Improvement of Portland Cement Concrete Pavement Performance
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Improvement of Portland Cement Concrete Pavement Performance

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    A general hydration model for cementitious materials and a model to predict the temperature gain in hardening concrete is developed and calibrated. A model to predict initial and final setting of hardening concrete is presented, and calibrated, with data collected under laboratory and field conditions. The effects of concrete temperature, different cements, and mineral admixtures on the initial and final times are characterized. Mathematical models were developed for the calculation of moisture and temperature profiles to help investigate the effect of different combinations of climate, construction, and materials on the development of the moisture and temperature profiles and their subsequent effects on early-aged cracking. The sensitivity of the design variables to the behavior of continuously reinforced concrete pavement (CRCP) has been investigated using mechanistic models of CRCP. The zero-stress temperature and the coefficient of thermal expansion of concrete are the most sensitive design variables, and the steel bar diameter and the vertical stiffness of underlying layers are the least sensitive variables. The effect of early opening to traffic on the life of Portland cement concrete pavement systems was evaluated using experiments and mathematical model. A series of laboratory fatigue tests and accelerated fatigue tests on full-scale concrete slabs were performed. An analytical model for the numerical simulation for the prediction of the loss of life of a PCC pavement due to early opening was developed. The current opening criteria used by the Texas Department of Transportation appear to be reasonable based on the sensitivity analysis results.
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