Glassfibre Reinforced Concrete is often referred to in different ways such as GRC, GFRC, or Lightweight Concrete. While the name can be interchangeable the fundamentals of well-manufactured GRC remain the same and it is an amazing material for making high quality precast concrete planters and perfect for urban landscaping projects and commercial master plan developments.
1. GRC is Thinner & Lighter
Glass Reinforced Concrete (GRC) is essentially concrete but differs from traditional concrete through the addition of alkaline resistant glass fibres that provide significant additional flexural and tensile strength. However, due to the amazing properties of GRC, the walls of GRC planters can be made significantly thinner than what is required for traditional cast concrete planters to achieve the same or greater strength. Often manufactured to a wall thickness of around 1.5 to 2 cm, GRC planters can therefore be much lighter than precast concrete products. This is where the term lightweight concrete comes from.
2. GRC is Durable
The fantastic durability characteristics of concrete are well known and respected as evidenced by the fact that concrete has been used for hundreds of years. This durability includes resistance from weather, water permeability, fire and chemicals. However, with the advent of GRC technology, all this can be done with much less weight and greater strength than with traditional concrete technology.
3. GRC is Versatile
Glass Reinforced Concrete (GRC) offers an unrivalled creativity and versatility in the development of new product designs because it can be used to accurately reproduce almost any small or large product design. In addition, end products can be finished in a wide variety of textures and colours.
4. GRC has Advantages over Blockwork and Formwork
Precast concrete planters have the following significant advantages over the use of blockwork or on-site formwork concrete planters: -
a. Controlled environment – better quality control
Precast concrete products can be manufactured off-site in a controlled environment where temperature, humidity, air flow and adherence to production standards can be carefully controlled which are important factors in the production of high quality concrete products.
b. Offsite manufacture – more efficient construction site
Precasting concrete products in an offsite location avoids clutter and disruption to a construction site when space is an issue.
c. Independence from slab – avoids stress fractures
The very nature of blockwork and formwork concrete planters makes them an integrated part of a construction site which includes susceptibility to the associated stresses that can lead to cracking and water leakage. The modular nature of precast concrete planters means they are a stand-alone item and hence unaffected by any stress fracturing of the surrounding structures.
d. Lighter than blockwork – suitable for balconies
Since GRC is very strong, the walls on the planters can be made very thin and light compared to blockwork or formwork. Light weight can be a significant advantage in circumstances where they are being placed on a balcony with weight restrictions.
e. Thinner walls – more internal planting space
An advantage of the thinner walls of GRC precast planters is that they allow for more planting space within the planters compared to blockwork and formwork without increasing the outside dimensions of the planter.
f. Ease of replacement – flexible options
Since precast concrete planters are modular they can be replaced or moved relatively easily during future refurbishments or if a planter is damaged.
Contact us to discuss how GRC can benefit your project and design