Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) is lightweight, impact resistant masonry cladding system made using Portland cement, sand, aggregate and alkali resistant glass fiber. It has excellent flexural strength and is a Class A fire and smoke rated composite material. GFRC panels are produced in a spray-up process to make architectural wall cladding in a variety of shapes, patterns, textures and colors. GFRC skin is sprayed in thin layers into molds. This makes it an ideal material for complex geometries and heavy ornamentation. Intricate molds are often produced with 5-axis CNC technology to maintain tight fabrication tolerances and efficiencies.
The two layers of GFRC are known as the face layer and the backing layer. The face layer is sprayed first at 1/8” thickness. This layer is cement-rich concrete and contains the pigment and aggregate which gives the GFRC its color. The back layer, or structural layer is sprayed next and contains concrete mix with glass fibers, which delivers superior strength and flexibility to the system. The structural layer is sprayed up using multiple passes and is compacted between each spray, resulting in a 5/8” build-up. The total skin has a minimum of 3/4” thickness that can be increased up to 1 1/4” for added impact resistance.
Ultra High-Performance Concrete (UHPC) is a high-strength, extremely durable concrete mix that uses water, sand, cement, silica fume, and plasticizers. What sets UHPC apart from other concrete mix designs are the extremely small particle sizes (micro/nano particles) and mix design chemistry. This forms a base mix with very tightly packed particles and strong molecular bonds allowing for shapes and intricate designs without any additional back-up framing support.
Both GFRC and UHPC can be designed in several different applications.
During the casting and molding process of GFRC and UHPC, bonded anchors are set in the mix. This provides an attachment point for the first part of a 2-piece structural connection system. The second connection component is located on the building structure and the GFRC/UHPC piece with the pre-attached clips is locked into place.
This system can also be designed to attach to curtainwall or window wall either in our shop or delivered to the window manufacturer for installation.
With a fully prefabricated wall system, your entire exterior wall is manufactured in our facility then shipped to the jobsite. The GFRC or UHPC skin is mechanically connected to its steel framing via flexible anchors. These anchors allow differential movement between the skin and the frame. This frame can be insulated with mineral wool. In addition, the backside of the frame can also include an insulated backpan which will serve as a continuous insulation (CI) layer as well as the air and vapor barrier (AVB).
With this complete exterior system, punched windows can also be shop installed in our facility, further reducing the amount of onsite labor.
Exterior glazing products are used to provide protection from exterior elements coming into a building while also offering its occupants unobstructed views to the outside. Glass is a versatile material which can be designed to meet project related structural, acoustic and thermal requirements while also maintaining its transparency. Building owners who are concerned with providing their clients with desirable spaces to occupy will always look to add glass onto their buildings.