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  • Shannon George

Rolling with RCC

Updated: Sep 13, 2021

Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) has its roots in the 1970s logging industry. This technique stemmed from the necessary need for an unyielding pavement to withstand immense loads and substantial specialized equipment. Since its start, RCC has gained a reputation as a financially beneficial and long-standing surfacing material.

The low water to cement ratio makes RCC as strong as traditional concrete. It is not affected by oil spills, fuels, or hydraulic fluids and can withstand high temperatures.

RCC is a special blend of concrete that consists of nearly the same ingredients as traditional concrete, but a drier mixture. The drier mix of cement, water, and aggregates, such as gravel and crushed stone are stiff enough to be compacted. Normally, RCC is mixed at or near the construction sites. It is transported using dump trucks and placed into asphalt paver equipment. The RCC is placed in lifts almost 40 feet wide and 10 inches thick. The concrete is laid in continuous layers and is compacted with vibrating rollers. With RCC there is no release of high heat during the drying of concrete.

Although RCC came about from the logging industry, RCC has been used almost exclusively in new dam construction and dam repairs. RCC is an economical and durable alternative to traditional asphalt. In addition to its origins in the logging industry and a staple used for dams, RCC can be implemented and used in the following areas:

  • Roads

  • Highway shoulders

  • Parking facilities

  • Warehouses

  • Container ports

  • Multi-modal yards

  • Distribution centers

Three standout benefits for RCC are sustainability, safety, and accelerated paving.

  • Sustainability- RCC requires less maintenance and this equals energy savings and reduced material usage. It is also possible to use recycled crushed concrete further reducing material cost. The environmental footprint from RCC is far less than that of asphalt which comes from crude oil.

  • Safety-RCC surfaces are safer options in many ways. They are lighter colored than blacktop and thus easier to see at night. RCC surfaces maintain their integrity over that of asphalt. Smooth surface integrity means no hazardous ruts or potholes in icy and snowy conditions. RCC surfaces that are resistant to ruts mean fewer repairs. This translates into fewer work zone hazards as well.

  • Accelerated paving-RCC is a simpler form of concrete paving that goes faster. With no forms, dowels, steel reinforcements, and little or no finishing required, RCC is a viable and efficient option for your project. In addition, RCC is more efficient than asphalt because often only one lift is needed for the job. The ability for quicker job completion is of significance when operating parking lots and streets are involved. Roads can be opened in a matter of hours instead of days.

While RCC was created in response to the need for a low-cost, high-volume material for industrial pavements, engineers, owners, and construction managers continue to be drawn to RCC because of its low cost. However, today's RCC owes much of its desirability to its ability to perform. The durability to endure large and specialized loads; the versatility to handle a wide range of paving applications; and the strength to survive freeze-thaw damage. From container ports to parking lots, RCC is the right choice for tough duty.

Call us today or connect with one of our experts at TCP to learn how RCC can be the solution to your surface concerns.


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