Recycled concrete aggregates and their influences on performances of low and normal strength concretes

Mohammed Seddik Meddah*, Ali Al-Harthy, Mohamed A. Ismail

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Recycled materials are now widely used in various industrial sectors to enhance sustainability and reduce environmental charges. Using recycled aggregates in concrete production significantly lowers demand for natural aggregates and the amount of solid waste sent to landfills. This paper summarizes the main results of a study undertaken to design low and normal strength concrete with various replacement ratios of coarse recycled concrete aggregates (RCA). To persuade the concrete industry to use recycled materials as one of the main components of concrete produced, the overall mechanical and durability performances of the RCA-concrete should be close or even similar to the concrete made with natural ingredients. The present research adopted an approach that consists of designing a series of low and normal strength with RCA having an equal target 28-day design strength to the corresponding natural aggregates concrete but while varying the water-cement ratios (w/c). Coarse recycled concrete aggregates, obtained by crushing waste concrete debris collected from different construction and demolition waste sources, were used in three different proportions of 30%, 50% and 100% (by weight) to produce new concrete with various w/c ratios and different compressive strength grades. Concrete mixes produced with general use Portland cement and various RCA contents were investigated in terms of their key mechanical and durability performances. The mechanical properties (crushing value) of the used RCA were visibly lower than the natural coarse aggregates (NCA). Thus, RCA-concrete showed lower performance than the NCA-concrete. It was found that by using up to 30% coarse RCA, the mechanical properties of concrete were not significantly affected. Beyond 30% of partial replacement of NCA by the coarse RCA, a continuing decrease in the mechanical performance with an increase in RCA amount was found. However, reducing the w/c ratio of concrete designed with the coarse RCA resulted in a compressive strength improvement, a better resistance to sulphate attack, carbonation, and chloride ion penetrations. Additionally, a proper design of Portland cement concrete produced with various proportions of RCA could also contribute to promoting sustainability in the construction industry and lowering its environmental impact.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2385
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • Carbonation
  • Chloride ingress
  • Durability
  • Mechanical properties
  • Recycled concrete coarse aggregates
  • Sulphate attack
  • Sustainable concrete

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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