High-Performance Concrete Carpet: A New Concept of Concrete Pavement


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Title: High-Performance Concrete Carpet: A New Concept of Concrete Pavement

Author(s): F. de Larrard

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 228


Appears on pages(s): 959-970

Keywords: buckling, cracking; high-performance concrete; pavement; test section; wearing course

Date: 6/1/2005

LCPC (Central Laboratory for Roads and Bridges, a French public research laboratory) has developed for five years a new concept of concrete pavement. It is based upon the following ideas: - High-Performance Concrete shows unique qualities with regard to pavement applications, like high tensile strength, durability, freeze-thaw resistance, abrasion resistance and prevention of steel corrosion; - but economy does not promote the use of HPC in conventional pavement, since the gain in flexural strength leads to a decrease in slab thickness, which does not compensate the increase of material unit cost (i.e. the cost per unit surface increases when replacing normal- by high-strength concrete); - HPC qualities are mostly desirable at the top surface of the pavement. Therefore, HPC Carpet consists in a thin, 60-mm HPC wearing course, reinforced by a welded wire mesh, cast upon a conventional concrete (or cement-treated material) structural layer. Thanks to a complex of polymer and geotextile, there is no bond between the two layers, so that reflexive cracking from the base to the course layer is avoided. However, cracking due to traffic loads is permitted in both directions, the dense reinforcement being supposed to maintain the course layer integrity. The paper will give an overview of this research, which encompassed design calculations, thermal instability verification, fatigue tests on a 10-m full scale model and an experimental construction site near Lyon (France). Here, a 120-m long test section has been built in 2003, and is currently submitted to a heavy truck traffic. To date, the behavior is excellent. In conclusion, the economical potential of this new concept will be highlighted. Rehabilitation of old concrete pavements – where slabs are partly cracked, with moderate rocking – appears as a promising market.