Reinforced Cement Concrete Properties, Uses, Advantages |Full Detail|

Reinforced Cement Concrete is the most important thing in Civil Engineering. Here we will provide you the basic information about reinforced cement concrete, exploring its properties, materials used, composition, advantages, and disadvantages. If you are finding your career in the construction field, then this article will provide you with valuable information about RCC.

Reinforced Cement Concrete

Concrete when used with the provision of reinforcement (steel) in the structure is known as Reinforced Cement Concrete. If the concrete is used without any reinforcement it is said to be Plain Cement Concrete. The plain concrete is strong to take compressive loads, but weak in tensile loading. To increase the tensile strength of the concrete, reinforcement is provided in the forms and fresh concrete is poured around it. Thus, the composite mass of concrete and reinforcement is called Reinforced Cement Concrete.

Properties of Reinforced Cement Concrete

The properties of RCC depend on the proportions and type of ingredients. The following are the properties of RCC that make it an ideal choice for construction projects:

1. The reinforcement in RCC helps in preventing temperature and shrinkage stresses.

2. It increases the capacity to carry compressive and tensile loads.

3. It also helps to reduce the cracks developed by the temperature and shrinkage stresses.

4. It has more strength as compared to Plain Cement Concrete.

5. It is highly resistant to fire as compared to other construction materials.

Material used in Reinforced Cement Concrete

Reinforced Cement Concrete consists of concrete and reinforcing material. The strength and durability of any RCC section depends upon the grade of concrete and reinforcement used:


Cement is a binding material that when reacted with water, shows the binding properties. It consists of compounds named silicates and aluminates of calcium which gives a solid mass when mixed with water. Ordinary Portland is the common type of cement widely used in all construction projects.


The aggregate is the crushed pieces of rock or stones that are bound together with the cement to obtain the strength and density of the concrete. The aggregates are of two types:

1. Fine Aggregate

It includes the aggregate whose size is less than 4.75mm. They are the finely crushed stones. E.g. Sand, Crusher dust, etc. They are used to fill the voids between the coarse aggregate.

2. Coarse Aggregate

It includes the aggregate whose size is more than 4.75mm. Its size is based on the nature and demand of the work. E.g.: Gravel, Crushed Stone, Rock, etc.


Water is required for the chemical reaction of cement and also for providing workability to the concrete. The water used for mixing and curing concrete should be clean and free from injurious amounts of acids, alkalis, salts, or other chemical substances, which can harm both steel and concrete.


Steel plays an important role in Reinforced Cement Concrete to acquire adequate tensile strength to the structure. It is used in the form of bars or wire mesh depending upon the requirement of the work. The provision of reinforcement makes the section thinner. Steel develops a strong bond with concrete and helps to transfer stresses from one material to another. Various types of steel used in RCC work:

1. Mild Steel

Mild steel bars are plain rounded bars commonly used for light construction works where much strength is not required. They are used for nominal reinforcement work. They are represented by Fe 250.

2. High Yield Strength Deformed Bars (HYSD)

These bars are of two types:

(i) Cold twisted deformed bars and

(ii) Hot worked deformed bars

These bars have ribs on their surface along their length so that they develop a strong bond with concrete. They yield higher strength than mild steel bars and are available in grades Fe 415 and Fe 500.

3. Thermomechanically treated bars (TMT)

These bars are highly resistant to corrosion. These bars are expensive and yield more strength as compared to HYSD Bars. These are manufactured by passing hot rolled steel bars through cold bars.

4. Steel Wire Fabric

These are made by weaving or welding the straight bars in the form of wire mesh. The type of bars may be plain round wires, deformed wires, etc. The mesh so formed is used in the construction of Slab, pavement, roads, etc.

reinforced cement concrete

Composition of RCC

The composition of reinforced cement concrete involves careful selection and proportioning of the constituent materials according to the mix design. The selection of the grade of the concrete is determined by the desired strength and durability requirements of the structure. Steel reinforcement is strategically placed within the concrete to counteract tensile forces and increase its load-bearing capacity.

Uses of Reinforced Cement Concrete

RCC has a wide range of uses.  Here are some common applications:

Buildings: It is extensively used in the construction of Residential, and Highrise buildings. It is used in various sections such as beams, columns, slabs, foundations, etc.

Bridges and Flyovers: It is widely used in the construction of bridges and flyovers due to its ability to withstand heavy loads and resist the forces exerted by vehicular traffic.

Dams and Reservoirs: It is commonly used in the construction of dams, reservoirs, and water tanks. Its impermeable property makes it ideal for water retaining structures.

Pavements and Roads: RCC is utilized in the construction of pavements, sidewalks, and roads. It can withstand heavy traffic loads, making it suitable for both urban and rural road networks.

Retaining Walls: It is used in the construction of RCC retaining walls to provide stability and prevent soil erosion. These walls are found in landscaping, highway construction, slope stabilization, and other protection works.

Pre-stressed Members: A rich mix of RCC used with tendons and cables in the manufacturing of prestressed concrete members like pre-stressed beams, slabs, girders, etc.

Advantages of RCC

1. It has very good tensile strength and compressive strength.

2. If RCC is designed and laid properly, it can last up to 100 years.

3. It is more suitable for architectural appearance as it can be molded into the desired shape by designing the formwork.

4. It provides flexibility to the structure.

5. It is cheaper as compared to steel and prestressed concrete.

6. It is economical as its maintenance cost is low.

7.  It is almost impermeable to moisture.

8. Properly designed RCC structures are extremely resistant to earthquakes.

Disadvantages of RCC

1. If not adequately protected, the steel reinforcement within RCC can be prone to corrosion, leading to structural damage and corrosion over time.

2. RCC structures are heavier as compared to other types of structures such as steel, glass, wood, etc.

3. It requires a lot of skilled labor for shuttering, formwork, and proper placement of concrete.

4. Improper placement and vibrations to the concrete may fail the structure.

5. Concrete takes time to gain its full strength. Thus, reinforced cement concrete structures cannot be used immediately after construction.


What is RCC in construction?

RCC is the combination of concrete and steel which is known as Reinforced Cement Concrete.

Why steel is used in reinforced cement concrete?

Steel is an important element in RCC as it increases the tensile load-carrying capacity of the structure.

Can Reinforced Cement Concrete be used for both residential and commercial buildings?

Yes, RCC is widely used in both residential and commercial construction due to its strength and durability.

Is RCC earthquake resistant?

Yes, if it is properly placed and cured, it can resist earthquake forces.


Reinforced cement concrete is the most widely used material for the development of the modern world. Due to its adequate strength and durability, it is suitable for a variety of structural applications such as multi-storied buildings, residential apartments, bridges, dams, tunnels, etc. Considering all of its applications, reinforced cement concrete is a crucial component in the construction industry.

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