Why are Contractors, Architects and Designers going with GFRC?
There are plenty of reasons you should consider using GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete) when considering a material that is light, strong, weather resistant, attractive and fire retardant material is required. It can be used as wall panels, window surrounds, spandrels, column covers, soffits, cornices, brackets, quoins, railings, pilasters, copings, domes, etc. The basic flexibility of use makes this an ideal use for many landscaping jobs. Uses in landscape as well as hardscape include site furnishings, planters, bollards, urns, tables, fountains, marine structures, pools, and rock formations. GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete) is used in historical restorations and renovations, for the replication of building ornaments of terra-cotta, carved stone and even wood.
An important component to GFRC is that the glass fibers in it won’t rust unlike steel and the fibers also have 3-4 times higher tensile strength than steel and GFRC has high modulus, in fact ten times that of polypropylene, a material well known for its strength. What that means is that the low modulus material will stretch and crack much more likely than GFRC will. This is because on the inside of GFRC it is hollow so the GFRC is more able to absorb shock. Because the GFRC material is internally reinforced there is no need to go through the process of having to buy other materials to support it. Since mild steel reinforcements are not used in this product, corrosion is not an issue and since GFRC is unaffected by external issues there is no threat of rot and it is fully protected against the risk of UV rays.
There is no worry about this sort of material having environmental issues as GFRC is an inorganic material as well as there not being a health risk. There is no fear of GFRC catching fire so there is no worry about extra added concern with it catching fire. When introduced to a flame it works as a thermal regulator protecting the materials from the heat.
GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete) derives its strength from a high dosage of AR glass fibers and a high dosage of acrylic polymer. While compressive strength of GFRC can be quite high (due to low water to cement ratios and high cement contents), GFRC has very high flexural and tensile strengths that make it superior to ordinary concrete. Essentially the high dose of fibers carries the tensile loads and the high polymer content makes the concrete flexible without cracking.
GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete) fibers are much like the kind of chopped fiberglass used to form objects like boat hulls and other complex three-dimensional shapes.
While the structural properties of GFRC itself are superior to unreinforced concrete, properly designed steel reinforcing will significantly increase the strength of objects cast with either ordinary concrete or GFRC. This is important when dependable strength is required, such as with cantilever overhangs, and other critical members where visible cracks are not tolerable.
It’s best used for complex, three dimensional shells where loads are light. Applications where GFRC makes the most sense are fireplace surrounds, wall panels, vanity tops and other similar elements. GFRC’s advantage is minimized when ordinary flat countertop-shaped pieces are being made. While the weight savings due to reduced thickness is maintained, the effort of forming, mixing and casting are similar or the same.
GFRC has the basic characteristics of concrete with a few added benefits that make GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete) a wonderful investment. For example, because GFRC is 80% lighter than concrete it is much easier to move around than normal concrete and despite its weight its superior strength and durability give it the ability to last a very long time. Because GFRC can be molded into a wide range of intricate and detailed work as well as several colors, varying forms and a wide array of textures it makes it more and more sensible to use such a wonderful product.
GFRC may be sprayed or poured giving it added flexibility. Consolidation of mix is best used for the spray version and rollers and vibrations are best for those that are poured. The wide range of uses makes GFRC a simple solution for a wide range of outdoor projects.
But GFRC isn’t something that has just came out recently, no it has been around since the 1940’s and in its current form the 1970’s. So there is no fear that this is a new product that hasn’t been tested. In fact countries all over the globe have been using GFRC for many years and in the US it has substantially grown since the 1970’s and is the future of modern landscaping and hardscaping.
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