Mix Design Development for Pervious Concrete in Cold Weather Climates

Project Status


Start Date: 08/01/2005
End Date: 02/01/2006


Principal Investigator(s)


  • National Concrete Pavement Technology Center


About the Research

Portland cement pervious concrete (PCPC) is being used more frequently due to its benefits in reducing the quantity of runoff water, improving water quality, enhancing pavement skid resistance during storm events by rapid drainage of water, and reducing pavement noise. In the United States, PCPC typically has high porosity and low strength, which has resulted in the limited use of pervious concrete, especially in hard wet freeze environments (e.g., the Midwestern and Northeastern United States and other parts of the world). Improving the strength and freeze-thaw durability of pervious concrete will allow an increase in its use in these regions. The objective of this research is to develop a PCPC mix that not only has sufficient porosity for stormwater infiltration, but also desirable strength and freeze-thaw durability. In this research, concrete mixes were designed with various sizes and types of aggregates, binder contents, and admixture amounts. The engineering properties of the aggregates were evaluated. Additionally, the porosity, permeability, strength, and freeze-thaw durability of each of these mixes was measured. Results indicate that PCPC made with single-sized aggregate has high permeability but not adequate strength. Adding a small percent of sand to the mix improves its strength and freeze-thaw resistance, but lowers its permeability. Although adding sand and latex improved the strength of the mix when compared with single-sized mixes, the strength of mixes where only sand was added were higher. The freeze-thaw resistance of PCPC mixes with a small percentage of sand also showed 2% mass loss after 300 cycles of freeze-thaw. The preliminary results of the effects of compaction energy on PCPC properties show that compaction energy significantly affects the freeze-thaw durability of PCPC and, to a lesser extent, reduces compressive strength and split strength and increases permeability.

Handheld roller creates a joint in pervious conc.

Roller used to make joints in pervious concrete