What Is Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC)?


American Fyre Designs uses GFRC for their entire product line.

Glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) is composed of specially formulated cement, glass fibers, aggregates, and polymers. Instead of steel, GFRC uses special alkaline resistant glass fibers and polymers for reinforcement. This allows GFRC products to be made with a thin, hallow construction that can weigh a fraction of the weight of traditional pre-cast concrete.

Benefits of GFRC:

  • Lightweight
  • Strong
  • Attractive
  • Weather Resistant
  • Fire Retardant
  • Impermeable

GFRC offers superior strength while allowing for thinner construction which results in a product that weighs considerably less than solid concrete.

GFRC products provide the look and feel of natural stone and is available in more shapes, colors and textures than other material. Because the pigments are mixed in, the color is cast throughout the product and won’t peel or chip off.

GFRC products are made to last and designed to perform better than traditional concrete. This allows it to stand up to harsh environmental conditions like freezing and marine environments. The use of glass fibers for reinforcement means that it won’t rust like steel and the glass fibers will prevent the product from cracking.

GFRC products are made from naturally occurring minerals and aggregates. This process requires less manufacturing, which means that it has a lower environmental impact than concrete, stone or other materials.

How American Fyre Designs GFRC products are created at RH Peterson Co.

GFRC is a slightly more complex process than a typical concrete pour, requiring a lot more attention to detail. Instead of pouring concrete into a form in a single fluid motion, the GFRC is layered within the mold, each layer having a specific function to the success of the piece. The part is constructed upside down on a flat surface and the layers are either hand laid or sprayed into the mold. The first layer of concrete is about 1/8 inch thick. After this layer hardens, but before it dries out, a second thin layer is added, this time with fibers in the mix. This layer is then rolled out to eradicate any lingering air pockets and this mechanically bonds the layers together. Finally, the rest of the concrete with the now-infused fiber can be added into the mold to finish the process. This finished product is a thin, hollow construction of GFRC, and is typically ½ inch to ¾ of an inch thick.

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