NC² Research Needs Analysis

Photo courtesy of the Iowa DOT

Phone interviews were conducted in 2019 with representatives from all NC² states to determine their needs for information or research related to concrete pavements and bridge decks. Industry representatives were also asked their key concerns. The results of this survey were compiled into a list presented at the fall 2019 NC² meeting where NC² state representatives prioritized the needs reported.

The top needs identified are classified below according to whether they require further research, require synthesis of existing research, or are currently being addressed via ongoing work.

Topics requiring further research
  • Materials and methods for patches and rapid construction: Work is needed to determine: a) what strength is needed when traffic is applied to a surface, b) at what age will the traffic be applied, and c) what systems can deliver this performance without compromising long-term bond (where relevant), shrinkage, and durability needs. It is also recommended that the questions be applied separately to: a) partial-depth patches, b) full-depth patches, and c) new pavements
  • Use of super-absorbent polymers (SAPs) for internal curing: Work is needed to identify the critical properties of SAPs, effects on performance, specifications, and constructability guidelines
  • Construction of thin overlays in urban environments: Work should include evaluation of fibers, internal curing, and geotextile interlayers
  • How to protect concrete pavements from tire chains and studs (NW regional issue)
  • Quantification of curing methods and timing
  • Blowups in thin concrete overlays
Topics requiring research synthesis
  • Benefits and challenges of using rapid-set cementitious systems of various chemistries in the construction and maintenance of pavements and bridge decks
  • Optimum joint spacing as a function of foundation system, shrinkage, panel dimensions, traffic, and environment
  • Load transfer device choices
Topics being addressed via ongoing work