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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 102
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping and P. Iványi
Paper 93

Computational Modelling of Thermally-Induced Concrete Pavement Upheaval Buckling

M.A. Bradford

Centre for Infrastructure Engineering & Safety
School of Civil & Environmental Engineering
The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
M.A. Bradford, "Computational Modelling of Thermally-Induced Concrete Pavement Upheaval Buckling", in B.H.V. Topping, P. Iványi, (Editors), "Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Conference on Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering Computing", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 93, 2013. doi:10.4203/ccp.102.93
Keywords: adaptation, buckling, concrete pavement, thermal, unilateral, upheaval.

Many concrete pavements behave as thin flat elastic plates or beams, resting on a rigid subgrade that prevents movement into the half-space below the pavement soffit, and which provides shear frictional resistance against horizontal movement of the pavement. Because of this frictional resistance in continuous pavements and because of the unavoidable ingress of debris material in expansion joints in discrete pavements, thermal loading during a severe heatwave event can produce sizeable compressive stresses in thermal pavements. When this thermally-induced compressive stress reaches a critical value, the pavement may buckle upwards in an upheaval buckle, sometimes known as a pavement blow-up. The mechanics of the buckling phenomenon is also somewhat unique, in that the self-weight of the pavement resists the buckling, and the post-buckling member shortening is not of the same type as occurs in classic Euler-type instability problems. The occurrence of pavement upheaval buckling is becoming more widely documented with the increasing frequencies of hot spells in many nations, and such buckles are clearly of concern as they compromise transport safety and societal amenity. Despite their importance, and somewhat surprisingly, studies of the upheaval buckling of pavements are not widely reported in the scientific literature. This paper considers such a study from a computational and analytical standpoint, providing a useful buckling equation for pavement assessment and design against heatwave events.

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