Why do they cut lines in concrete?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by MichaelD, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. MichaelD

    MichaelD Lifer

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    The sidewalk outside my building was recently redone by the city. They poured like a 50-foot long slab and then they cut "lines" in it to make it look like individual 5-foot sections. The lines don't go all the way through; they are only about 1/4" deep.

    Why do they do that? Just for aesthetic reasons? Sounds like a waste of manpower to me. What's wrong with a 50-foot slab of concrete that looks like a 50-foot slab of concrete? Confusing concrete construction is confusing.
     
  2. SpatiallyAware

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    So that when it cracks, the cracks follow the geometric lines rather than make ugly jagged lines.
     
  3. rcpratt

    rcpratt Lifer

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    Localizes cracking and allow for expansion.
     
    #3 rcpratt, Jul 18, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
  4. olds

    olds Elite Member

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    Are you guys on crack?
     
  5. MichaelD

    MichaelD Lifer

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    But...how do they know that the cracks will follow the line they cut? I've seen concrete cracked in the corner. :???:
     
  6. MichaelD

    MichaelD Lifer

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    Ah, here it comes.

    "This thread is now about crack."

    Two days later:

    "Did you hear MichaelD was banned? Yeah, he started a thread about CRACK that got outta control!!! Dumb bastard!" D:
     
  7. PottedMeat

    PottedMeat Lifer

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    it's more likely to crack where the concrete is thin - where they cut
     
  8. lxskllr

    lxskllr Lifer

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    Expansion and contraction will /tend/ to follow the path of least resistance. It isn't guaranteed cracks will follow the joint, but they will enough times to make the small amount of work worthwhile.
     
  9. MichaelD

    MichaelD Lifer

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    :hmm: That does make sense. Thanks. Now, maybe I should come back at night with my cordless rotary tool and carve out all kinds of squiggly lines and see what kind of awesome cracks happen this winter!
     
  10. amish

    amish Diamond Member

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    wait...wut? you get crack off the corner and cut it? do you use a razor and a mirror like they do on TV?
     
  11. vshah

    vshah Lifer

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    maybe helps with drainage also?
     
  12. TridenT

    TridenT Lifer

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    I've thought about why they did it. I wasn't really sure. But, localizing cracks makes a lot more sense than them just trying to * with OCD people.
     
  13. Krazy4Real

    Krazy4Real Lifer

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    Is this thread about crack?
     
  14. KLin

    KLin Lifer

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    I thought it was so when the concrete settles the cracks would happen in the lines?
     
  15. terry107

    terry107 Senior member

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    So you have something to blame when your mother breaks her back.
     
  16. z1ggy

    z1ggy Diamond Member

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    It does..Unless you are Gary Busey.
     
  17. Bazake

    Bazake Member

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    This thread cracks me up!
     
  18. busydude

    busydude Diamond Member

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    Hahahahahahaha!! :thumbsup:
     
  19. Red Squirrel

    Red Squirrel Lifer

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    My guess is they act as expansion/cracking points as well as drainage to some degree. Instead of water sitting on the surface it is more likely to fill the crack, when it freezes it is more likely to crack in that one spot instead of randomly. If the ground is not well prepped it's still possible for cracks to appear elsewhere, but these lines limit it.

    They also provide kids with something to do by trying not to walk on them. :p
     
  20. Fayd

    Fayd Diamond Member

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    the same way scoring glass works. cracks will follow wherever is weakest, even if it's only 5% weaker than the surrounding area.
     
  21. Fayd

    Fayd Diamond Member

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    sure, and when you get arrested for vandalism of city property, be sure and tell them that you did it for the future!
     
  22. mpo

    mpo Senior member

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    Concrete slabs will move in respect to each other based on weather conditions, soils, moisture, traffic, loads, etc.

    Because of all of these factors, there will be stress concentrations in the pavement. By cutting the pavement, you try to limit the area and extent of cracking. If the pavement wasn't cut, the pavement would likely crack in random areas.

    Also, it is quicker and cheaper to pour a 100' section of concrete, then make nine relief cuts than to put together 10 slabs compared to forming and pouring 10 individual panels.

    Corner cracks are usually and indication that there are poor soils under the pavement, the road gets more traffic than designed, or poor load transfer. As the panels move in respect to each other, they tend to concentrate the loads at the corners. That's where the slabs will break.
     
  23. herrjimbo

    herrjimbo Senior member

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    i believe crack is for smoking. coke is for snorting off a mirror. i could be wrong.
     
  24. MichaelD

    MichaelD Lifer

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    <--is definitely a bit OCD. I guess it shows? :eek:
     
  25. mpo

    mpo Senior member

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    Some pavements are tined allong the travel direction to improve the friction of the road, but not for drainage, per se.

    Highway departments try to seal the joints between slabs. The water carries sand and other materials that limit how well the slabs move against each other. If too much sand gets stuck in the joint, the slab can lock up, which leads to faulting and other bad things.