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High-Early Strength Concrete for Pavement

Description:

The objective of this synthesis is to investigate the state of the practice for the use of high-early strength concrete for pavement applications including both new construction and rehabilitation. This information is particularly useful for those planning, managing, and supervising accelerated construction and construction under traffic; particularly at high traffic locations, intersections, bridge approaches, and locations with limited access for conventional construction. The use of high-early strength concrete allows limited lane closure times, expedited construction schedules, and reduced disruption to traffic.

A variety of cementitious materials have been developed over the past few decades that allow for both rapid placement and early opening to traffic. Ninety-three percent of agencies that responded to a survey used high-early strength concrete (Rao and Raghunathan, 2018). The accelerated strength gain of high early strength concrete is provided by a number of techniques, including the use of chemical admixtures, increasing the amount of portland cement in the mixture, use of cements with finer cement grains, use of cements with higher amounts of tricalcium silicate (C3S), use of proprietary cementitious products, use of calcium flouroaluminate (CFA) cement, use of calcium sulfoaluminate (CSA) cement, and several others.

However, since the development and advancements in the use of high-early strength concrete in the last 30+ years, the performance results have been mixed. A concern relevant to using early strength concrete is the long-term durability and related performance issues. Advances in materials, equipment, specifications, testing, and construction practices in the last few decades have addressed some of the long-term performance concerns. The durability of these types of materials has improved over the past several decades and the relative cost difference compared with conventional materials has been reduced in many cases.

Another issue is that high-early strength concrete presents constructability problems, because it sets very rapidly. To mitigate some of these issues, good project planning is imperative, particularly related to the sequencing of operations and the ability to rapidly place concrete once it has been mixed. Properly managing finishing and saw-cutting operations can lead to greater efficiency and allow construction work to proceed in a timely manner. High-early strength concrete relies on monitoring material properties and uses knowledge of maturity to develop concrete strength gain characteristics and relationships for the mixtures for different atmospheric conditions.

NCHRP Report 540 (Van Dam et al. 2005) developed guidelines for early-opening-to-traffic (EOT) portland cement concrete for pavement rehabilitation. Two types of mixtures were being used by State Highway Agencies: a) 6-8 hours mixture and 20-24 hours mixture. Ensuring adequate durability was identified as the most challenging aspect of these mixtures. However, many changes in materials and construction practices have occurred since that study and there may still be some gaps in terms of the knowledge of usage of high-early strength concrete.

Objective:

The objective of this synthesis is to investigate the state of the practice for the use of high-early strength concrete for pavement applications including both new construction and rehabilitation.

Benefits:

This information is particularly useful for those planning, managing, and supervising accelerated construction and construction under traffic; particularly at high traffic locations, intersections, bridge approaches, and locations with limited access for conventional construction. The use of high-early strength concrete allows limited lane closure times, expedited construction schedules, and reduced disruption to traffic.

Related Research:

NCHRP Report 540 (Van Dam et al. 2005) developed guidelines for early-opening-to-traffic (EOT) portland cement concrete for pavement rehabilitation. Two types of mixtures were being used by State Highway Agencies: a) 6-8 hours mixture and 20-24 hours mixture. Ensuring adequate durability was identified as the most challenging aspect of these mixtures. However, many changes in materials and construction practices have occurred since that study and there may still be some gaps in terms of the knowledge of usage of high-early strength concrete.

Tasks:

This synthesis will document the current state of the practice in terms of usage of high-early strength concrete and is expected to be a one-stop reference for agencies planning to use high-early strength concrete. Work to perform will likely include:

  1. Literature review

  2. Surveys and interviews of SHA personnel and industry experts that may include contractors, material suppliers, equipment manufacturers, etc.

  3. Review of DOT documents and specifications

  4. Analyze data collected from surveys, interviews, and reviews of DOT documents and tools

  5. Summarize results highlighting different ways high-early strength is achieved, there relative performance history and cost, workability, long-term durability and challenges in mixing, placing, curing, testing, inspections etc.

  6. Identify current practices, trends, and challenges.

  7. Provide recommendations for future research on high-early strength concrete.

Sponsoring Committee:AKC50, Concrete Pavement Construction and Rehabilitation
Research Period:6 - 12 months
Research Priority:High
RNS Developer:Shreenath Rao, PhD—Applied Research Associates, Inc and Shabbir Hossain, VDOT. State DOT Co-sponsors: John Donahue, Missouri DOT and Shabbir Hossain, Virginia DOT
Source Info:1. Rao, S. and D. Raghunathan. 2018. Construction and Rehabilitation of Concrete Pavements under Traffic. NCHRP Synthesis 530. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25235.
2. Van Dam, T. J., Peterson, K.R., Sutter, L.L., Panguluri, A., and Sytsma, J., 2005. Guidelines for Early- Opening-to-Traffic Portland Cement Concrete for Pavement Rehabilitation. NCHRP Report 540. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_rpt_540.pdf.
Date Posted:05/05/2020
Date Modified:05/07/2020
Index Terms:Concrete pavements, Pavement design, Paving, High early strength cement, State of the practice, Rehabilitation (Maintenance), Pavement maintenance,
 
Subjects    
Highways
Construction
Research
Transportation (General)

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