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Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering

On-line version ISSN 2309-8775
Print version ISSN 1021-2019


SMIT, M S  and  KEARSLEY, E P. Load spreading in ultra-thin high-strength steel-fibre-reinforced concrete pavements. J. S. Afr. Inst. Civ. Eng. [online]. 2021, vol.63, n.4, pp.45-52. ISSN 2309-8775.

Ultra-Thin Continuously Reinforced Concrete Pavement (UTCRCP) consists of a 50 mm thin High-Strength Steel-Fibre-Reinforced Concrete (HS-SFRC) overlay placed on existing pavements as rehabilitation or used as part of new pavements. Difficulties have been experienced with the construction of UTCRCP. Additionally, the thin HS-SFRC has superior fatigue properties, but poor load-spreading ability compared to conventional concrete pavements due to its reduced thickness. This results in high deflections when the pavement is loaded. The substructure of UTCRCP plays an important role in its performance. Cement-stabilised granular materials can be used to ensure gradual load spreading with depth, but its behaviour under flexible concrete layers is not yet well understood. In this study the effect of increasing the HS-SFRC layer thickness and the effect of incorporating cement-stabilised base layers were investigated using linear elastic finite element modelling. From stress levels calculated, it was found that C1 and C2 materials perform well underneath a 50 mm HS-SFRC layer subjected to standard axle loads of 80 kN, while C3 and C4 would deteriorate faster. Stabilised layers placed below a thin, flexible concrete layer may however crack, resulting in increased damage to supporting layers. It is recommended that the response of UTCRCP should be investigated using advanced material models for the cement-stabilised base and other substructure layers.

Keywords : ultra-thin concrete pavements; cement-stabilised bases; finite element modelling; load spreading.

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