About the research
Fiber-reinforced concrete (FRC) has become more widely used in thin concrete overlays in recent years. It is well known that synthetic macro-fibers increase the fracture toughness and residual strength of concrete, which mitigates cracking and improves the fatigue life of concrete overlays. Some of the other benefits of fiber-reinforcement could further benefit the performance and service life of concrete overlays by improving joint behavior, load transfer, and pavement smoothness. However, the performance benefits of these mechanisms are not well-quantified and are not considered in current concrete overlay design procedures. This study will take comprehensive performance measurements at a number of FRC overlay test sections that have been built in Iowa in recent years. The analysis will provide more insight into the full benefits of fiber-reinforcement and how they impact design choices and overlay service life. With a more complete understanding of the performance benefits of using fibers in concrete overlays, agencies would be able to optimize their FRC overlay designs, better predict long-term performance, and use resources more efficiently for maintaining Iowa’s roadway network.