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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Nadim Wehbe


This research study was conducted to investigate the effects of misaligned tie bars on the tie bar and longitudinal joint performance using experimental testing and analytical modeling. The results of the experimental testing and analytical modeling will be used to establish placement tolerances for tie bars in portland cement concrete (PCC) pavements. The experimental testing was performed during the spring of 2014 in the Jerry Lohr structures laboratory on the SDSU campus in Brookings, SD. Experimental testing was completed on 35 specimens that contained either a single aligned or misaligned tie bar. Four different alignment configurations were tested, vertical translation, vertical skew, longitudinal translation, and horizontal translation. For each alignment configuration, four different misalignment magnitudes were tested to determine how the severity of the misalignment affects the tie bar and joint performance. During testing of the specimens the applied actuator load, tie bar strain, and relative displacement of the slab about the joint in all three dimensions was collected. To validate the experimental results and obtain a better understanding of stress distributions in the concrete and tie bars xxi an analytical model of the specimen was created using the finite element analysis software Abaqus. However, the results indicated that the current tie bar placement tolerances specified by the South Dakota department of transportation (DOT) are adequate. The testing results showed that the vertical translation, vertical skew, and longitudinal translation alignment configurations performed equivalently to an aligned specimen. The results from the horizontal skew alignment configuration, on the other hand, showed significant differences from the aligned specimens. However, the horizontal skew misalignment still performed adequately up to the limit of the current tie bar placement tolerances.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Portland cement
Pavements, Concrete


Includes bibliographical references (pages 145-147)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright