Over the last twenty years, high performance concretes have gained recognition as important large scale construction materials. These ‘traditional’ high performance concretes (HPC’s) have been used in mainstream construction with Characteristic strengths ranging between 50 and 120 MPa (Bonneau et al 1997). Although very similar to normal strength concretes, various admixtures and water reducing agents set HPC’s apart and give them their unique characteristics. Reactive Powder Concretes follow a totally different approach in the way they are prepared and used in structural applications. The contents of this report will occasionally compare these differences.
Reactive Powder Concrete was first developed in the early 1990's by researchers from the French construction company Bouygues S.A., Paris, France. Marcel Cheyrezy is the man credited as the leading force in the developmental phase of RPC. Cheyrezy is the director of research and development of the Scientific Division at Bouygues. Pierre Claude Aitcin, Scientific Director of Concrete Canada at the University of Sherbrooke, was instrumental in moving RPC from the lab to the field with the application of RPC on the Sherbrooke Pedestrian/Bikeway Bridge in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. This first example of RPC in construction is being closely followed by other experimental structures all over the world.