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South Dakota Department of Transportation
Project Synopsis

Title: Finger Spalling at PCC Pavement Joints
Project Researcher: Preston Schultz,
Project Manager:
Research Period: -
Cost: $0.00

Problem Statement:A large percentage of SDDOT PCC pavements have developed small spalls around the joints. Often the spalls appear during or immediately after construction. A typical finger spall is usually less than four inches long and one and one-half inches wide. Many factors have been suggested as the cause of finger spalls however, the specific cause is unknown. Since the cause is unknown, preventative methods are also unknown.

Finger spalls allow pavement joint seals to leak prematurely and cause a need for premature joint sealant repair. A failed joint sealant allows water and incompressibles to enter the joint. Once water and incompressible materials enter the joint they can cause further deterioration of the concrete and subgrade near the joint.


Research Objectives:
1  To identify factors which contribute to PCC joint finger spalling.
2  To evaluate methods for eliminating or minimizing spalling.
3  To evaluate the effect of finger spalls on PCC pavement life cycles.
4  To recommend specifications and/or procedures to significantly reduce joint finger spalls.

Research Tasks:
1  Conduct an extensive literature review including a review of work conducted in other states and agencies on PCC joint finger spalls.
2  Review past construction projects to determine the severity of finger spalling and attempt to correlate with construction practices and materials.
3  Inspect new projects to determine severity of joint finger spalling and attempt to correlate with constructions practices and materials.
4  Correlate the occurrenct of joint finger spalls with various pavement distress and the effect on pavement life cycles.
5  Identify new products, equipment, or construction methods that may prevent joint finger spalling.
6  Select and install a test section witht ehnew product, equipment, or construction method that appears to have the greatest potential for minimizing or preventing joint finger spalls in South Dakota.
7  Evaluate the effectiveness of selected products, equipment, or construction methods to their ability to prevent finger spalling.
8  Provide a final report summarizing relevant literature, research methodology, data, findings, and conclusions.

Documents Available:

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