The effects of higher strength and associated concrete properties on pavement performance.
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The effects of higher strength and associated concrete properties on pavement performance.

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    Final report; 1995-2000.
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    The major goal of this project was to develop recommendations for PCC properties and materials characteristics found

    in higher strength JPCP's with improved long-term performance as determined by joint spalling and faulting, and

    transverse slab cracking. Primary project variables were pavement age, climate, traffic (4 to 23 million ESALYs)d, istress

    levels and types, joint spacing, and compressive strength. Fifteen PCP's were selected for detailed field and laboratory

    investigation. The field compressive and tensile strengths (splitting) ranged from 33 to 75 MPa and from 3.1 to 4.5 MPa,


    Regular strength highway concrete with a design flexure strength of about 4.5 MPa can develop excellent long-term joint

    spalling resistance provided that (1) good sub-surface drainage conditions are present, (2) the concrete reaches low

    permeability level over time from additional curing (i.e. high resistance to physical and chemical deterioration from rapid '

    chloride and water permeability test), (3) it has good entrained air void system (i.e. 6 to 8.5 percent), and (4) sound

    aggregate are used in the concrete mix. Several different permeability tests were evaluated, and each showed a good

    correlation with compressive strength. The compressive strength test is therefore a good indicator of the permeability

    level. The range of low permeability can typically be achieved at a compressive strength range of 45 to50 MPa. Watercementitious

    ratio was found to be the major mix feature controlling compressive strength. This requires a concrete mix

    with a water-cementitious ratio of 0.42 to 0.45, a cement content of about 335 kg per m3 (6 sack mix typical for most

    SHA's), and well-graded quality aggregate. Several aggregate characteristics of the concrete mix were found important to

    achieve good long-term pavement performance. These included aggregate inertness with respect to AAR and F-T, and

    strong and large sized coarse aggregate to ensure good cracking resistance and aggregate interlock. In addition, wellgraded

    aggregate were beneficial in reducing the paste volume fraction. This results .in low coefficient of thermal

    expansion and drymg shrinkage, which both are important properties for avoiding premature transverse cracking. Given

    suflicient slab thickness, good long-term resistance to fatigue (transverse) cracking was found at any flexure strength level

    of 4.5 to 6 MPa, provided that loss of slab support from pumping erosion was not a factor. Joint faulting was found to be a

    consequence of factors causing pumping erosion and/or slab settlement and it was not affected by PCC strength level.

    Prototype mix designs were developed for different climate regions.

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