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Roller-Compacted Concrete (RCC) Material Properties

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This page provides typical material properties of roller-compacted concrete (RCC) as reported by the National Concrete Pavement Technology Center's Guide for Roller-Compacted Concrete Pavements.

Compressive Strength

Compressive strengths of RCC are usually similar to those of conventional concrete (i.e. 4,000 - 6,000 psi). While these are typical compressive strengths of RCC, some projects have yielded compressive strengths exceeding 7,000 psi. The dense-graded aggregate structure and effectively low water-to-cementitious materials ratio (w/cm) help RCC achieve high compressive strengths. Compressive strength, as well as split tensile strength, have been shown to be highly dependent on the compacted density of the RCC[1].

Flexural Strength

Due to the difficulty in obtaining sawed beam specimens from RCC pavements and the lack of a standardized method for compacting RCC beams in the lab, there is limited data on RCC flexural strengths. However, projects that did test flexural strength have shown that RCC can yield flexural strengths in the range of 500-1,000 psi. According to the National Concrete Pavement Technology Center[2], flexural strength is directly related to density and compressive strength of the RCC mixture.

Modulus of Elasticity

The elastic modulus, the ratio of stress to strain, of RCC has been suggested to be similar or slightly higher than that of conventional concrete based on limited testing of field cores.


The fatigue behavior of RCC has been suggested to also be similar to that of conventional concrete based on limited testing performed by[3]. Recently, a few other researchers[4][5] have looked at fatigue of RCC beams in the lab as well as full-scale, accelerated pavement testing of RCC and found fatigue life to be similar to conventional concrete pavements.

Bond Strength

The bond strength between layers of RCC, which is different from the bond strength for conventional concrete pavements, is of particular concern for RCC pavements. The bond between layers will dictate the bond condition (i.e. fully bonded, partially bonded, or unbonded). Partially bonded or unbonded RCC layers will yield a lower structural capacity for the same total thickness as fully bonded RCC layers. It has been shown that RCC layers compacted within 60 minutes of each other yield sufficient bond strength to be considered fully bonded.

Freeze-Thaw Durability

RCC pavements can be subjected to two types of deterioration as a result of freezing and thawing conditions: internal cracking and surface scaling. Historically, RCC pavements in northern climates have performed well as shown by a study of 34 RCC pavements that ranged in age from 3-20 years[6]. Characterizing freeze-thaw durability of RCC using ASTM C666 or ASTM C672 has typically shown poor performance but good performance has been found when using ASTM C1262. Proper materials selection and adequate field compaction are essential to achieving good freeze-thaw performance for RCC pavements.


Due to lower water contents of RCC compared to conventional concrete pavements, RCC normally has less shrinkage and cracking. Thermal expansion and contraction properties of RCC are expected to be similar to those of conventional concrete pavements for similar materials.

Related Pages


  1. Shihata, S.A. 2000. Strength and Density of Laboratory-Prepared RCC Specimens: Effect of Compaction Procedure. Cement, Concrete, and Aggregates, 22(1), 1-9.
  2. National Concrete Pavement Technology Center. 2010. Guide for Roller-Compacted Concrete Pavements.
  3. Tayabji, S. and Okamoto, P. (1987). "Thickness Design of Roller-Compacted Concrete Pavements." Transportation Research Record, 1136, 23-32.
  4. Nguyen, M, Jones, D, Harvey, J. (2012). “Accelerated Pavement Testing Experiment of a Pavement Made of Fiber-Reinforced Roller-Compacted Concrete. In Advances in Pavement Design Through Full-scale Accelerated Pavement Testing. Hoboken: CRC Press. 299-311.
  5. Modarres, A. and Hosseini, Z. (2014). “Mechanical Properties of Roller Compacted Concrete Containing Rice Husk Ash with Original and Recycled Asphalt Pavement Material.” Materials and Design, 64, 227-236.
  6. Piggott, R.W. (1999). "Roller Compacted Concrete Pavements - A Study of Long Term Performance." Portland Cement Association (PCA), Skokie, Illinois.