Modeling of Interaction Between Steel and Concrete in Continuously Reinforced Concrete Pavements

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CAIT project no.: CAIT-UTC-065

Fiscal Year: 2015/2016

Status: Final

Rutgers-CAIT Author(s): Cesar Cerrasco, Ph.D., Soheil Nazarian, Ph.D., Patrick Szary, Ph.D

External Author(s): Aldo Madrid, El Paso District Laboratory Manager

Sponsor(s): FHWA - RITA, Texas Department of Transportation


The performance of rigid pavements depends on the stresses and deflections imposed by repeated traffic and environmental loads. During the initial stages, cracks within CRCP develop due to temperature and moisture variations. After the pavement is subjected to traffic, cracks develop due to wheel loads. Crack spacing together with poor support conditions have shown a strong correlation with a high frequency of punchout distress (5). A reliable prediction of pavement responses is essential in a mechanistic-empirical design procedure to evaluate the effect of environmental and traffic loads and to estimate the frequency of distresses. The structural model used for those predictions should (1) adequately describe the pavement structure; (2) account for discontinuities in the pavement structures (cracks and joints); (3) analyze multi-wheel loading with non-uniform tire print distribution; and (4) analyze environmental loading (such as temperature curling and moisture warping).  The ultimate objective of the UTEP researchers is to take advantage of the existing capabilities in NYSLAB and upgrade it to be able to address issues mentioned above.  To accomplish this goal the work proposed here first seeks to analyze and develop numerical modeling tools that will allow us to better understand the interaction between the reinforcing steel and the concrete slab.