Modeling the temperature and stress distributions in rigid pavements: Impact of Solar Radiation absorption and heat history development

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Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering


This study describes the impact of the absorption of Solar Radiation (SR) on temperatures and subsequent thermal stress development in Jointed Plain Concrete Pavements (JPCP). A one-dimensional heat transfer model is proposed to predict the temperature distribution through the slab depth. In this model, the inputted SR has features with both deterministic and probabilistic features. The deterministic factor is the monthly mean observed SR. The probabilistic component is computed by assuming that the monthly SR's variation between the maximum and minimum observed radiations follow a random normal distribution, whose standard deviation depends on the uncertainties of the observed monthly SR. Considering that the amount of SR absorption may be inherited from both within and under the slab, we study the impact of the SR history on the temperature and thermal-induced stresses through the slab. The results show that when the local weather shifts from sunny day to cloudy day or vice versa, the maximum temperature and JPCP's thermal stresses shift by up to 5°C and 0. 3 MPa, respectively. Other than the SR, we also estimate the influences of the sunrise/sunset times and of the pavement surface absorptivity on rigid pavements.

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KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering