In 2009, ASTM and AASHTO permitted the use of up to 5% interground limestone in ordinary portland cement (OPC) as a part of ASTM C150/AASHTO M85. When this project was initiated a new proposal was being discussed that would enable up to 15% interground limestone to be considered in ASTM C595/AASHTO M234 cement. This project was initiated to provide rapid feedback to INDOT for use in discussions regarding these specifications (this has become ASTM C595/AASHTO M240). PLC is designed to enable more sustainable construction which may significantly reduce the CO2 that is embodied in the built infrastructure while extending the life of cement quarries. The physical and chemical properties of the cementitious materials used in this study were examined. PLC is typically a finer cement (10 to 30% Blaine fineness) with a reduction in the coarse clinker particles (>20µm) and an increase in fine particles which are primarily limestone. Isothermal calorimetry and chemical shrinkage results imply that these PLC materials have a similar or slight greater reaction and would be able to be used interchangeably with OPC in practice as it relates to the rate of reaction. The PLC mortars exhibited relatively similar activation energies compared to the corresponding OPCs allowing the maturity method to be used by INDOT for both the PLC and OPC systems. The mechanical properties of OPC and PLC were generally similar with the PLC typically having slightly higher early age strengths but similar 28 day strengths. No significant change in drying shrinkage or restrained shrinkage cracking was observed for the PLC when compared with OPC (Barrett et al. 2013). The PLC has similar volumes of permeable voids as the OPC. The chloride diffusion coefficients in the PLC systems may range from 0 to 30% higher than the OPCs. The PLC showed synergistic benefits when paired with fly ash. Based on the available literature and available testing results INDOT could consider PLC, as specified in accordance with ASTM C-595/AASHTO M 240, to be a suitable option for use in INDOT concrete applications.

Report Number



portland limestone cement, limestone, interground limestone, sustainable concrete

SPR Number


Performing Organization

Joint Transportation Research Program

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, Indiana

Date of this Version


Technical Summary.pdf (1164 kB)
Technical Summary