Analysis of Stress Relaxation in Jointed Plain Concrete Pavements

Mauricio Pradena, Lambert Houben


The cracks in concrete pavements are formed at early-age as consequence of internal stresses in the concrete. Therefore, the stress relaxation has an essential influence on the cracking process. To model this process allows to identify, for instance, the time for saw-cutting the joints or the cracks width that affects load transfer. Previously, the authors proposed a new equation of the relaxation factor, based on a theoretical and practical analysis of the transversal cracking in jointed plain concrete pavements. The objective of the present paper is to analyze the utility of this new equation of relaxation in the design and construction of jointed plain concrete pavements. For that, other cracking processes in plain concrete pavements (jointed and non-jointed) were modelled with the proposed equation. Wherever is possible the modelling results were compared with observations of the real behaviour of pavements. From the design point of view, with the modelling results of transverse crack width (>1.0 mm) is possible to considerate in the design, optimal slabs length with thinner cracks for better aggregate interlock. And for the longitudinal cracking in jointed plain concrete pavements, the modelling and the field observations, yield cracks width that provide load transfer (<0.1 mm). From the construction point of view, the cracking process in non-jointed plain concrete pavements, shows is possible to construct pavements of 7 m width in one gang without cracks risk, and adjustments can be made to a better prediction of the time of occurrence of the 1st transverse cracks.


stress relaxation; model; jointed plain concrete pavements; cracking; saw-cut; load transfer

Full Text:



Atrushi, D. 2003. Tensile and Compressive Creep of Early Age Concrete: Testing and Modelling. PhD thesis. Trondheim: The Norwegian University of Science and Technology. 314 p.

Davids, W. G.; Mahoney J. P. 1999. Experimental Verification of Rigid Pavement Joint Load Transfer Modelling with EverFE, Transportation Research Record 1684: 81–89.

Houben, L. J. M. 2010a. Model for Transversal Cracking in Non-Jointed Plain Concrete Pavements as a Function of the Temperature Variations and the Time of Construction [CD- ROM], in Proc. of the 7th International DUT-Workshop on Design and Performance of Sustainable and Durable Concrete Pavement. 10‒11 October 2010, Carmona, Spain.

Houben, L. J. M. 2010b. Transversal Cracking in Jointed Plain Concrete Pavements for Dutch Climatic Conditions [CD- ROM], in Proc. of the 7th International DUT-Workshop on Design and Performance of Sustainable and Durable Concrete Pavement. 10–11 October 2010, Carmona, Spain.

Lokhorst, S. J. 2001. Deformational Behaviour of Concrete Influenced by Hydration Related Changes of the Microstructure. Report No. 25.5-99-05. Delft: University of Technology. 168 p.

Morimoto, H.; Koyanagi, W. 1995. Estimation of Stress Relaxation in Concrete at Early Ages, in Proc. of the RILEM International Symposium on Thermal Cracking in Early Ages. Ed. by Springenschnidt, R., 10–12 October 1994, Munich, Germany. London: E&FN Spon, 96–102.

Okamoto, P. A.; Nussbaum, P. J.; Smith, K. D.; Darter, M. I.; Wilson, T. P.; Wu, C. L.; Tayabji, S. D. 1994. Guidelines for Timing Contraction Joint Sawing and Earliest Loading for Concrete Pavements, vol. 1. Report No. FHWA-RD-91-079, Federal Highway Administration, Washington DC. 268 p.

Pradena, M. A.; Houben, L. J. M. 2012a. Early Age Deformation and Internal Stresses in Jointed Plain Concrete Pavements for Dutch Conditions [CD-ROM], in Proc. of the 2nd International Conference on Microstructural-related Durability of Cementitious Composites. Ed. by Ye, G.; Van Breugel, K.; Sun, W.; Miao, C., 11–13 April 2012, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Bagreux: RILEM Publications. ISBN 9782351581292.

Pradena, M. A.; Houben, L. J. M. 2012b. New Model for Longitudinal Cracking in Non-Jointed Plain Concrete Pavements, in Proc. of the 2nd International Conference on Sustainable Construction Materials: Design, Performance and Application. Ed. by Wu, S.; Mo, L.; Huang, B.; Bowers, B., 18–22 October 2012, Wuhan, China. ASCE publications. ISBN: 978-0-7844-1267-1.

Pradena, M.A.; Houben, L.J.M. 2014. Sustainable Pavements: an Analysis of the Crack Width in Jointed Plain Concrete Pavements with Short Slabs, in Proc. of the 14th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference on “Nano, Bio and Green – Technologies for a Sustainable Future”. 19–25 June 2014, Albena, Bulgaria. Sofia: SGEM, 347–354.

Roesler, J.; Cervantes, V.; Amirkhanian, A. 2012. Accelerated Performance Testing of Concrete Pavement with Short Slabs, International Journal of Pavement Engineering 13(6): 494–507.

Ye, G.; Koenders, E.; van Breugel, K. 2007. HYMOSTRUC: An Advanced Program for Prediction of Mechanical Properties and Durability of Civil Engineering Structures, in Proc. of the 11th International Conference on “Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering Computing”. Ed. by Topping, B. H. V., 18–21 September 2007, St. Julians, Malta. Stirlingshire: Civil- Comp Press, Paper 4.

Zhang, J.; Li, V. 2001. Influence of Supporting Base Characteristics on Shrinkage-Induced Stresses in Concrete Pavements, Journal of Transportation Engineering 127(6): 455–462.

DOI: 10.3846/bjrbe.2015.06


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2015 Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VGTU) Press Technika