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Analysis of concrete pavement blowups

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Concrete pavement blowups are caused by axial compression forces induced into the pavement by a rise in temperature and moisture. Although many papers and reports were published on this subject, research in this area has not resulted in an understanding of the blowup mechanism and the derivation of a generally accepted analysis.

Recently, A. D. Kerr and W. A. Dallis, Jr., presented an analysis based on the assumption that blowups are caused by lift-off buckling of the pavement, due to a rise in pavement temperature and moisture. In their analysis the nonlinear axial resistance between pavement and base was represented by a bilinear approximation. In the present paper this assumption is dropped, and a nonlinear expression is used instead. Although the resulting formulation is nonlinear (geometrical nonlinearity in the lift-off region and material nonlinearity in the adjoining regions) it was possible to solve it exactly and in closed form. The solutions yield the post-buckling displacements and the corresponding axial forces.

A “safe range” of temperature and moisture increases was defined and it is shown, using the obtained solutions, how this range is affected by the thickness of pavement, the axial shearing resistance at the interface of pavement and base, and other pavement parameters.

The presented results should contribute to a better understanding of the mechanics of pavement blowups and the determination of the essential parameters. It also provides guidelines for prescribing measures to reduce or totally eliminate blowups in concrete pavements.

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Research supported by the National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C., Grant CME 8001928.

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Kerr, A.D., Shade, P.J. Analysis of concrete pavement blowups. Acta Mechanica 52, 201–224 (1984).

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