What is GFRC?

Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete

How does GFRC stand apart from conventional concrete?

Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete, or GFRC, allows us to create products with enhanced structural performance as well as aesthetic appeal. It is a medium that really opens up possibilities for us to use concrete in creative ways!

GFRC is a balanced formulation incorporating cement, fine sand, polymer, water, glass fibres and other admixtures. It is carefully engineered to provide high performance qualities, including high compressive and flexural strength. The mix that we use has been designed in Australian laboratories by a team of chemical engineers.

High flexural strength comes from the matrix of fibres and high polymer content, which reinforce it at both the microscopic and macroscopic levels. This means that products are more resistant to cracking and chipping than those made using conventional concrete. High compressive strength is achieved through high packing density and fewer capillary pores. GFRC can be homogeneously pigmented using high grade UV resistant pigments to achieve a range of colours.

The Process

We use a variety of casting techniques, ranging from traditional handmade formwork to fibre glass and rubber moulds for smaller items such as hand basins. All ingredients are weighed out precisely and mixed by hand. The benchtop is poured in a controlled environment. In rare situations we will pour larger items in situ. All honing, polishing and finishing is done using a mixture of old-world practices and modern hand tooling. Our carefully selected range of sealers and topical coatings are the result of careful research and a great deal of trial and error. We have perfected our processes over 7 years, but still allow plenty of brain space for new and innovative methods and to continuously improve.

Finish: What do we mean by ‘Exposed’ finish versus ‘off the form’?

Unlike conventional concrete, a plain mix of GFRC contains no aggregate. We can thus achieve a uniform, or plain finish. A large piece will never be completely uniform and we can add texture (if so desired) through the addition of fine sand.

PLAIN FINISHES

An exposed finish is one in which we hand seed the mix with the aggregate of your choice. This may include river stones, quartz shards, glass, glow stones and even shells. One the slab has set, the aggregate is exposed through grinding and polishing the surface, before applying a sealer coat.

EXPOSED FINISHES

Sealer

The final touch prior to delivering your product is to coat it with a two-part, poly-urethane food grade sealer, which is designed to withstand the elements and humidity of tropical North Queensland. We have tried and tested a variety of sealers over the years to develop confidence in the product we use. A dense structure with fewer capillary pores prevents water from seeping past the surface, making it inherently resistant to external conditions and common stains. Our sealer is food grade, UV stable and low VOC. Whilst our sealer is top of the range, the use of caustic or acidic cleaning products is not recommended and will degrade the product over time. We recommend using alkaline cleaning products and good old-fashioned hot water to wipe up spills promptly.

Training

Daniel is an accredited trainer. We cater to both on-site and remote training of small to large groups in all aspects of decorative concrete. Please contact us to discuss or see here for more information on our training.

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