FRP Dowel Bars in Reinforced Concrete Pavements


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Title: FRP Dowel Bars in Reinforced Concrete Pavements

Author(s): V.L. Brown and C.L. Bartholomew

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 138


Appears on pages(s): 813-830

Keywords: Corrosion; dowels; fiber reinforced plastics; fiberglass; freeze thaw durability; joints (junctions); paving; reinforced concrete; reinforcing steels; slabs

Date: 9/1/1993

In reinforced concrete pavements, dowel bars are typically used to transfer the load across the transverse joint from one pavement slab into the adjoining slab. Steel dowels have been used almost exclusively in these applications in the past. Because the bars cross construction joints, they are particularly susceptible to corrosion from the salts used for ice control. Corrosion can cause the dowel bar to fail or to freeze in the joint, resulting in pavement distress. As a solution to this problem, it would appear to be practical to fabricate the dowels from a material which is more resistant to corrosion from roadway salts than is steel. This paper presents the initial results from an investigation into the feasibility of substituting fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) dowel bars for steel bars in reinforced concrete pavements. FRP dowels are compared with steel dowels, both theoretically using a Friberg analysis and also experimentally through laboratory tests with scaled model slabs. It is concluded that the use of FRP dowels is feasible, provided that dowel diameters are increased approximately 20 to 30 percent.