3D Finite Element Study on Load Transfer at Doweled Joints in Flat and Curled Rigid Pavements
Publication Name: International Journal of Geomechanics
This study examines load transfer across doweled joints in rigid pavements using 3D finite element analysis. A recently developed dowel modeling strategy is employed that allows the efficient and rigorous consideration of dowel/slab interaction. Parametric studies on the response of a typical, dowel?retrofitted pavement system subjected to axle loads and varying degrees of slab curling are conducted. To examine the effect of slab support on pavement response, the studies consider two different foundation types: layered elastic with an asphalt?treated base and a dense liquid foundation. The results of the studies are discussed with emphasis on the effect of slab curling and foundation type on joint load transfer and the potential for joint distress. While there are significant differences in response for the ATB?supported slabs and the slabs founded on a dense liquid, slab curling does generally increase dowel shears and dowel/slab bearing stresses. However, further examination of the parametric study results that accounts for compressive fatigue of the concrete at the dowel/slab interface indicates that slab curling may not significantly increase the potential for damage to the slab concrete surrounding the dowels.