Roller Compacted Concrete
An introduction to the innovative concrete pavement
Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) is becoming the value engineered pavement of choice for many applications. RCC has the same basic ingredients as conventional concrete – cement water and aggregates. However, it’s a drier mix stiff enough to be compacted by vibratory rollers. RCC provides superior longevity and costs up to 20% less than conventional concrete, making it a great, sustainable alternative.
History of Roller Compacted Concrete
RCC was first used as a form of pavement in Sweden in 1930. In the 1940s, RCC had its first installation in the United States as an airport runway in Yakima, Washington. RCC started gaining real traction in the 1970s when the Canadian logging industry began using RCC as a cleaner and more economical alternative to traditional concrete in large, log-sorting areas. From here, RCC peaked interest in the United States. In the early 1980s, the US Army Corps of Engineers began constructing RCC pavements throughout various military facilities in the United States.
RCC continued to gain popularity in warehouses, truck terminals, distribution centers and in the construction of dams throughout the early 1980s and early 1990s. In the early 2000s, RCC became widely utilized for uses on industrial & residential streets, turn lanes and high volume intersections. RCC’s strength and quick turn-around process make it an ideal choice for installation on these types of roadways.
How is Roller Compacted Concrete Made?
RCC is made with the same materials as conventional concrete but with different proportions. RCC contains between 75 to 85 percent aggregate, which is packed through the process of compaction. Compaction consists of forcing the aggregate particles close together to reduce the amount of air in the pavement, increasing the pavement’s density. RCC is dry enough to be compacted by vibratory rollers and wet enough to be evenly distributed.
RCC applications often do not require the use of joints, dowels or reinforcing steel. The proportion of aggregates, cement and water in RCC is widely dependent on the environment in which the pavement is being installed. The Design of RCC generally falls into one of two categories: design for heavy-duty pavements and design for roadway and mixed vehicle traffic.
Roller Compacted Concrete Disadvantages
RCC does not have the aesthetic appeal offered by conventional concrete, such as a smooth texture and uniformity throughout the pavement. Its use of aggregates makes it a rougher pavement, lacking the smoothness of traditional concrete. Since RCC is a drier mix containing less water, extra care must be taken when installing RCC in hot weather areas.
10 Advantages of Roller Compacted Concrete:
- Resists rutting & shoving commonly associated with asphalt pavements
- Bridges unstable sub grades
- Does not deform under heavy loads
- Does not deteriorate from spills of fuels & hydraulic fluids
- Does not soften under high temperatures
- Allows for thinner pavement design compared to pavement alternatives
- Can be placed late in the years compared to other pavements
- Has low maintenance costs
- Does not require forms, dowels, reinforcement or finishing
- Is environmentally friendly
Many utility companies use RCC because of its cost, durability, efficiency and sustainability.
Cost A driving factor in the development of RCC was cost. Roller Compacted Concrete has an initial cost competitive to asphalt pavements yet offers the life cycle and low maintenance costs of a concrete pavement.
Durability RCC is used for all types of industrial or heavy duty pavement applications. The reason is simple – RCC has the strength and performance of conventional concrete at a fraction of the cost.
Efficiency RCC offers a quick return to traffic, allowing businesses to stay open. Roller Compacted Concrete helps guarantee projects will be completed on time, within budget and with total client satisfaction.
Sustainability RCC pavements provide higher solar reflectivity reducing urban heat island effects and lighting requirements for pavements.