Construction of concrete pavements has gained momentum in India for reasons of durability, maintenance-free service and lower life-cycle cost. Stress computation in the Guidelines for the Design of Plain Jointed Rigid Pavements for Highways (IRC:58-2011 and IRC:58-2015) is given for 3.5 m wide pavement with and without tied shoulder while slab widths of 4 m, 4.5 m, and 5.0 m are being adopted with a single longitudinal joint in a 9 m or 8.5m wide pavement. It is, therefore, necessary to examine the stresses for bottom-up and top-down cracking for the slab sizes of greater widths adopted in practice. There is a possibility of longitudinal top-down cracking (LTDC) during the night hours due to tandem and tridem axles. The paper presents analyses of pavements of different widths using Finite Element Approach and it is found that stresses may not cause bottom up cracking. However, there is a possibility of longitudinal cracking if load transfer across the longitudinal joints is not ensured. Existing recommendation for lane addition in IRC: 58-2015 needs to be amended to ensure load transfer at joints.
Contributors: Swarna, S. T., Reddy, M. A., & Pandey, B. B.
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