The substances used to make Glass Fiber Reinforced Gypsum provide this building material with its fire-retardant properties, as well as its strength and light weight. This article will discuss the major components of fiber reinforced gypsum and the methods that are used to make this versatile building material.
GFRG: What’s It Made Of?
Glass Fiber Reinforced Gypsum is an advanced composite that contains the following ingredients:
- Gypsum: This hard, naturally-occurring mineral is an essential component of GFRG. The gypsum used to fabricate fiber reinforced gypsum is typically quite dense and alpha-based. It should also have a low alkalinity or be neutral to ensure it will be compatible with the other major GRG components.
- Glass fibers: As the name of the material suggests, glass fibers are an essential component of all types of FRG. These fibers provide both tensile strength and flexural strength to GFRG elements.
- Polymers: Different types of polymers may be added to GFRG to make the final product more robust.
GRG: How It’s Made
There are two methods that are commonly used to manufacture high-quality Glass Fiber Reinforced Gypsum:
- The hand lay-up method: In this GFRG fabrication method, alternating layers of glass fiber and gypsum are placed by hand into pre-constructed molds.
- The chopped-stand-spray method: This approach to fabricating FRG involves spraying the gypsum plaster mix into a pre-formed mold and adding strands of glass fiber to provide reinforcement at the same time.
Crafting GFRG Elements
Knowing how to craft high-quality FRG is just one step in producing a strong and attractive GFRG element. A suitable mold in which to cast the element is also essential. Companies that manufacture fiber reinforced gypsum products will often have a line of pre-fabricated molds that are used to manufacture stock products. Many architectural companies also develop custom products, which involves the development of molds for a specific job. These GFRG molds must be made according to approved shop drawings to produce the exact GRG element desired by the customer.
Once proper molds are made and the GFRG components have been added, the material must be allowed to set. After the GRG element has hardened in the mold, it is carefully removed. The Glass Fiber Reinforced Gypsum element must then be allowed to cure before shipment, with attention being paid to how it is stored to avoid damage, warping, and bowing.