Difference Between PCC and RCC: With Table and Images

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In this article, we will discuss the difference between PCC and RCC.


  1. PCC  

PCC Full Form in Civil Engineering is Plain Cement Concrete. The cement concrete in which no reinforcement is provided is called  Plain Cement Concrete (PCC).

✔ It is simply a mixture of cement, sand, and aggregate containing a suitable proportion of water.

✔ It is sometimes called mass cement concrete or cement concrete.

✔ It is considerably stronger in compression but weak in tension and shear.


Some of the uses of plain cement concrete are:

✔ It is commonly used in the construction of the column foundation, massive gravity dams, flooring, etc.

✔ It is used in rigid pavement construction (reinforcement-less rigid pavement).

✔ In small-scale canal construction; PCC is used.

✔ It is also used in some stone masonry works.


Properties of Plain Cement Concrete (PCC)  

Some of the properties of plain cement concrete are:


a. Strength

The PCC should have high compressive strength.

The tensile strength should be 8-12% of compressive strength and shear strength should be 8-10% of compressive strength.

The compressive strength of the PCC depends upon the following:

i. Cement Content

ii. Water Cement Ratio

iii. Method of mixing, placing, compacting, and curing.

iv. Quality of materials used

v. Age of the concrete.


b. Durability 

PCC should be able to resist climatical as well as chemical actions to be durable.


c. Workability 

PCC should be highly workable. It should be easy to mix, manage and transport. It should be free from bleeding and segregation.

Workability can be tested with a slump test.


d. Fire Resistance

PCC should be highly resistive towards the fire to prevent problems like firing, spalling of concrete, etc.





  2. RCC  

The cement concrete in which reinforcement is provided for taking tensile or excessive compressive and shear stresses is called Reinforced Cement Concrete. It can be abbreviated as RCC.

RCC is commonly used for the construction of the following:

1. Slabs

2. Lintels

3. Beams

4. Columns and their footings

5. Raft or mat foundations

6. Precast or cast-in-situ concrete piles etc.

Properties of Reinforce Cement Concrete (RCC)  

The combination of steel and concrete becomes practicable for the following three reasons:

1. The coefficient of linear expansion of concrete and steel is almost the same. Therefore, no internal stresses are set up within reinforced concrete due to the temperature change.

2. The coating of cement on the surface of steel bars protects them from corrosion and chemical effects.

3. The concrete while setting grips very fast on the surface of the steel bars. Therefore the concrete transmits the stresses that steel bars cannot resist themselves.





  3. Difference Between PCC and RCC  

The difference between PCC and RCC are as follows:

Plain Cement ConcreteReinforced Cement Concrete
It doesn’t include ‘Steel’.It includes Steel.
PCC is weak in tension loading while strong in compression loading.RCC is strong in both.
PCC blasts on extreme loading & in an instant w/t providing any notice.RCC provides you sufficient time to get out of the structure before the collapse.


Differences between PCC and RCC on various factors are as follows:


TensionSteel tendons.

High tensile steel bars.

Included with tension.

Ordinary Mild Steel.

Deformed Bars .

No tension involved.

Basic materials usedMin grade of concrete 

Post-Tensioning → M30

Pre-Tensioning  → M40

to resist high stresses


High-strength steel to transfer large prestressing force

Min grade of concrete → M20

Steel → MS

Effectiveness of memberThe entire section carries the load.Does not carries the load.
Crack resistanceIt has High crack resistance.

Cracks don’t occur under working loads.

It has Less crack resistance.
SuitabilityHeavy loads & longer spans.Weight is more desired than steel.
EquipmentNeeds various specialized types of equipment.

Pulling jack, Post-tensioning pump, Master wedges, Anchor head & bearing

Doesn’t need specialized equipment.
Quality of steel needed.1/3rd of RCC

More strength & less c/s area

DeflectionThe deflection is very less.The deflection is very more.
Load carrying capacity & DurabilityBoth are high.Both are Less.
Shock resistanceIt has more shock resistance.It has less shock resistance.
YieldAs high as 2100 N/mm2200 – 300 N/mm2
TestingTesting of steel & concrete can be performed during prestressing.No way of testing the steel & concrete.
CostCheap for a span of 10m – 18m.

As the length of span gets more cost also gets high.

C/s area of the beam is less.

Cheap for span < 9m.


These were the major difference between PCC and RCC.



Read Also: Franki Piles


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