When it comes to construction terminologies, PCC and RCC are acronyms that are commonly encountered.  

In this article, we’ll explore the dissimilarities between Plain Cement Concrete (PCC) and Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC)

By the end of this comprehensive guide, you’ll have a clear understanding of their unique characteristics, applications, and the benefits they offer.

  1. Understanding Plain Cement Concrete (PCC) 

Plain Cement Concrete, or PCC, is a fundamental construction material widely employed as a base or sub-base for flooring and pavement. It consists of a mixture of cement, coarse aggregates, fine aggregates, and water. 

The primary purpose of PCC is to provide a sturdy and level surface for further construction activities. The ratio of cement to aggregates in PCC is generally kept lower, making it less strong than RCC.

  1. Applications of PCC

PCC finds its application in various areas of construction, such as:

a) Road Construction

PCC is commonly used in road construction to create a strong foundation for the asphalt or bituminous surface. It helps in distributing the load uniformly and preventing differential settlement, thereby increasing the lifespan of the road.

b) Flooring

For residential, commercial, and industrial buildings, PCC serves as an essential layer for flooring. It offers durability and strength to support the weight of the structure and the occupants.

c) Pavements and Pathways

In parks, gardens, and sidewalks, PCC is utilized for constructing pavements and pathways, providing a smooth and even surface for pedestrian movement.

  1. Understanding Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC)

Reinforced Cement Concrete, or RCC, is a more advanced and widely used construction material than PCC. It is a composite material that contains an additional element – reinforcing steel bars or mesh. The steel reinforcement enhances the tensile strength of the concrete, making RCC significantly stronger than PCC.

  1. Applications of RCC

RCC has a vast array of applications in modern construction, including:

a) Building Construction

For constructing columns, beams, some types of slabs in construction, and other structural elements of buildings, RCC is the preferred choice due to its exceptional strength and durability.

b) Bridges and Overpasses

RCC is extensively used in the construction of bridges and overpasses due to its ability to withstand heavy loads and resist environmental stresses.

c) High-Rise Structures

The construction of skyscrapers and high-rise buildings relies heavily on RCC for its ability to support immense vertical loads and provide stability.

  1. The Key Differences

a) Composition

The primary difference between PCC and RCC lies in their composition. PCC consists of cement, aggregates, and water, while RCC contains an additional reinforcement of steel bars or mesh.

b) Strength

Due to the absence of reinforcement, PCC is not as strong as RCC. The incorporation of steel reinforcement in RCC imparts it with superior strength and load-bearing capacity.

c) Applications

PCC is predominantly used for providing a base or sub-base, while RCC is utilized in structural elements and projects requiring higher strength and load-bearing capabilities.

  1. Advantages of PCC and RCC

Advantages of PCC

  • Cost-effective for basic construction needs.
  • Suitable for applications where high strength is not a primary requirement.
  • Provides a level surface for further construction.

Advantages of RCC

  • Offers excellent strength and durability.
  • Suitable for high-rise structures and heavy-load applications.
  • Provides flexibility in architectural design.


In conclusion, both PCC and RCC serve essential roles in the field of construction. While PCC provides a foundational layer with adequate strength for regular construction needs, RCC takes construction to new heights with its ability to bear heavy loads and withstand environmental forces.