Reinforcing Steel

Reinforcing steel can also be used to provide load transfer. When reinforcing steel is used, transverse contraction joints are often omitted (as in CRCP). Therefore, since there are no joints, the PCC cracks on its own and the reinforcing steel provides load transfer across these cracks. Unlike dowel bars, reinforcing steel is bonded to the PCC on either side of the crack in order to hold the crack tightly together.

Typically, rigid pavement reinforcing steel consists of grade 60 (yield stress of 60 ksi (414 MPa) No. 5 or No. 6 bars (ERES, 2001[1]). The steel constitutes about 0.6 – 0.7 percent of the pavement cross-sectional area (ACPA, 2001[2]) and is typically placed at slab mid-depth or shallower. At least 63 mm (2.5 inches) of PCC cover should be maintained over the reinforcing steel to minimize the potential for steel corrosion by chlorides found in deicing agents (Burke, 1983[3]).

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)
  1. Summary of CRCP Design and Construction Practices in the U.S.  Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute.  Schaumburg, IL.
  2. Concrete Types.  Web page on the American Concrete Pavement Association’s web site.  Accessed 18 January 2002.
  3. Construction of Continuously Reinforced Concrete Pavements.  Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute.  Schaumburg, IL.