Materials and Structures

, Volume 46, Issue 12, pp 2029–2043 | Cite as

Crumb rubber aggregate coatings/pre-treatments and their effects on interfacial bonding, air entrapment and fracture toughness in self-compacting rubberised concrete (SCRC)

Original Article


The interfacial-bonding, interfacial transition zone (ITZ), and porosity are regarded as the key factors affecting hardened concrete properties. The aim of this study was to experimentally improve the bonding between the rubber aggregate and cement paste by different methodologies including water washing, Na(OH) pre-treatment, and both cement paste and mortar pre-coating. All methods were assessed by determining mechanical and dynamic properties, then correlating this with ITZ porosity and interfacial gap void geometry, along with quantification of the fracture energy during micro crack propagation using fractal analysis. The results indicated that pre-coating the rubber by mortar gave the best results in terms of fracture toughness and energy absorption showing good agreement between observations made at both micro and macro scales.


Image analysis Microstructure SEM Fracture toughness Concrete 

List of symbols


Crack mouth open displacement (mm)


Static modulus of elasticity, i.e. secant (GPa)


Dynamic modulus of elasticity (GPa)


Load bearing capacity (kN)


Unconfined compressive strength (MPa)


Dynamic shear modulus (GPa)


Toughness index (number, n)


Flexural stiffness (kN/mm)


Length (mm)


Pore area fraction


Quality factor


Modulus of rupture, i.e. flexural strength (MPa)


Self-compacting rubberised concrete (untreated rubber aggregate)


Self-compacting rubberised concrete (cement paste pre-coated rubber aggregate)


Self-compacting rubberised concrete (mortar pre-coated rubber aggregate)


Self-compacting rubberised concrete (NaOH pre-treated rubber aggregate)


Self-compacting rubberised concrete (water washed rubber aggregate)


Splitting tensile strength (MPa)


Ultrasonic pulse velocity (m/sec)


Dynamic Poisson’s ratio


Strain capacity (mm)


Damping logarithmic decrement


Damping ratio


Density (kg/m3)



The authors would like to acknowledge Dr. Craig Sturrock for assistance with XRCT imaging/reconstruction, and Dr Nigel Neate for assistance with SEM analysis.


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Copyright information

© RILEM 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Civil Engineering DepartmentCollege of Engineering, Anbar UniversityRamadiIraq
  2. 2.Division of Materials, Mechanics and Structures, Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK

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