The Basics You Need to Know About Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete (GFRC)

Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete, also known as GRC and GFRC, is a cement-based composite material reinforced with aggregates, polymers and alkali-resistant fibres. GFRC can be formed into thin sectioned lightweight elements and provides designers, architects and engineers with substantial advantages when compared to other traditional concrete materials. GFRC is used worldwide to manufacture a vast range of precast products for the building and civil engineering industries. A leader in the design, manufacturing and installation of GFRC in the production of precast mouldings is Petra Design. GFRC panels are Lightweight, durable, and provide unlimited diversity in color and form. Petra Design’s versatile GFRC panels allow for innovative exterior designs with sculptural shapes. GFRC panels have superior flexibility and lightness to simplify structural framing needs, all the while reducing foundation costs.


The use of fiberglass in architectural design is relatively new and ultimately the result of an evolution in technology. Indeed, despite its hypothesized application in the late 1940’s as an additive to reinforce concrete, the first fiberglass was ineffective, defective, and ultimately unsuccessful due to the alkaline nature of the cement attacking and breaking down the fibres. It wasn’t until the 1960’s that the problem was solved with the development of alkali resistant fibreglass that contains a high level of zirconium dioxide. Eversince, the application of fibreglass has grown widespread throughout the reinforcement of concrete products and especially in the production of thin architectural cladding panels and ornamental concrete such as domes, statues, planters, and fountains. Decorative concrete artisans, similar to those at Petra Design utilize the benefits of GFRC to create handcrafted and exquisite decorative panels such as fireplace mantels.

Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete Applications:

  • GFRC Columns and Column covers
  • GFRC cornices
  • GFRC Moulding
  • GFRC Balustrade system
  • GFRC porticos
  • GFRC Fountains
  • GFRC Planters
  • GFRC Quoins
  • GFRC Signs
  • GFRC Wall Panel
  • GFRC Domes


Advantages of GFRC:

Light weight: With GFRC, concrete can be cast in thinner sections and is therefore as much as 75% lighter than similar pieces cast with traditional concrete allowing for lighter foundations and reduced shipping costs.

Increased strength: GFRC is a very strong material for architectural elements, this means it will last longer with less maintenance.

Reinforcement: Since GFRC is reinforced internally, there is no need for other kinds of reinforcement, which can be difficult to place into complex shapes.

Consolidation: For sprayed GFRC, no vibration is needed. For poured, GFRC, vibration or rollers are easy to use to achieve consolidation.

Equipment: Expensive equipment is not needed for poured or vibrated GFRC with a face coat; for sprayed GFRC, equipment generally costs about $10,000.

Toughness: GFRC doesn’t crack easily-it can be cut without chipping.

Surface finish: Because it is sprayed on, the surface has no bugholes or voids.

Adaptability: Sprayed or poured into a mold, GFRC can adapt to nearly any complex shape, from rocks to fine ornamental details.

Durability: Being a substitute for steel, the glass fibres in GFRC prevent rusting and promote durability during salty and high moisture environments. Just as well, GFRC does not burn and will protect the material covered from the heat of the flame.

Sustainable: Because it uses less cement than equivalent concrete and also often uses significant quantities of recycled materials (as a pozzolan), GFRC qualifies as sustainable.

Cost: GFRC as a material, however, is much more expensive than conventional concrete on a pound-for-pound basis. But since the cross sections can be so much thinner, that cost is overcome in most decorative elements.

Visit our website for more information and enough inspiration, selection, and advice, to propel your next interior and exterior architectural design project!

The Information You Need to Start Your Plaster Molding Endeavour

Manipulated for centuries by skilled artisans to yield architectural products of intricate detail and design elegance, plaster has proven to be the ideal material in the creation of ornamental decorum, wall brackets and general molding.

Why Work with Plaster Molding:

  • Plaster moldings offer infinite flexibility. When specially formulated additives or late paint coats are applied to the handcrafted molds, the color combinations available to a designer are endless.
  • Looking for an inexhaustible source of inspiration, then Gypsum, the new generation of plaster moldings, is ideal. A Gypsum design element will introduce a plethora of new decorative ideas to any interior designer.
  • Plaster is an extremely durable material that is reinforced with fiberglass and capable of resisting fire and moisture.
  • Plaster moldings give any setting a touch of class and create an aesthetic effect by masking defects. Such defects could include cracks damage or unwanted spacing.
  • If designed with plaster, any molding is easily installed. As skill and experience is not a mandate, this reality allows any designer or contractor to take on the material as an interior or exterior decorative project.

