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Design Procedure

The concept behind the "TCP" design is that each slab of the pavement is loaded by only one wheel or a set of wheels at the same time. This significantly reduces the top tensile stresses of the slabs. With this configuration of loads versus the dimensions of the slab, the cantilever effect is reduced by the rocking of the slab as the load moves over it, so each slab supports the loads under the wheels, supported on the ground.


To achieve this condition, it is necessary to dimension the slabs in such a way that with a given truck; each wheel, or a set of wheels, loads a different slab at the same time. As different types of vehicles exist, it is designed for the most harmful, unless the traffic is known and then it is designed for the type of vehicle that will use the road

Reducing the stresses on the top of the slab allows for a longer lifespan of the pavement, or seen from another point of view, it allows a reduction of the thickness to achieve the same stresses and lifespan obtained in the traditional design. It is with TCP® Design where the top stresses generated by the loads are smaller, so the pavement can be designed with thinner concrete slabs.

This can be represented by the following figure of stresses at the top of the slab, for different geometric configurations of the loads respect to their dimensions. Using ISLAB 2000, we can model different configurations of loads versus sizes and geometries of slabs. All other variable (Soil, LTE, Temperature Gradients, etc) are kept the same.

Thickness: 25 cm
Slabs: 4.5m x 3.5m
Top Stress: 22.4 Kg/cm²
Thickness: 15 cm
Slabs: 1.75m x 1.75m
Top Stress: 20,7 Kg/cm²
Thickness: 25 cm
Slabs: 1.75m x 1.75m
Top Stress: 4.36 Kg/cm²

Comparison between slab sizes optimized with the load geometry and the thickness needed to achieve the same tensile stresses


Pavements designed and constructed with the TCP technology are thinner compared to traditional designs, for similar loads and traffic.

Besides the lower initial cost, these pavements have the typical performance of traditional concrete pavements and thanks to the development, some aspects have been improved.

TCP technology allows increasing the total area built in more than 20% compared to traditional design.

The main benefits over asphalt pavements are:

  • Lower Life-Cycle Cost
  • Lasts Longer than Asphalt
  • Lower heat island effect which reduces energy consumption
  • Reduces congestion by maintenance
  • Less energy consumption for illumination (30%)
Objective Market

The objective markets are the public organizations, concessionaires and contractors, related to pavements for roads, highways, industrial pavements, rural roads and urban streets. As a reference this technology is interesting for:

  • Public Works Ministries
  • Concessionaires
  • Contractors
  • Counties
  • Producers of cement, equipment and materials for concrete pavements
  • Multinational Development Organizations
  • Investment Banks

“Improved concrete pavement slabs for streets, roads or highways and the methodology for the slab design”.

This invention is protected in Chile by the Industrial Patent N° 44820, in EE.UU. by the patent N°7.571.581, and worldwide by means of request PCT N° PCT/EP2006/064732 on the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), in addition to other countries of America and Asia.

The TCP® technology is protected in a total of 80 countries, the vast majority with formal grant of the patent, and in others with provisional protection (patent pending).

  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Mexico
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Uruguay
  • USA
  • Venezuela
  • Germany
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bielorrusia
  • Bulgaria
  • Chipre
  • Denmark
  • Spain
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Great Britain
  • Greece
  • Holand
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Islandia
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Monaco
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Czech Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Rumania
  • Russia
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • Kenya
  • Morocco
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Azerbaijan
  • Philippines
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Korea
  • Malasia
  • Mongolia
  • New Zeland
  • Pakistan
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Taiwan
  • Turkmenistan
  • Turkey
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vietnam

Ultra-Thin Concrete Pavements (U-TCP) are an extension of the TCP® system. These pavements, besides being composed by short slabs, incorporate structural fiber in the concrete. These kind of pavements are placed directly over the terrain, without sub-base, on roads where the subgrade is in a high level of compaction due to the traffic of cars, trucks and machinery.

To design this type of solution with software OptiPave2®, five separate tests of pavements sections were conducted on different places. The thicknesses of concrete pavements tested ranged between 6 and 12 cm (2.36 to 4.72 inches). With the results of these tests, different conclusions were obtained about the behavior of this type of pavements, which were compared with the theoretical results delivered by the design program OptiPave2®, thus allowing the program to calibrate this type of solution. The tests sections were:

Test in Illinois University, USA.
Test in Clínica de la Universidad de Los Andes, Chile.
Test in Altos de Lampa, Chile.
Test in El Trebal, Chile.
Test in Cementos Bío Bío, Chile.

The addition of structural fibers in concrete improves some aspects of this, such as a more controlled cracking and improvements in ductility. With structural purposes, it is pretended that the addition of fibers provides more fracture energy, thereby increasing fatigue resistance and durability of the elements or reduction of the traditional reinforcements. There are different types of fiber, depending on the material, size, shape and diameter.

  • Principal advantages of adding fibers in the concrete:
  • Produces a union between cracks, forming a framework that prevents fragile fracture.
  • Improves behavior to cyclic loads or fatigue. (Kevern 2016)
  • Increases the ultimate capacity of the slab by punching.
  • Increases tensile strength of concrete, abrasion, impact and cut.
  • In pavements, thicknesses can be decreased when the principal stresses are on the underside, as in Thin Concrete Pavements®.

Manuals, guides and Codes


Frequently Asked Questions
What is the TCP technology?

The TCP design is a revolutionary methodology that considers the positions of the truck loads on the slabs, allowing philosophical changes in the design of the structure of the pavements.

This design, dimensions the slabs in a way that they are never loaded by more than one set of wheels of the vehicle, producing significant reductions on the top stresses in the slabs.

The systems can be used in highways, rural roads, urban streets, industrial pavements and parking lots, in different climates and geographical conditions.

Are there any savings using TCP technology?
This new design technology allows for thinner pavements (7 to 10 cm. less thickness than traditional AASHTO design) and, therefore, of lower construction cost with the same advantages of the traditional concrete pavements.
How can I evaluate the use of this technology?
TCPavements can produce a design, for free, so that any investor can evaluate the commercial convenience of using this technology. The savings can be more than 20% compared to other designs.
Do TCP pavements need different construction procedures?
NO, the construction of these pavements is made in a traditional way, with materials used normally in the industry. The recommendations are to use the best existing practices so that the final result is an optimized pavement of great constructive quality and performance
Is it necessary to pay royalty for the use of TCP technology in private projects?
Yes, private or public, the royalty must be paid for the use of the technology.
How is the TCP royalty paid?
TCP Technology is protected by industrial property rights. The royalty has to be paid if the technology is used for the construction of a pavement, in which case an invoice will be emitted to the owner or contractor.
This technology can be used in parking Spaces?
The load concept can be used in any situation where loaded vehicles pass over concrete slabs. In the case of parking lots, the design considers this special situation giving an optimal result for this application.
For industrial floors, is it possible to design with Optipave?
The Optipave program is designed to calculate pavements for streets, highways, roads, industrial pavements and parking lots, where the main use are trucks and automobiles. In the case of industrial floors, where special equipments circulate, the design has to be made in a different way, so the software Optipave cannot be used.
How was the TCP®methodology born and what is its basis?
It was born because of the need of Juan Pablo Covarrubias, Civil Engineer, MsC, PhD, FACI and Director Partner of TCPavements®, to solve the cracking problem of traditional concrete pavements. TCP® Design considers the load positions over the slabs, in a new way, generating changes in the philosophy for the design of the structure of these pavements.