What Is Glass Fiber Reinforced Gypsum?
• Mainly the structures of modern buildings are made of different types of materials. Regardless of whether you are a builder, architect, engineer, or contractor, it is extremely important to know the nuances of the building materials used popularly.
• The knowledge of different types of construction materials, together with the details of their properties and their various uses for different purposes, act as an important resource in the hands of the builders in obtaining savings in the cost of construction.
• In addition to material savings, the precise use of materials results in better structural strength, aesthetic appearance, and functional efficiency.
• In this article, we will discuss one of these building materials, popularly called “GFRG.”
What is the GFRG Panel?
• GFRG stands for Glass Fiber Reinforced Gypsum. GFRG panels are also known as fast walls. These construction panels are made of gypsum plaster, which is calcined and then reinforced with glass fibers.
• It was first invented by the GFRG Building System Australia in 1990 for the purpose of building large-scale buildings. These panels have now found their application in India and other developing countries.
• The typical dimension of the GFRG panel is generally 12 m long, 3 m wide, and 0.124 m deep. These panels consist mainly of Gypsum, glass fiber, concrete slurry, and chemicals, such as water-repellent emulsion.
GFRG Panel Classification
Class 1: Water-Resistant Class
Water-resistant Glass Fiber Reinforced Gypsum panels are used to build external walls in wet areas, where water resistance is of prime importance. In addition, this variety of GFRG panels is used in the formwork of floors or walls for filling concrete.
Class 2: General Grade
General-grade GFRG panels can be used for structural and non-structural applications in dry areas. These types of panels are generally not suitable when it comes to building external or internal walls. They are not recommended for building formwork for walls or floors.
Class 3: Degree of Partition
Partition-grade GFRG panels are best suited for building non-structural internal partition walls. This type of GFRG panel is recommended only for dry areas.
Applications of The GFRG Panel In Civil Construction
Use of the GFRG panel in the construction of houses
1. Load-Bearing Walls
• One of the most common applications of GFRG panels is seen as load-bearing structures in buildings. When the cavities inside the GFRG panels are filled with concrete, the compressive strength of the panels increases.
• In addition, when reinforcement bars are introduced, the panel’s ability to withstand lateral loads is also enhanced.
• As of now, the use of these load-bearing structures in construction is the most suitable option for buildings with multiple floors.
• For the construction of a one- or two-story building, the cavities can be filled with an alternative structural material, such as quarry powder, mixed with 5% cement.
• However, the filling protocol is recommended for every third or fourth cavity and in all joints or opening locations. Preferably, the filling should be done with M20 concrete.
• In addition, it must be reinforced with an 8 mm reinforcement bar.
2. Horizontal Floor and Roof Slabs
• Glass Fiber Reinforced Gypsum panels can also be used as an intermediate floor or slab in combination with reinforced concrete structures.
• The strength of these GFRG slabs can be significantly improved by incorporating it into reinforced concrete micro-beams.
• To provide micro-beams that are incorporated, the upper flange of the respective cavity is trimmed and removed so that the minimum 25 mm flange remains to protrude from both ends.
• The GFRG floor and slab panels are cut to the required size and marked with notations. First, the RCC wall joints, cavities, and horizontal beams are filled with concrete.
• Subsequently, a wooden plank with a width of 300 mm to 450 mm is provided to extend between the supporting walls wherever the built-in microwaves are present.
• Finally, the roof panels must be lifted by the crane so that the panel can float perfectly horizontally.
• Each of the GFRG’s ceiling panels is placed over the wall so that a minimum space of 40 mm is provided.
• This is done to allow vertical rods to be placed continuously from one floor to the next and to provide a monolithic RCC structure within the fast wall.
3. Partition Walls
• GFRG panels can also be used as filling partition walls in single and multi-story buildings. The cavities of the GFRG panels can be filled properly.
• These panels are used as partition walls, while these panels can also be used for cladding in industrial buildings or sports facilities. Likewise, they can be used as composite walls or security walls.
Disadvantages of The GFRG Panel
• During the construction process, more space is required for the crane to move.
• As the design of the GFRG panel is complicated, it can make the construction process less economical.
•To install the GFRG panels, highly qualified and experienced labor is required.
• GFRG panels must be handled with great care during the transportation and assembly process.
• Cutting GFRG panels on-site requires specific machines.
• The whole procedure involved the assembly and placement of the GFRG panels is a bit complicated and can be difficult to follow.
• GFRG panels cannot be used for the construction of walls with circular or higher.
• The panels need to be stacked neatly to avoid abrasion.
• Free space is limited to 5m for residential buildings.
Construction projects are limited by time constraints. It is up to the contractor to innovate and present new material projects to overcome this restriction, remaining faithful to the specifications of the plans.
• The manufacture of GFRG panels from the raw material of Gypsum, namely natural Gypsum, mineral Gypsum, phosphor Gypsum or chemical Gypsum, with a purity of more than 90%, implies less energy compared to conventional construction materials that consume a lot of energy, such as bricks, concrete, etc.
• In addition, due to the increased efficiency of the carpet area and less time for construction, The GFRG system has proven to be very effective in all aspects of construction, especially in time and cost.