Dowel Bars Hot Rounds
Dowel bars are short steel bars that provide a mechanical connection between slabs without restricting horizontal joint movement. They increase load transfer efficiency by allowing the leave slab to assume some of the load before the load is actually over it. This reduces joint deflection and stress in the approach and leave slabs.
Dowel Bar Types
The type of bar to use is an important consideration, since dowel bars need to last as long as the rest of the roadway. In this regard, the corrosion resistance of the dowel bars is a critical feature, depending on their exposure to moisture and climate conditions. Dowel bars are available made from a number of different materials, ranging from plain, uncoated steel to solid stainless steel. The dowel bar types that exhibit the most resistance to corrosion also tend to have correspondingly higher costs, as shown in the table below.
Dowel Bar Spacing and Alignment
In order to serve their load transfer function properly, dowel bars need to be correctly positioned. Vertically, the dowel bar should normally be located at mid-depth of the slab. With respect to horizontal spacing, dowel bars are typically placed 12 inches apart, starting with the first bar 12 inches from the edge of the slab. (If placed any closer to the slab edge, the dowel bars themselves may create stresses that could damage the slab.) For retrofitting, dowel bars are commonly placed only in the wheelpaths to reduce the number of slots that must be cut in the pavement.