Precast Concrete: Why Use GFRC?

GFRC balustrade by Stromberg.

GFRC can be used in place of concrete for many architectural uses, including balustrading.

Precast Concrete: Why Use GFRC?

Precast concrete is a construction product often used for a wide range of structures and architectural applications, including wall panels, planters, column covers, window surrounds and more. This blog explains how precast concrete is used and how precast stone products like GFRC are a good substitute for the precast concrete.

Getting to Know Precast Concrete

Precast concrete is nothing new in the world of construction. In fact, it has been around since Ancient Roman times when builders used concrete and poured it into molds to build complex structures, including tunnels and aqueducts. In the early 1900s, precise concrete panels were first used for buildings.

From there, the use of precast concrete products and applications spread around the world. The material has been used for everything from agricultural products, retaining walls, and utility structures to transportation and traffic products, paving, and panels.

Why Choose GFRC over Precast Concrete?

Over time, other products have been developed that emulate the capabilities of precast concrete but that offer significant advantages over this existing product. One of these newer materials is GFRC, a concrete that uses glass fibers instead of steel and contains aggregates and polymers for reinforcement and durability.

Here are the primary advantages of GFRC over precast concrete:

  • The glass fibers do not rust like the steel found in precast concrete, so there is no need to apply a protective cover of additional concrete over any of the structures that are being cast. That only adds weight.
  • Since GFRC is thin and hollow, it weighs a fraction of precast concrete. In fact it weighs 80-95% less than solid concrete. Its lightweight helps to reduce transportation and installation time and costs as well as provides for more design freedom.
  • GFRC is a more flexible material so it can be made into virtually any shape used for a wide range of applications. Stromberg Architectural has pioneered its use in many areas where precast concrete could not be used, such as sandwich panels, security and noise barriers, marine structures, sunscreens, storage tanks, bus shelters, floating pontoons and cable ducts. Additionally flexibility with GFRC comes in the form of cast-it colors, stains, glazes, paint and texture.
  • GFRC has a much lower impact on the environment than regular concrete because its ingredients are friendlier to the earth not to mention it lasts longer, shrinking your construction project’s carbon footprint.
  • Unlike concrete, which can be vulnerable to weather erosion, freezing and thawing, and water, GFRC is more durable. Its superior strength has also enabled GFRC panels to withstand hurricane-force winds and seismic loads.

Contact Stromberg Architectural

With over 1,400 successful projects completed during the last 30 years, Stromberg Architectural can help you leverage the advantages of GFRC for your construction projects. Our experience has helped to solve numerous design challenges for our clients, including developing solutions for underwater projects to high-rise cladding. Contact us today for a free estimate by filling out our online contact form or calling us at (903) 454-0904.

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