Concrete pavements represent a large portion of the transportation infrastructure. While the vast majority of concrete pavements provide excellent long-term performance, a portion of these pavements have recently shown premature joint deterioration. Substantial interest has developed in understanding why premature joint deterioration is being observed in jointed portland cement concrete pavements (PCCP). While some have attributed this damage to insufficient air void systems, poor mixture design, or chemical reaction between the salt and the paste, it is the hypothesis of this work that a component of this damage can be attributed to fluid absorption at the joints and chemical reactions between the salt and chemistry of the matrix. This paper discusses the role of soy methyl ester - polystyrene blends (SME-PS) as a potential method to extend the service life of concrete pavements by limiting the ingress of salt solutions. The report discusses field application of the SME-PS blends for field investigation in Lafayette and Fishers. Low temperature-differential scanning calorimetry (LT-DSC) techniques identified noticeable differences between plain mortar samples and mortar treated with SME-PS. The report also discusses the development of a test to assess chloride solution ingress during temperature cycling. The aim of this work is to provide background on some aspects that can lead to joint deterioration and provide early documentation showing that sealers may help to reduce the impact of deicers on joint damage, thereby extending the life of the concrete pavement. It should be noted that these sites as well as others are still ongoing and should be monitored for long term performance. Application procedure for SME-PS should follow manufacturer’s recommendation.

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absorption, acoustic emission, concrete, deicing, drying, freezing, joints, low temperature-differential scanning calorimetry, saturation, soy methyl ester polystyrene, sorption, transport, wetting

SPR Number


Performing Organization

Joint Transportation Research Program

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, Indiana

Date of this Version