Assessing Risk of D-Cracking in Concrete Aggregates

Project status


Start date: 04/01/15
End date: 05/31/16


Principal investigator:

Co-principal investigators:

About the research

Portland cement concrete pavements in the midwestern US can suffer premature deterioration due to so-called D-cracking. One of the causes of this distress is that the pore size distribution within the aggregate will readily absorb water, but prevent it from evaporating due to surface tension effects. Saturated aggregates that are subjected to freezing will expand and crack, leading to damage in the pavement, starting near sawn joints. There are also some chemical effects, but these are outside the scope of this work.

The aim of this work was to conduct a proof-of-concept assessment of some innovative alternative approaches to assessing the risk of D-cracking in aggregates that will be rapid, cost-effective, and reliable.


Report: Calibrating the Iowa Pore Index with Mercury Intrusion Porosimetry and Petrography (3.11 mb pdf) October 2017



  • Midwest Transportation Center