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South Dakota Department of Transportation
Project Synopsis

Title: Construction & Evaluation of NMFRC PCC Pavement
Project Researcher: V Ramakrishnan, SDSM&T
Project Manager:
Research Period: -
Cost: $0.00

Problem Statement:Due to a decaying infrastructure and tightening budget constraints, transportation engineers are being challenged to replace existing PCC pavements economically with an increase in performance. In an attempt to economically increase the performance of South Dakotas highway network, the Department has pursued the use of a new type of fiber reinforced concrete in its PCC pavements and structures.

Technological advances in fiber reinforced concrete (FRC) offer possible solutions to these problems [1 to 4]. Some advantages of FRC appear to be: pavements may be constructed with thinner cross-sections and have performance characteristics and constructability comparable to the thicker non-fiber reinforced concrete; FRC may reduce spalling even in concrete with quartzite aggregate which has a higher thermal coefficient than other aggregate types; joint spacing may be increased due to FRCs enhanced properties, therefore reducing maintenance; 3Ms polyolefin fibers have advantages over steel fibers in that they are chemically resistant and have a lower corrosive potential [5 to 24].

SDDOTs research project, SD94-04 Evaluation of Non-Metallic Fiber Reinforced Concrete in PCC Pavements and Structures, constructed 4 different test sections using 3Ms Polyolefin Fiber System. The test sections were: 1) full depth pavement, 2) bridge deck overlay, 3) Jersey Barrier, and 4) whitetopping. Also the other SDDOT project, Demonstration of Polyolefin Fiber Reinforced Concrete in a Bridge Deck Replacement, 1995-96, used 3Ms Polyolefin fibers. The test section included, the replacement of the deck slab and both barriers for a bridge across Interstate 90 at Exit 10. Minimal or no additional effort was needed during the construction of these test sections due to the addition of the fibers. The preliminary field inspections show that the non-metallic fiber reinforced concrete (NMFRC) is performing well in each application [5,24]. The improved properties make polyolefin fiber reinforced concrete an attractive material for concrete pavements. Before NMFRCs use in full depth pavements could be accepted, the following items needed to be addressed: the constructability and economic impacts of using these fibers needed to be determined in order to support its continued use; design criteria needed to be established to determine pavement thickness, joint spacing, etc.; the effectiveness of load transfer across joints and random cracks needed to be determined; and the behavior of jointed and unjointed slabs needed to be addressed.

There was an urgent need for the proposed research in order to find answers for the above stated problems. Due to the favorable performance of the relatively small NMFRC test sections, constructed as part of SD94-04, construction of larger full depth pavement test sections in SD96-15 which exhibit full-scale behavior using a fiber addition rate of 15 kg/m3 (25 lbs/yd3) answered many of the questions.


Research Objectives:
1  To recommend NMFRC full-depth pavement designs that will enhance PCC performance
2  To evaluate constructability and performance of NMFRC full depth pavement.
3  To evaluate the economic impacts of using NMFRC full depth pavement.

Research Tasks:
1  Meet with Technical Panel to discuss the research topic and work plan.
2  Review and summarize literature relevant to FRC in full depth pavement applications
3  Propose the testing program, including lab and field tests and field evaluations that will be performed. In addition to the same lab and field tests that were performed in SD94-04, testing and evaluation should identify the behavior of the pavement a
4  In consideration of NMFRC's enhanced properties, analyze the pavement designs proposed in tasks 5 and 6, assess their feasibility, and recommend design details such as joint spacing and initial saw cut depths for transverse and longitudinal joints.
5  Evaluate NMFRC full depth pavement test sections from design through construction and subsequent service performance with special attention to pavement distress and load transfer. The panel envisions the following test and control sections: two dowel
6  Design undoweled NMFRC full pavement test sections by modifying the PCA pavement thickness design method as outlined in SD95-20 and using appropriate NMFRC test data. Evaluate an NMFRC pavement from design through construction and subsequent service
7  Recommend design, testing, and construction guidelines for using NMFRC in full depth pavements based on results from the test sections.
8  Using cost data available from SDDOT and others, compare the performance and life-cycle costs of NMFRC pavement and plain concrete pavements. NMFRC cost estimates should assume that its use becomes common construction practice and is no longer experi
9  Provide an interim report 90 days after the test sections are constructed. The interim report should document the construction evaluation, material properties, early performance of the test and control sections, and should include sketches showing re
10  Submit a final report summarizing relevant literature, research methodology, test results, specifications, design standards, conclusions, and recommemdations.

Documents Available:

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