FRP dowels for concrete pavements

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Eddie, Darren
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Steel dowels currently used for highway pavement could cause severe deterioration of concrete highway pavements due to the expansion of steel during the corrosion process. A corrosion-free alternative, such as Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) dowels, could provide a promising solution to extend the service life of concrete pavements. FRP materials have exceptionally high tensile strength in the direction of the fibers, however, it has a relatively low strength in the perpendicular direction. In order to study the behaviour of FRP dowels and compare their behaviour to conventional epoxy-coated steel dowels, an experimental program was undertaken at the University of Manitoba. A total of twelve full-scale models representing a section of highway pavement slab were tested. The specimens included two dowels of either Glass Fibre Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) dowels or conventional epoxy-coated steel dowels. The slab/joint system was placed on a simulated base that provides two levels of stiffness conditions. The joint was tested under an equivalent AASHTO half axle truck load. The specimens were tested under static and cyclic loading conditions using a servohydraulic MTS loading system. Nine slabs were tested to determine the joint effectiveness under static loads while the remaining three slabs were tested under cyclic loading to examine the behaviour un er repeated loads. The dowel materials within the slab/joint systems were epoxy-coated steel, as well as two products of Glass FRP. This thesis summarizes the test setup, test results, and the recommendation for the use of GFRP dowels for concrete pavements including a discussion on the first in field application of GFRP dowels in Canada.