Experimental study of the interfacial transition zone (ITZ) of model rock-filled concrete (RFC)

Yuetao Xie, David J. Corr, Feng Jin, Hu Zhou*, Surendra P. Shah

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations


Rock-filled concrete (RFC), a new type of concrete that was developed mainly for large scale concrete construction, has a different casting process than conventional concrete: large rocks are piled into the formwork first, then self-compacting concrete (SCC) is poured in and fill the voids of the rock skeleton under gravity due to its high flowability. One of the key issues about RFC lies in its large interfaces between the SCC and rocks. In this paper, laboratory-scale model RFC consisting of coarse aggregates (simulating rocks) and cement grout (simulating SCC) was cast to simulate RFC in construction. The effects of different factors (aggregate size, rheology of cement grout, etc.) on the properties of the interfacial transition zone (ITZ) between cement paste and aggregates of model RFC were investigated using Backscatter Electron (BSE) and nanoindentation techniques. Furthermore, by comparing the results of BSE and nanoindentation at identical regions, the relationship between porosity and elastic modulus was found to agree well with empirical formulas, bridging the microstructure with the mechanical properties of concrete.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-231
Number of pages9
JournalCement and Concrete Composites
StatePublished - Jan 2015


  • Backscatter Electron (BSE)
  • Interfacial transition zone (ITZ)
  • Nanoindentation
  • Rock-filled concrete (RFC)
  • Self-compacting concrete (SCC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science


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