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Glassfibre Reinforced Concrete is one of the most versatile building materials available to architects and engineers today.
Glassfibre Reinforce Concrete (GRC or sometimes GFRC) is a composite material comprising a mixture of hydraulic cement, silica sand, alkali resistant (AR) glass fibres and water. The glass fibres in GRC effectively reinforce the mortar mix thereby improving its tensile strength and characteristics.
GRC was developed in the 1960s as a corrosion free alternative to traditional steel reinforced concrete. Initially manufactured as an exterior cladding material, GRC can be moulded into a wide variety of complex shapes, profiles and architectural components. GRC is ideally suited to the popular fast-track approach of using lightweight, prefabricated cladding panels for the exterior of modern buildings.
The main advantage of GRC panels over the corresponding precast concrete alternatives is the considerable saving in weight. This results in savings in the costs of transportation, handling and erection of panels. If this weight advantage is considered at the design stage, it should be possible to effect substantial environmental and economic savings in design of foundations and superstructures for both low and high rise building constructions.
Other notable advantages of GRC cladding are its durability, seismic capabilities, chemical resistance, non-combustibility and good sound/heat insulation properties.
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