Three-Dimensional Finite Element Analysis of Doweled Joints for Airport Pavements

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24 Scopus citations


Various aspects of the structural behavior of doweled joints, including load transfer, in rigid airport pavement systems are investigated by using nonlinear three-dimensional finite element methods. The finite element models include two concrete slab segments connected by dowels. The concrete slab and supporting layers are simulated by continuum solid elements. Solid elements can capture the severe local deformation in the concrete slab in the vicinity of wheel loads. They allow the modeling of nonlinear material response of the supporting layers and of frictional contact between the concrete slabs and supporting layers. These features generally are not considered in classical analytical approaches. The structural behavior of the doweled joint is investigated for various design and loading conditions, including tire pressure, slab thickness, dowel looseness, and different landing gear configurations. An attempt is made to quantify the amount and efficiency of load transfer through the dowels. According to the finite element results, 15% to 30% of the applied wheel load is transferred to the adjacent slab segment by the dowels in an intact joint, depending on design and loading conditions. In addition, 95% of the transferred shear force is carried only by the 9 or 11 dowels that are closest to the applied load.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-109
Number of pages10
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number1853
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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