Benefits of GFRC
There are lots of good reasons to use GFRC for thin sections of concrete:
- With GFRC, concrete can be cast in thinner sections and is therefore as much as 75% lighter than similar pieces cast with traditional concrete. A concrete countertop can be 1-inch thick with GFRC rather than 2 inches thick when using conventional steel reinforcement . An artificial rock made with GFRC will weigh a small fraction of what a real rock of similar proportions would weigh, allowing for lighter foundations and reduced shipping cost.
Large artificial rocks made with GFRC are lighter allowing rock features where real rock would be impossible.
- GFRC can have flexural strength as high as 4000 psi and it has a very high strength-to-weight ratio.
- Since GFRC is reinforced internally, there is no need for other kinds of reinforcement, which can be difficult to place into complex shapes.
- For sprayed GFRC, no vibration is needed. For poured, GFRC, vibration or rollers are easy to use to achieve consolidation.
- Expensive equipment is not needed for poured or vibrated GFRC with a face coat; for sprayed GFRC, equipment generally costs about $10,000.
- GFRC doesn’t crack easily—it can be cut without chipping.
- Because it is sprayed on, the surface has no bugholes or voids.
Smooth surfaces are easily achieved using the two-coat GFRC process.
- Sprayed or poured into a mold, GFRC can adapt to nearly any complex shape, from rocks to fine ornamental details.
- GFRC will outlast precast concrete, cast stone, even some natural stone. Durability has been increased through the use of low alkaline cements and pozzolans.
- Because it uses less cement than equivalent concrete and also often uses significant quantities of recycled materials (as a pozzolan), GFRC qualifies as sustainable.
GFRC ornamental concrete is lightweight because it is hollow.
GFRC as a material, however, is much more expensive than conventional concrete on a pound-for-pound basis. But since the cross sections can be so much thinner, that cost is overcome in most decorative elements. When you keep the thickness to about ¾ inch, the material cost is typically less than $2.00/square foot.