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Highway joint seals, and some other butt seals using elastomeric materials, have displayed a high incidence of adhesion failure. An incremental finite element analysis method has been used to determine the magnitudes and distributions of interfacial stresses, treating the material as a low-modulus viscoelastic material in a state of plane strain. The results show that the magnitudes of both normal and shear adhesive stresses are very high at specific points on the contact surface, much higher than the average normal stress predicted by simpler analysis methods. The depth to width ratio for the seal, the rate at which strain is applied, and the relaxation rate of the material are all shown to have significant effect upon the stress magnitudes.
stress analysis, viscoelasticity, elastomeric materials, adhesion, stress relaxation, joints, seals
Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
graduate student, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH