GFRC is concrete that uses glass fibers for reinforcement instead of steel. It is typically cast in a thin section of 1/2″ to 3/4″ in thickness. Since the fibers cannot rust like steel, there is no need for a protective concrete cover thickness to prevent rusting. With the thin, hollow construction of GFRC products, they can weigh a fraction of the weight of traditional precast concrete. GFRC is a composite of cement, glass fibers, aggregates and polymers. It has the look and feel of traditional solid precast and can be used in conjunction with solid precast to meet the projects design criteria.
How GFRC Can Be Used
GFRC can be used wherever a light, strong, weather resistant, attractive and fire retardant material is required.
GFRC can be used in manufacturing architectural products such as window surrounds, column covers, cornices, brackets, quoins, pilasters and fireplace surrounds.
Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete Strength
As an engineered material, the properties of GFRC can vary depending upon mix design, glass content and production methods. Glass fiber used in quality GFRC has a higher tensile strength than steel. As a general rule, the higher the fiber content, the higher the strength. A typical mix with 3% glass fiber has a compressive strength of 6,000 to 8,000 psi. The biggest difference between solid cast and GFRC is that GFRC has significantly higher flexural properties than solid cast products.
Glass fiber reinforced concrete has been tested both by accelerated aging tests in the laboratory and in real life installations. GFRC can be expected to last as long as pre-cast concrete. In many environments, as when exposed to salt spray or high moisture, the GFRC can be expected to perform better, as there is no steel reinforcement to corrode. Since the surface of GFRC is a Portland concrete, it weathers much as a quality architectural pre-cast concrete would.