Effect of Recycled Aggregate Characteristics on Drying Shrinkage of Paving Concrete


The research presented in this paper addresses the effect of coarse recycled concrete aggregate (RCA) on drying shrinkage of concrete designated for transportation infrastructure. Six types of RCA were employed at 30 to 100% replacement rates of virgin coarse aggregate. Two binder systems, including a binary cement with 25% Class C fly ash and a ternary system with 35% fly ash and 15% slag were employed. Three different water-cementitious materials ratios (w/cm) of 0.37, 0.40, and 0.45 were considered. Test results indicate that the use of RCA increased drying shrinkage by up to 110% and 60% after 7 and 90 days of drying, respectively. Correlations with R2 of up to 0.85 were established to determine the shrinkage at 7, 28, 56, and 90 days as a function of aggregate properties, including specific gravity, water absorption, and Los Angeles abrasion resistance of the combined coarse aggregates. The water absorption of the combined coarse aggregate was shown to be a good index to showcase the effect of RCA on shrinkage. Contour graphs were developed to determine the effect of RCA content and its key physical properties on 90-day drying shrinkage of concrete intended for rigid pavement construction. A classification system available in the literature was also used to suggest the maximum allowable replacement rates for use of RCA in a hypothetical case study. Results suggest replacement rates of 100%, 70%, and 50% (% wt.) to limit the 90-day shrinkage to 500 µε when RCA of A-1, A-2, and A-3 Classes are available, respectively.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for Research in Energy and Environment (CREE)

Keywords and Phrases

Cracking susceptibility; Recycled concrete aggregate; Rigid pavement; Shrinkage; Sustainability; Transportation infrastructure

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2020 American Concrete Institute (ACI), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Apr 2020