As the world of GFRC has progressed, there has always been the demand for lighter, thinner, and stronger panels. These demands start with the mix and even know all GFRC is somewhat similar in design, subtle differences can create varied results in the end product.
GFRC is as defined: Glass fiber reinforced composite materials consist of high strength glass fiber embedded in a cementitious matrix. In this form, both fibers and matrix retain their physical and chemical identities, yet they produce a combination of properties that cannot be achieved with either of the components acting alone. In general fibers are the principal load-carrying members, while the surrounding matrix keeps them in the desired locations and orientation, acting as a load transfer medium between them, and protects them from environmental damage. In fact, the fibers provide reinforcement for the matrix and other useful functions in fiber-reinforced composite materials. Glass fibers can be incorporated into a matrix either in continuous lengths or in discontinuous (chopped) lengths.
At Concrete Developments we wanted the same thing; lighter, thinner, and stronger. To get there we have countless hours experimenting with different mixes aimed at creating a panel that would hold up to the standards we had set in place. As we are largely in the business of producing resort style water features, we know that these projects will be played and climbed upon and need to be able to support this and whatever mother nature has to throw at us as well. With the results came the birth of Neptune Panels.
We now have a panel mix that cures out at 8500-9000+psi, accompanied by a flexural strength of 1675 psi. This creates one of the strongest systems on the market, including architectural GFRC systems used in commercial buildings. It contains a proprietary blend of fibers and is used in conjunction with an all acrylic, co-polymer dispersion (51%) specifically formulated for GFRC production. This drastically improves long-term durability of the GFRC composite, especially in the maintenance of the long-term flexural strain.
Strength being one of the key components to GFRC, it is a common goal of designers to find the right ratios of size and composition of the fibers added to maximize the flexural strength. We continually are looking to keep innovating and designing along with the rest of the industry to further advance the possibilities of GFRC.
Please feel free to comment or share with us your GFRC project!