement Without Dowel Bars

Paper by VÁZQUEZ from ISCR 10th 2006 Brussels Belgium

The joint system presented herein takes advantage of the natural development of shrinkage in concrete to induce the formation of joints along the projections of previously placed system devices. Such system induces in an in-situ concrete pavement an efficient interlocking indentation among the slab elements resulting from the shrinkage phenomenon. These joints have two characteristic missions: to transfer the loads between slabs and to waterproof the pavement. Transmission elements have been tested to obtain the shear-stress induced rupture load. A brief description of such test results is also included and a comparison is made with the performance of traditional dowels. The slabs form a three-dimensional “puzzle” that prevents vertical differential displacements from occurring among their edges. Nevertheless, each of them can adapt itself to the movements caused by temperature variations without compulsion of the adjacent one. Therefore, it suffices to study a slab supported along its edges when subjected to the simultaneous action of thermal gradients and loads. This mechanism is explained through a simplified calculation method. Up to now, this joint system has been used satisfactorily for concrete pavements in urban roads and highways, as well as in tramway tracks and in harbor and airport platforms. Railways, channels, tunnels, dams, culverts and dikes are potential areas of future application.

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