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For unreinforced concrete pavement, the contraction joint is an approximately 3mm wide groove with a depth of about one-third to one-fourth of slab thickness and a regular spacing of normally 5m. The grooves are designed such that they are too narrow for stones to fall into when the cracks are open due to the contraction of concrete. The groove location is a plane of weakness and the groove acts as a potential crack-inducing device where any potential cracks due to shrinkage and thermal contraction may form will be confined to the base of the groove. It will not cause any unpleasant visual appearance on the exposed surface of unreinforced concrete pavement.
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