Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete or GFRC is a type of construction material that contains fibrous glass components which allow it to have an increased structural strength. Due to this property, GFRC has become a famous material in the field of architecture and construction. Northshore Paving also uses GFRC.
A Brief GFRC Timeline
In the 1940s, the concept of this breakthrough construction material, GFRC, originated in Russia. During that time, efforts for creating a tough material that uses glass fibers have been started. Many people have tried creating a material that is able to handle heavy loads yet many have failed. One notable cause of failure is the presence of alkaline environment in the cement compound which caused immediate deterioration of the glass fibers. Since glass is mainly made up of silica and silica is extremely susceptible to alkaline, this version of GFRC was not successful. Thus, as they went by, GFRC has gone through a lot of improvements and enhancements to make it better.
In the 1970s, a brand new idea regarding this construction material was transported from England to United States. The Great Britain Building Research Establishment was able to fabricate an alkaline-resistant glass fiber which was the solution to the previous problem in creation of GFRC. This has been done by adding zirconium to the slurry used in the manufacture of GFRC. This discovery was distributed in different manufacturing facilities in United States. GFRC was further modified by George Halliday to provide a material with supreme quality compared with the GFRC that is already available in the market.
In the late 1970s, GFRC has begun gaining popularity in United States as more and more people prefer it as their primary construction material. The very first structure to use GFRC in United States was constructed in 1974. As the benefits of this material were realized, GFRC-related jobs increased and installation of this material grew in a larger part of United States.
GFRC has been popular due to the advantages it provides to architects, engineers, and constructors such as being lightweight, having the ability to resist fire, and ease of customization. Since glass fibers are the main component of GFRC, it is easy to cut and shape a sheet of GFRC according to the need of the structure or building.
Today, GFRC is used in almost all construction applications. It is duly-accepted by the Congress of American Building Officials and International Congress of Building Officials as a licensed construction material.
GFRC in the Future
It is expected that in the future, a greater percentage of residences and commercial structures will make use of GFRC as their primary construction material.