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Glass Fibre Reinforced Gypsum Concrete

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    3rd Jan, 2019

Glass Fibre Reinforced Gypsum Concrete, developed by IIT Madras over the last decade is now being considered by the Kerala government for the housing needs of those whose homes were ravaged by the floods in August 2018.

Context

Glass Fibre Reinforced Gypsum Concrete, developed by IIT Madras over the last decade is now being considered by the Kerala government for the housing needs of those whose homes were ravaged by the floods in August 2018.

About

Glass Fibre Reinforced Gypsum Concrete

  • Glass Fibre Reinforced Gypsum (GFRG) Panel known as Rapidwall is a building panel made-up of calcined gypsum plaster, reinforced with glass fibers. The panel was originally developed by GFRG Building System Australia and since 1990 is being used for mass scale building construction. Now, these panels are being produced in India
  • The panel is manufactured to a thickness of 124mm, length of 12m and height of 3m, under carefully controlled conditions, contains cavities that may be unfilled, partially filled or fully filled with reinforced concrete as per structural requirement.
  • Experimental studies and research in Australia, China and India have shown that GFRG panels, suitably filled with plain reinforced concrete possesses substantial strength to act not only as load bearing elements but also as shear wall, capable of resisting lateral loads due to earthquake and wind.
  • GFRG panel can also be used advantageously as in-fills (non-load bearing) in combination with RCC framed columns and beams (conventional framed construction of multi-storey building) without any restriction on number of storeys.
  • Micro beam sand RCC screed (acting as T-beam) can be used as floor/ roof slab. The GFRG Panel is manufactured in semi-automatic plant using slurry of calcined gypsum plaster mixed with certain chemicals including water repellent emulsion and glass fibre rovings, cut, spread and imbedded uniformly into the slurry with the help of screen roller.
  • The panels are dried at a temperature of 275C before shifting to storage area or the cutting table. The wall panels can be cut as per dimensions & requirements of the building planned.
  • It is an integrated composite building system using factory made prefab load bearing cage panels & monolithic cast-in situ RC in filled for walling & floor/roof slab, suitable for low rise to medium rise (single to 10 storeys) building.
  • The panels can be used with confidence as it has the potential for adequate strength, stiffness, ductility and energy dissipating capacity, if suitably designed. Because of higher ductility ratio, this can be used as an efficient structural system.

Why is it important for India?

  • Housing is  one  of  the  basic  needs  of  society  and  is  an essential component of the built environment. The Ministry of Rural Development estimated that the  rural  housing shortage in India stands at 44 million dwelling units.
  • India’s urban  housing  shortage  is  78  million  units,  of  which 96%  pertains  to  Economically  Weaker  Section  (EWS)  and Low  Income  Group (LIG)  type, as  per  the  estimate  of the Ministry of  Housing  and Urban  Poverty Alleviation.
  • The demand for conventional building materials used in the housing sector such as burnt clay bricks, cement and steel is growing every year.
  • Reduction in the use of these energy intensive construction materials and speedy delivery of housing units at affordable cost are the key challenges faced in the mass housing sector today. Buildings using  Glass  Fibre  Reinforced  Gypsum  (GFRG) panels  hold  promise  as a rapid,  affordable  and  sustainable mass  housing  solution.
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