When the cement composite is reinforced with glass fiber is called glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC), generally used for architectural cladding. In GFRC, the fiber length and content in the fresh matrix have to be limited because of workability problems.
Here we will learn about glass fiber reinforced concrete, glass fiber reinforced concrete advantages & disadvantages.
Introduction to glass fiber reinforced concrete:
The GFRC is made of borosilicate glass fiber (E glass) and soda-lime silicate fiber (A glass) for reinforced brittle matrix.
Both E glass and A glass fibers had very high tensile strengths about 280 to 3500 MPa and high elastic moduli of 3.1 to 3.5 GPa, but quickly lose their strength, when placed in a typical cement-based matrix of high alkalinity.
Alkaline resistance glass fiber (AR-glass) makes the composite durable.
The behaviour of Glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC):
- Under tensile loading, the behavior of GFRC is adversely affected by multiple cracking of the matrix.
- In a wet environment, the strength of the composite decreases significantly.
- With age, brittleness increases resulting in failure of the material and addition of glass fibers to the concrete, the impact strength increases.
- With 5% glass fiber, the impact strength increases by 1500% compared to plain cement concrete, 2% fiber content, 25% length, flexural strength is almost double.
- It also the increase in breakdown strength and modulus, the ductility of the aggregate increases.
Properties of Glass fiber reinforced concrete:
GFRC panel manufacturing produces less waste than precast panel and uses less natural resources.
Since fabrication is completed within the factory, much less job-site waste is produced.
GFRC cladding is sturdy and low maintenance.
The GFRC provides superior weathering efficiency and an excessive degree of corrosion resistance.
GFRC panels can offer an excessive degree of air resistance.
The GFRC is produced from non-combustible materials.
Insulation will be included as a lining on the interior face of the panel or as a core between two GFRC layers.
The joints between the GFRC panels are normally filled with silicone sealant.
Advantages of Glass fibre reinforced concrete (GFRC):
- In many environmental conditions when exposed to salts or moisture, the GFRC is likely to function optimally due to the absence of reinforcement of steel.
- The concrete performs like a thermal regulator in contact with fire.
- GFRC is thinner and stronger with 75% to 90% less weight than plain concrete.
- The reduced weight facilitates easy and rapid installation reduces the load applied to the structure.
- Lightweight and tough materials also reduce transportation expense, allow for flexibility in design and reduce impact on the environment.
- Improved strength, increases the capacity to bear seismic loads.
- The GFRC is less vulnerable to weather effects and it is more resistant to freeze-melting than normal concrete.
Disadvantages of GFRC:
- It is used as a no-load bearing.
- Their installation requires a separate anchor system.
- GFRC larger panels should be reinforced.
- Its color additives may fade with sunlight.
- It may have different absorption rates than nearby historical materials.
Applications of Glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC):
GFRE in the building:
It can be molded to create modern futuristic designs or replicate traditional historical features.
GRFC might be painted, coloured or simply left with a pure white or grey, smooth or textured.
GRFC in cladding:
It is among the most popular materials used for artistic prefabricated architectural cladding.
Additionally, has the ability to be moulded into thin, light-weight panels with all kinds of GRFC sizes, shapes and surfaces.
GRFC in landscaping:
Seating, planters, kiosks, indicators, sculptures, and fountains are all being in-built GRFC with the flexibility to eliminate tailor shape, type, and surface to be aesthetically suitable with the chosen environment.
GRFC in roofing:
GRFC is a perfect material to make use of on all kinds of roof structures, its light-weight however tough, easy to repair and unaffected by environmental situations.
It is traditional roofing materials such as slate, natural stone or clay products however in contrast to these materials, it is neither heavy nor brittle.
GRFC can be moulded into complex shapes for roofing equipment such as finials, ridges and chimneys.
GRC in walls and windows:
Moulded GRFC components such as window walls, window surrounds, cornices, door portals and columns can adds the decor to residential and commercial buildings, also serving useful needs.
Customary prefabricated panels incorporating a selection of surface finishes including exposed combination, natural stone and brick effect.
GRFC in renovation:
Glass fiber reinforced concrete is a perfect material to be used in the renovation.
Thin light-weight panels are simple to repair and reduce the weight utilized to present structures.
In many circumstances, the chance to enhance the aesthetics of the constructing, but also to enhancing the thermal and acoustic properties.
GRFC in flooring and foundations:
GRFC can provide sensible solutions in constructing the foundations and flooring.
As an everlasting formwork underneath the suspended in-situ concrete flooring, it may give economic benefits with a wonderful appearance.
In balcony slab development, GRFC can provide a ready-made moulded edge, simplifying construction.
On ground flooring concrete slab, insulated GRFC edge formwork can assist reduce the warmth loss from constructing in cold climates.
Similarly, in-wall construction can include insulated GRFC base courses and cell units, which contribute to general wall insulation efficiency.
GRFC in the modular building:
Glass fiber reinforced concrete panels are light-weight and simple to achieve but also resistant to damage.
The strength of the GFRC is sufficient so that even in thin skin construction, small modular buildings can be designed without heavy structural frames.
GRFC walls can incorporate thermal insulation when necesssary whereas the absence of metal reinforcement could also be profit in electrical or telecommunications purposes.
A wide range of aesthetic, natural finishes, and freedom of design, which characterizes GRFC allow options to fulfil any architectural requirement.
GRFC in bridges and tunnel:
Light weight, durable GFRC components are often used on the earth of bridges and tunnels.
The GRFC parapet panel is used to supply aesthetically attractive architectural features without burdening the construction with extreme loads.
The GRFC panel will be manufactured with skinny sections, which implies that the open space of the tunnel is minimized for encroachment.
GRFC in Water and Drainage:
GRFC units will be constructed with densely smooth surfaces that reduce resistance to water movement.
Also read: Geopolymer Concrete, Asphalt Concrete & Precast Concrete
Fiber concerts are used primarily in the exterior building facade panels and architectural prefabricated concrete.