Recycled Concrete Aggregate (RCA) for Infrastructure Elements

With a growing demand for new construction and the need to replace infrastructure stretched beyond its service life, society faces the problem of an ever-growing production of construction and demolition waste. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) estimates that two billion tons of new aggregate are produced each year in the United States. This demand is anticipated to increase to two and a half billion tons each year by 2020. With such a high demand for new aggregates, the concern arises of the depletion of current sources of natural aggregates and the availability of new sources. Similarly, construction waste produced in the United States is expected to increase. From building demolition alone, the annual production of construction waste is estimated to be 123 million tons (FHWA). Currently, this waste is most commonly disposed of in landfills. To address both the concern of increasing demand for new aggregates and increasing production of waste, many states have begun to recognize that a more sustainable solution exists in recycling waste concrete for use as aggregate in new concrete, or recycled concrete aggregate (RCA). This solution helps address the question of how to sustain modern construction demands for aggregates as well as helps to reduce the amount of waste that enters already over-burdened landfills. Many states have begun to implement RCA in some ways in new construction. For instance, forty-one states have recognized the many uses of RCA as a raw material, such as for rip-rap, soil stabilization, pipe bedding, and even landscape materials. Thirty-eight states have gone a step further in integrating RCA into roadway systems for use as aggregate course base material. However, only eleven states have begun using RCA in Portland cement concrete for pavement construction. Furthermore, at the start of this research project, there were no acceptable standards or guidelines in the U.S. for utilizing RCA in structural concrete. The objective of this research was to determine the implications of using RCA in the production of new concrete. Specifically, the study evaluated the fresh and hardened properties, durability, and structural behavior of concrete containing RCA and, based on these results, developed guidelines on its use in infrastructure elements for the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).

  • Record URL:
  • Summary URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This research was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Center for Transportation Infrastructure and Safety/NUTC program

    Missouri University of Science and Technology
    220 Engineering Research Lab
    Rolla, MO  United States  65409

    Missouri Department of Transportation

    Research, Development and Technology, 1617 Missouri Boulevard
    P.O. Box 270
    Jefferson City, MO  United States  65102

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Volz, Jeffery S
    • Khayat, Kamal H
    • Arezoumandi, Mahdi
    • Drury, Jonathan
    • Sadati, Seyedhamed
    • Smith, Adam
    • Steele, Amanda
  • Publication Date: 2014-7


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Bibliography; Figures; Photos; Tables;
  • Pagination: 488p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01537445
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NUTC R312, Project #00040138
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT06-G-0014 (Grant)
  • Created Date: Aug 29 2014 4:12PM