To preserve and protect existing historic buildings from the effects of father time, the best solution is to use GRC concrete. The application of this type of concrete in the renovation of monuments is a common practice among conservators. Due to the favourable material properties: high resistance, durability, flexibility among others, GRC concrete is becoming more and more popular in architecture and reconstructive procedures. Materials used in the renovation of old buildings have to be vastly different from those used in modern construction.
GRC Concrete – what is that?
GRC concrete (also known as GFRC) is a type of concrete reinforced with fiberglass, where the main building materials are cement, water and aggregate mixed with glass fibre materials. GRC concrete has several advantages, including:
– high abrasion and compression strength;
– high resistance to various, extreme weather conditions;
– fire resistance;
– easy to create and from any shape;
– plasticity and flexibility.
Why glass fibre?
By adding glass fibre to the basic concrete mix, the material produced becomes much lighter and more resistant to stretching. It still has the features of ordinary concrete, however, improved by an additional layer of material that increases its plasticity and flexibility. This feature enables the use of GRC concrete e.g. in the renovation of monuments, in the creation and reconstruction of various details and architectural elements, decorations and ornaments.
Manufacturing of GRC concrete
The production of GRC concrete consists of mixing cement, water, small aggregates, pieces of fiberglass and other additives until it becomes a liquid concrete mixture, which will then be printed on the prepared form. High tensile strength and compression makes GRC concrete reliable for the production of thin but strong building elements, such as: panels, facades, claddings, ceilings, domes or decorative columns.
GRC concrete in the renovation of historic buildings
- GRC concrete is strong in both the compressive and the tensile aspect.
- It is more flexible and plastic, which makes it possible to model any shape consistent with the maintenance plan.
- It is much lighter than ordinary concrete, so you can use it to create thin walls, panels and ornaments.
- It is resistant to both fire and weather conditions – this advantage is one of the most important in the case of renovation of old and historic buildings.
- Easy to manufacture – just add glass fibre to the basic mix.
- Waterproof – resistance to moisture extends the life of each mortar.
- A smooth surface can easily be obtained by using GRC concrete.
- GRC concrete gives the possibility of easily forming any shape, according to the customer’s wishes and the requirements of the conservator.
- This type of concrete is easy to care for.
- In terms of finish, GRC concrete can be painted in any colour or left in its original form as exposed material.