Main menu


Glassfibre Reinforced Concrete Principles, production, properties and applications

 Download Glassfibre Reinforced Concrete Principles, production, properties and applications  Easily In PDF Format For Free.


The development of glassfibre reinforced concrete (GRC) in the 1960s [1–4] exploited an ancient and simple principle of converting naturally brittle materials into much tougher and therefore more useful ones through the incorporation of strong fibres, initially of plant origin. GRC is based on the same principle, and in the twenty-first century it is an already well-established construction material used all over the world. Basic constituents of GRC are very few, namely cement, water, fine aggregate and glass fibres. However, the internal structure of the composite itself is as complex as that of the most advanced high-tech materials, such as composites used in the aerospace industry.

 Paradoxically, a high-performance material such as GRC can also be reliably produced using relatively simple and inexpensive processes. The range of its applications is already very wide. In its basic form, it is used to produce simple items such as ornamental flowerpots; while in its hightech version, it is the preferred construction material for the production of large, thin-walled structural elements of very complex shapes.

 GRC is a cement-based composite strongly related to concrete. However, in order to exploit its outstanding properties, substantial additional   knowledge and understanding are required. Applications which utilise high-performance GRC do not require an excessively sophisticated and expensive production plant, but they do require a very strict production regime. An adequate level of supervision is much closer to that used for the production of high performance, polymer-based, fibre-reinforced composites than to the manufacture of ordinary precast reinforced concrete products. 

GRC continues to develop (for example, eGRC). Numerous scientific and technical papers which focus on specific aspects of GRC exist. Many of these have been published together in the proceedings of congresses held by the International Glassfibre Reinforced Concrete Association (iGRCA) every 2–3 years from 1977 [5] to date, while others have appeared in scientific and technical journals. 

However, all of the books which surveyed existing knowledge [6–8] were published in the earlier stages of GRC’s development, the last one being published in the early 1990s. Growth in the use of GRC since the turn of the twenty-first century has been and continues to be very strong. There is therefore a need to review the current stage of development and the applications of GRC. 

This book reviews historical background, indicates raw materials and outlines the different production processes and properties which can be achieved. Recent developments are highlighted, and the book illustrates the very wide range of GRC applications. At the same time, recent growth in the range and volume of practical applications has not been matched by advances in the understanding of this complex composite.

 Fundamental and unique aspects of the microstructure and fracture mechanism of GRC are outlined and   discussed, without going into details, which are available in previous publications. This book shows that the full potential of GRC as a structural material has not yet been realised, and that a comprehensive understanding of GRC has yet to be achieved. An improved understanding is a prerequisite for successfully taking on the challenge of further improving its already outstanding properties and providing a solid background to an even greater use of advanced GRC in practical construction.

 It is a big challenge, requiring not only the highest level of investigative skills and background knowledge on the part of the researcher, but expensive, state-of-the-art research facilities as well. Compared to other widely used construction materials, GRC is one which has so far benefited the most from the exploitation of nanotechnology such as admixtures designed at molecular scale, investigation of bond using nanoscale apparatus, and nanoparticles in photocatalytic surfaces.

 Most importantly, substantial additional funding is required to make all the advances achieved in basic research useable by practitioners in the construction industry. Unfortunately, design and manufacture of GRC are carried out almost entirely by small- and medium-sized companies, which even in the best of times do not have adequate internal resources to support research and development (R&D). It is therefore essential that national and international R&D funding authorities recognise this and provide assistance to the GRC industry to keep it moving forward.