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Bridges & Structures

What is High Performance Concrete?

High Performance Concrete (HPC) is a specialized series of concretes designed to provide several benefits in the construction of concrete structures:

Performance Benefits Cost & Other Benefits
  • ease of placement and consolidation without affecting strength
  • long-term mechanical properties
  • early high strength
  • toughness
  • volume stability
  • longer life in severe environments
  • less material
  • fewer beams
  • reduced maintenance
  • extended life cycle
  • aesthetics

Several strength and durability criteria were used in the evaluation of HPC designs:

Strength Criteria Durability Criteria
Compressive Strength Freeze-Thaw
Modulus of Elasticity Scaling
Shrinkage Abrasion
Creep Chloride Permeability

HPC is one of the four categories within the SHRP Implementation Program's Concrete and Structures section. Under SHRP, four types of High Performance Concrete were developed:

HPC Type Minimum Strength Criteria Water-Cementitious Ratio Minimum Durability Factor
Very Early Strength (VES) 2 000 psi / 6 hours < 0.4 80%
High Early Strength (HES) 5 000 psi / 24 hours < 0.35 80%
Very High Strength (VHS) 10 000 psi / 28 days < 0.35 80%
Fiber Reinforced HES + (steel or poly) < 0.35 80%

Additional information on the definition of HPC:

Updated: 08/29/2013
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000