Glass reinforced concrete
Glass reinforced concrete (GRC), or glass-fibre reinforced concrete (GFRC), is a construction material that is commonly used to form exterior cladding panels. It has grown in popularity with architects and engineers because of its ability to be formed into virtually any size, shape or profile (such as the Heydar Aliyev Center pictured above).
GRC is composed from high-strength, alkali-resistant glass fibres embedded in a concrete matrix. The fibres act as the principal load-carrying component, while the surrounding matrix keeps them in position, and transfers load between the fibres. Both fibres and matrix are capable of retaining their physical and chemical identities, while combining their properties to create a high-performance composite.
GRC is typically manufactured in thin sections, by machine-spraying an enriched ordinary Portland cement and aggregate mix with glass fibres dispersed throughout. These fibres serve a similar purpose to steel rebar in reinforced concrete, but are not susceptible to rust.
GRC panels are often used as a lightweight cladding system, and can be made to look almost identical to natural stone. Installation is easier and more cost-effective due to the lower weight of the panels, which is approximately 80% lighter than pre-cast steel reinforced concrete cladding. This enhances the energy efficiency of GRC , and it is capable of achieving a BREEAM A+ material rating.
Panel moulds can be created to replicate complex profiles. The panels are generally take a ribbed or sandwich form, and offer good durability, fire resistance, weather resistance, and sound insulation properties.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Have a look at Riga's most striking new building, the National Library of Latvia.
It's an exciting time for NEC users, but it can only succeed with openness and inclusivity between clients and contractors.
New designs revealed for Qatar World Cup 2022 stadium, based on traditional Arab headwear.
The results of the sixth large-scale cladding tests have been published - another failure.
Four practical tips to bring sustainability into your building design.
Have a look at these designs for a new cross-laminated timber tower in Toronto.
Geniebelt examine the urgent need for change in construction.
Read our introductory article to the contractor's design portion.
Four ways in which smart cities could make our lives better.
Mayor Sadiq Khan announces new Greener City Fund in drive to make London the first 'National Park City'.
BSRIA announce UKAS accreditation for sound absorption testing.
The full terms of reference are published for the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.