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Publication Details

Techbrief: Coefficient of Thermal Expansion in Concrete Pavement Design

General Interest: provides practical guidance to engineers responsible for the day-to-day design, construction, rehabilitation, maintenance, and management of pavements.

Primary Topic: Pavement Design

Description: This TechBrief describes the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) of concrete, its role in the behavior of concrete pavements, and recommendations for how to determine its value for concrete pavement design and analysis purposes. The sensitivity of concrete pavement performance prediction models in the Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide to the CTE is discussed. Laboratory tests and other methods for determining or estimating the CTE are described, and the results of CTE laboratory tests on cores from Long-Term Pavement Performance pavement sections are summarized. Practical guidelines are provided for determining or estimating CTE and for taking into account the effect of CTE on a concrete slab’s response to temperature changes when designing and constructing concrete pavements.

FHWA Publication Number: FHWA-HIF-09-015

Publication Year: 2011

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Updated: 02/20/2015

United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration