GFRC – A Game Changer in Concrete Manufacturing

GFRC, or glass fibre reinforced concrete, is a specialised type of concrete that is both durable and lightweight. It can be cast into anything from kitchen benchtops to commercial countertops, bathroom vanities to bespoke fireplace hearts

GFRC, or glass fibre reinforced concrete, is a specialised type of concrete that is both durable and lightweight. It can be cast into anything from kitchen benchtops to commercial countertops, bathroom vanities to bespoke fireplace hearts. The team at Slatecrete loves working with GFRC in our concrete manufacturing projects in Auckland and across NZ, it is a true gamechanger in the world of concrete.

What is GFRC?

GFRC is a composite material comprised of cement, fine aggregate, acrylic co-polymer, water and glass fibres. It has been used for the past 30 years in NZ by concrete manufacturers who have become big fans of its many benefits. The use of glass fibres in concrete is similar to the process of using fiberglass to create boat hulls; the difference is, here the glass is being mixed in with concrete as opposed to plastic.

Benefits of GFRC

• High Tensile Strength – because of the high amount of glass fibres, GFRC’s tensile strength is superior to traditional concrete, making it useful in a much wider range of concrete manufacturing.

• Lightweight Panels – a third of the weight of wet-cast concrete, GFRC can be made into thinner and wider panels which makes for a lightweight final product.

• Economical – glass-reinforced concrete is more affordable than traditional concrete, and is easier to install.

• Flexible – due to the polymers in the concrete, GFRC is more flexible, which means we can create a greater variety of shapes, sizes and designs in your finished product.

• Resistant to cracks – GFRC is less prone to cracks, which is very desirable when it comes to beautiful pavers, integrated kitchen sinks and bathroom basins.

• Variety of design styles – like regular concrete, you can customise the style of your GFRC with unique embellishments like acid stains, pigmentation, aggregates, veining and more. It can be etched, polished, sandblasted and stenciled. If you can imagine it, Slatecrete can do it.

A Little History Lesson on GFRC

GFRC was first created in the 1940s in Russia, but there was a problem. Glass breaks down in an alkaline setting, and concrete is pretty much the most alkaline product you can find, so, the strength of early GFRC’s quickly degraded.

Thirty years later, an advancement brought GFRC back from the dead: alkali-resistant glass fibres were used to stop the breakdown of glass. Since then, GFRC has been celebrated and widely used in a variety of different applications.

Popular Uses of GFRC in NZ

Since its perfection in the 1970s, GFRC has become very useful in places where traditional concrete is not appropriate. From fireplace hearths to pool coping, bathroom vanities to kitchen benchtops, GFRC stands up to heat and water, making for bespoke pieces of furniture and excellent strength, impressive durability and low cost.

To put GFRC to good use in or around your home, talk to Slatecrete, Auckland’s leading concrete manufacturers.

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