Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair

Samir N. Shoukry.


In this study, the magnitude and state of stresses induced around dowel bars were identified through detailed 3D Finite Element (3DFE) modeling of dowel jointed rigid pavement structures. Both straight and skewed joints were modeled using extremely fine meshing that allows accurate modeling of the friction and separation at dowel concrete interfaces. The model response was examined for the case of joint loading with an equivalent axle load of 18000 lb. It was found that significantly large tensile stresses develop in the concrete on both sides of the loaded dowel. The magnitude of the tensile stress approaches the tensile modulus of rupture of concrete causing tensile cracks to develop on both sides of the dowel bar. The comparison between skewed and straight joints stresses revealed that skewing the joint is an expensive refinement of the joint that does not reduce the magnitude of stresses around dowel bars. A laboratory apparatus was designed for testing the performance of dowel joints. (Abstract shortened by UMI.).