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To seal or not to seal? : A field experiment to resolve an age-old dilemma Hawkins, Bryan K ; Ioannides, Anastasios M ; Minkarah, Issam A

By: Hawkins, Bryan KContributor(s): Ioannides, Anastasios M | Minkarah, Issam APublication details: Transportation Research Record, 2001Description: nr 1749, s. 38-45Subject(s): USA | Joint sealing | Rigid pavement | Experimental road | Variability | | Construction | 32 | 42Bibl.nr: VTI P8167:1749Location: Abstract: Construction and evaluation to date of a joint sealant project in the Wet-Freeze climatic zone near Athens, Ohio, are described. Fifteen different combinations of materials and joint configurations have been used. The new pavement consists of a 250-mm (10-in.) portland cement concrete slab, placed over a 100-mm (4-in.) free-draining base layer, constructed over a 150-mm (6-in.) crushed aggregate subbase, resting over the predominantly silty clay local subgrade. The highway has a 20-year design period and a design traffic level of 11 million single-axle loads. The eastbound lanes were constructed first and have been open to traffic since the spring of 1998, and the westbound lanes have been serving traffic only since the spring of 1999. Evaluations to date indicate that with one exception, preformed compression seals have performed significantly better than liquid sealants. Unsealed sections also are performing very well, exhibiting no visible signs of distress at the joints or in the pavement slabs at this time. In contrast, after only 1 year of service, silicone and hot-pour sealants in the eastbound lanes are in fair to poor condition. The worst sections are those with narrow [3-mm (1/8-in.)] joints. Oversight and inspection provided were ineffective in averting the use of equipment and procedures that were obviously inadequate. The most significant shortcomings appear to have been the omission of sandblasting during placement and inadequate sealant recess.
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Construction and evaluation to date of a joint sealant project in the Wet-Freeze climatic zone near Athens, Ohio, are described. Fifteen different combinations of materials and joint configurations have been used. The new pavement consists of a 250-mm (10-in.) portland cement concrete slab, placed over a 100-mm (4-in.) free-draining base layer, constructed over a 150-mm (6-in.) crushed aggregate subbase, resting over the predominantly silty clay local subgrade. The highway has a 20-year design period and a design traffic level of 11 million single-axle loads. The eastbound lanes were constructed first and have been open to traffic since the spring of 1998, and the westbound lanes have been serving traffic only since the spring of 1999. Evaluations to date indicate that with one exception, preformed compression seals have performed significantly better than liquid sealants. Unsealed sections also are performing very well, exhibiting no visible signs of distress at the joints or in the pavement slabs at this time. In contrast, after only 1 year of service, silicone and hot-pour sealants in the eastbound lanes are in fair to poor condition. The worst sections are those with narrow [3-mm (1/8-in.)] joints. Oversight and inspection provided were ineffective in averting the use of equipment and procedures that were obviously inadequate. The most significant shortcomings appear to have been the omission of sandblasting during placement and inadequate sealant recess.

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