NRRA: Solutions to Mitigate Dowel and Tie-Bar Propagated Cracking - Phase 1

Status:  Complete
Report Date:  04/23/2024


This Phase 1 study was undertaken to evaluate cracking related to dowel bars and tie bars in concrete pavement. The results of the literature review and field studies suggest that under some conditions, restraint caused by dowel bars and tie bars in the concrete result in high early age stresses that contribute to cracking. Field evaluation of six sites conducted as part of this research suggests that this type of cracking is not an isolated phenomenon. While a notional description of the potential mechanism is described in this report, details regarding the extent to which various factors impact this type of cracking and appropriate reasonable steps to take to mitigate this type of cracking is not fully understood. To gain a more detailed understanding, a combination of finite element (FE) analysis with laboratory experiment is proposed for Phase 2. The analysis proposed includes an evaluation of key parameters and their influence on dowel bar cracking followed by validation through laboratory experimentation and model refinement.

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