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Publication Number: FHWA-RD-03-031
Date: JUNE 2003

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Distress Identification Manual for The LTPP (Fourth Revised Edition)

Glossary

ADHESIVE FAILURE
loss of bond (e.g., between the joint sealant and the joint reservoir; between the aggregate and the binder)

 

AGGREGATE INTERLOCK
interaction of aggregate particles across cracks and joints to transfer load

 

APPROACH SLAB
section of pavement just prior to joint, crack, or other significant roadway feature relative to the direction of traffic (see also leave slab)

 

BINDER
brown or black adhesive material used to hold stones together for paving

 

BITUMINOUS
like or from asphalt

 

BLEEDING
identified by a film of bituminous material on the pavement surface that creates a shiny, glass-like, reflective surface that may be tacky to the touch in warm weather

 

BLOCK CRACKING
the occurrence of cracks that divide the asphalt surface into approximately rectangular pieces, typically 0.1 m2 or more in size

 

BLOWUP
the result of localized upward movement or shattering of a slab along a transverse joint or crack

 

CENTERLINE
the painted line separating traffic lanes

 

CHIPPING
breaking or cutting off small pieces from the surface

 

COHESIVE FAILURE
the loss of a material's ability to bond to itself. Results in the material splitting or tearing apart from itself (i.e., joint sealant splitting)

 

CONSTRUCTION JOINT
the point at which work is concluded and reinitiated when building a pavement

 

CORNER BREAK

a portion of a jointed concrete pavement separated from the slab by a diagonal crack intersecting the transverse and longitudinal joint, which extends down through the slab, allowing the corner to move independently from the rest of the slab

 

DURABILITY CRACKING
the breakup of concrete due to freeze-thaw expansive pressures within certain aggregates. Also called "D" cracking

 

EDGE CRACKING
fracture and materials loss in pavements without paved shoulders which occurs along the pavement perimeter. Caused by soil movement beneath the pavement

 

EXTRUSION
to be forced out (i.e., joint sealant from joint)

 

FATIGUE CRACKING
a series of small, jagged, interconnecting cracks caused by failure of the AC surface under repeated traffic loading (also called alligator cracking)

 

FAULT
difference in elevation between opposing sides of a joint or crack

 

FREE EDGE
pavement border that is able to move freely

 

HAIRLINE CRACK
a fracture that is very narrow in width, less than 3 mm

 

JOINT SEAL DAMAGE
any distress associated with the joint sealant, or lack of joint sealant

 

LANE LINE
boundary between travel lanes, usually a painted stripe

 

LANE-TO-SHOULDER DROPOFF
the difference in elevation between the traffic lane and shoulder

 

LANE-TO-SHOULDER SEPARATION
widening of the joint between the traffic lane and the shoulder

 

LEAVE SLAB
section of pavement just past a joint, crack, or other significant roadway feature relative to the direction of traffic

 

LONGITUDINAL
parallel to the centerline of the pavement

 

MAP CRACKING

a series of interconnected hairline cracks in PCC pavements that extend only into the upper surface of the concrete. Includes cracking typically associated with alkali-silica reactivity

 

PATCH
an area where the pavement has been removed and replaced with a new material

 

PATCH DETERIORATION
distress occurring within a previously repaired area

 

POLISHED AGGREGATE
surface mortar and texturing worn away to expose coarse aggregate in the concrete

 

POPOUTS
small pieces of pavement broken loose from the surface

 

POTHOLE
a bowl-shaped depression in the pavement surface

 

PUMPING
the ejection of water and fine materials through cracks in the pavement under moving loads

 

PUNCHOUT

a localized area of a CRCP bounded by two transverse cracks and a longitudinal crack. Aggregate interlock decreases over time and eventually is lost, leading to steel rupture and allowing the pieces to be punched down into the subbase and subgrade

 

RAVELING
the wearing away of the pavement surface caused by the dislodging of aggregate particles

 

REFLECTION CRACKING
the fracture of AC above joints in the underlying jointed concrete pavement layer(s)

 

RUTTING
longitudinal surface depressions in the wheelpaths

 

SCALING
the deterioration of the upper 3-12 mm of the concrete surface, resulting in the loss of surface mortar

 

SHOVING
permanent, longitudinal displacement of a localized area of the pavement surface caused by traffic pushing against the pavement

 

SPALLING
cracking, breaking, chipping, or fraying of the concrete slab surface within 0.6 m of a joint or crack

 

TRANSVERSE
perpendicular to the pavement centerline

 

WATER BLEEDING
seepage of water from joints or cracks

 

WEATHERING
the wearing away of the pavement surface caused by the loss of asphalt binder

 

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The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation and is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with field offices across the United States. is a major agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation and is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with field offices across the United States. is a major agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Provide leadership and technology for the delivery of long life pavements that meet our customers needs and are safe, cost effective, and can be effectively maintained. Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) R&T Web site portal, which provides access to or information about the Agency’s R&T program, projects, partnerships, publications, and results.
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