You probably have already seen them enhancing sidewalks, driveways or shopping centers, but you may also find them in industrial facilities withstanding heavy truck loads. They are called concrete pavers, concrete paving stones, or concrete paving blocks. Here are some of the reasons for their growing popularity:
- Concrete pavers come in a variety of colors and shapes and can be set in a variety of patterns.
- In commercial areas, concrete pavers help create visual unity between buildings and surroundings.
- If the base for a concrete block pavement is designed and constructed properly, the pavers can support very heavy loads.
- Concrete pavers resist impact and oil spillage better than bituminous surfaces.
- Pavers can be removed to access underground utilities, then be replaced, leaving no signs of repair.
HOW CONCRETE PAVERS TRANSFER LOAD
Even though they have vertical sides and are not mortared together, concrete pavers are able to transfer load sideways from one paver to the next. Load transfer is provided by friction between pavers. So long as the joints are narrow, no wider than about 1/8 inch, the sand in the joints will transmit friction between pavers. Irregularly shaped pavers also transfer load by simple geometric interlock. Load transfer is also influenced by the pattern in which pavers are laid. Studies indicate that pavements with pavers laid in herringbone or certain basket weave patterns performed much better under traffic than pavements laid in runner bond.
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
Pavers are laid on a 1- to 1 1/2-inch-thick sand bed, and joints are filled with sand. Structural support is provided by an aggregate base 4 to 15 inches thick. Edge restraints are needed to keep pavers from spreading apart horizontally.