Effects of Density and Mixture Proportions on Freeze-Thaw Durability of Roller-Compacted Concrete Pavement

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Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board


Roller-compacted concrete (RCC) is widely used for industrial and heavy-duty pavements. An economical and durable material for paving and other applications, RCC has a high strength and a high density. Although the strength of RCC has been thoroughly investigated, the freeze-thaw durability of RCC remains a topic of contention. RCC has often performed well in harsh field environments, but it frequently fails laboratory freeze-thaw durability testing. In this study, 24 specimens were fabricated for freeze-thaw durability testing with a gyratory compactor. The study variables were the degree of compaction, the amount of water, and the water-to-cement (w/c) ratio (and, hence, the amount of cement). The specimens replicated the concrete found in typical RCC pavement and dam construction. The RCC specimens were subjected to up to 300 cycles of rapid freezing and thawing and were tested for fundamental transverse frequency and mass loss. Because of the low aspect ratios of the specimens, fundamental transverse frequency testing was not reliable. Several specimens completed the 300 cycles with a mass loss of less than 10%. The freeze-thaw durability of RCC was found to be dependent primarily on the amount of cement paste and the w/c ratio and to a lesser extent on the degree of compaction.