Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil Engineering


This thesis investigation is a study of the temperature expansion and contraction characteristics of a composite pavement constructed as a continuous pavement. The composite pavement consists of precast, prestressed concrete panels interconnected with grout keys and special panel connectors. A thin layer of asphaltic concrete is placed on the panels to provide a smooth riding surface and protection for the panels. This pavement was developed at South Dakota State University by Emil R. Hargett as a means of providing a more economical pavement for the high traffic volumes and heavy wheel loads that are now carried by our modern highways. The continuous composite pavement, described in this thesis, consists of prestressed concrete panels 6 ft. x 24 ft. and laid in a longitudinal pattern as shown in Figure 1. These panels are interconnected with grout keys and tongue and fork connectors as shown in Figure 2. Favorable results were obtained by Kruse (1) from a laboratory investigation of the structural performance of this type of pavement under repetitive wheel loads. The success of this new type of pavement depends in part on the performance of the grouted joints and connectors under varying temperature conditions. Temperature changes within the pavement will cause corresponding volume changes of major concern in a continuous pavement. Therefore, the use of this type of payment poses a problem of the distribution of the expansion and contraction caused by changes in temperature. A study of the forces caused by the temperature expansion and contraction of this type of pavement is the primary objective of this investigation.

Library of Congress Subject Headings





South Dakota State University