Features & Advantages
Although GRC has a similar density to normal concrete, it can be used in much thinner panels. This allows GRC panels to be lighter and easier to manipulate. This lighter weight also makes reinforced concrete panels cheaper and easier to transport and install. A cladding panel manufactured from 100mm thick precast concrete would weigh 240kgs per ㎡Compared to a similar GRC panel of 40-50kgs/㎡.
In fact many GRC products can be lifted and carried by hand an important consideration with strict manual handling regulations now being introduced in many countries.
Despite their relatively light weight, GFRC panels are very strong. They provide better performance than unreinforced precast concrete. According to the Concrete Countertop Institute, these panels are designed to deal with seismic and wind loads, and flex rather than break. The Concrete Network states that GFRC can have flexural strength of as much as 4,000 psi.
Panels made with single dimension reinforcing, where all the glass fibers point in the same direction, are stronger than panels with randomly scattered fibers.
GRC has a wide flexibility in design and manufacture, which enables it to reproduce most architectural styles and features. It can replicate virtually any surface detail and reproduce the appearance of materials such as stone, slate, terracotta and marble.
GRC can match stonework in appearance and as it can be produced in thin sections it is easier to handle and fix.
GRC products have been shown to provide economic solutions to many applications
Although the manufacturing costs may be higher than concrete when the reduced handling, transport and fixing costs are considered there can be an overall saving.
Corrosion and Rot Proof
GRC products do not contain mild steel reinforcement and the problems associated with corrosion of reinforcement do not apply.
GRC is unaffected by external exposure and will not rot. It is completely unaffected by exposure to UV light.
Ease of Work
GRC is internally reinforced with glass fibers and does not require repair or other internal reinforcement. This makes molding or spraying the material relatively easy. This material also doesn't crack easily, so workers can cut cured GFRC without worry of chipping, cracking or breaking. When the material is applied using a two-coat process, it also produces very smooth surfaces.
The Concrete Network claims that GRC is more environmentally friendly than conventional concrete. Cement production requires burning immense amounts of fossil fuels, giving it a significant environmental footprint. GRC uses much less cement than ordinary concrete, since so much of it is made up of glass fibers. These glass fibers often come from recycled sources. This material is also very long-lasting. According to the Concrete Network, correctly manufactured GRC can outlast conventional concrete and cast stone.