The Industrial Process:

While complex, the process involved with the production of plaster moldings is centuries old and initially proposed by the ancients who were comparatively disadvantaged in technology and mass production. Today, the procedure is not so different. First, a plaster formula is mixed and a patterned mold – which will reflect the final design – is sprayed with a thin film of parting compound to prevent the plaster from sticking to the pattern. The plaster is then poured over the pattern or mold and the unit is shaken to ensure that the plaster fills any small features. Within approximately 15 minutes, the plaster will set, enabling manufacturers to remove the final product or mold. The mold is then baked, between 120 °C (248 °F) and 260 °C (500 °F), to remove any excess water, and later prepared for assembly and preheating treatments. At this point a metal, unique to each formula, is poured and spread onto the product. Finally, after the metal has solidified, the plaster is broken from the cast part. The process for the production of plaster molds ensures increased dimensional accuracy and an excellent surface finish.

Specialized Experts are Essential in the Production of Plaster Molding:

The production of plaster molds remains challenging. As such, to ensure success, skilled craftsmen are key. Indeed, to create quality handcrafted products, craftsmen must control for disadvantageous variables:

  • Unlike other solutions and materials, the plaster used in a single cycle of production cannot be reused, as it has undergone a series of irreversible reactions.
  • Just as well, the process is limited by material and temperature, the regulation of which is integral. To prevent the risk of melting a mold, only lower melting temperature non-ferrous materials, such as magnesium and zinc or more commonly aluminium and copper, can be applied.
  • Just as well, plaster is not as stable as sand, so it is dependent on several factors, including the consistency of the plaster composition, pouring procedures, and curing techniques. If these factors are not closely monitored the final mold can be distorted, shrink upon drying, have a poor surface finish, or fail completely.
  • The long cooling times associated with the production of plaster molds are similarly disadvantageous as they restrict production volume.

Products by Petra Design:

With years of experience, Petra Design is a company founded on the work of skilled craftsmen and devoted businessmen dedicated to ensuring your complete satisfaction with a new project. Petra Design offers a wide variety of interior crown moldings to meet varied artistic styles and decorative purposes. Our interior listing includes plain molding, design molding, light cove molding, panel molding and molded corners. While we offer a vast variety of products to choose from, with expert advice, we can help to create a custom design that is perfectly suited to your needs. Be sure to speak with one of our advisers about your specifications: quantity, size and stylistic fine points. Visit our website for more information. 

Question & Answer_Petra Design

Question & Answer _Petra Design

Question, Answer, Petra, Design

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Q1. What does Petra Design specialize in?

Petra Design has over 20 years experienced in interior and exterior decorative solution, we are specialized in manufacturing of precast concrete, GFRC and fiberglass products. Continue reading

Interior columns design for the home

Interior columns design for the home

Sometimes Architects and designers have a dilemma between functional and decorative design for space. In that aspects. Interior columns always would be a good choice to achieve both desires. Because interior columns can be structural support figure and a decorative display for space.

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What kind of window surround designs are for exterior

window surround designs are for exterior

Do you have any favourite window design for your dream house list? The window is one of the most important features in building a house, it gives the first impression of the house from the outside. That’s why when people build a new house or do renovation on the house exterior, window surrounds design is important to complete the entire project.

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Modern style window surrounds_Designed by Petra Design

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How to choose an architectural exterior column?

What is the architectural column for houses/buildings exterior?

The column can have a title that is one of the most historical architectural features. A long time ago, its massive foundations were made of limestone, and the columns were made of Pentelic marble, a material that was utilized for the first time. The Roman people invented columns to support their building.

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Over the centuries, columns have been known as an attractive architectural design. It’s not only supporting the beam but also It is very popular for decorative purposes. Furthermore, these days, people can make columns by GFRC, Fiberglass and cast stone etc. The type of material is being decided on the scale, cost and application of the construction. Follow the 3 guidelines they are below different types of architectural exterior columns, people can take ideas for their home or commercial place. Continue reading

Ceiling design tips for decorative home interior

In consideration of inventive ceiling design, people need to think about the available space; the surrounding walls and the overall theme of the home, there are numerous patterns and colors to choose from.

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Here are five different type of ceiling styles and designs that people can get ideas for their home interior design. In 2017, ceiling design trends are dynamic, decorative and elegant. Let’s start with these useful tips for a decorative home interior.

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3 Ideas of plaster mouldings (Interior Crown moldings)

Installing plaster moulding/molding (crown moulding) is one of today’s most popular architectural upgrades, giving plain walls depth and formality. The crown moulding/molding is used as a transition between the wall and ceiling. It celebrates a high ceiling and makes a low ceiling less oppressive and more interesting.

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Why people love plaster moulding/molding designs?

People can make unique space at their home or commercial place. It can be Morden or old school style and so on. Continue reading

Why people want architectural precast concrete?

A few years ago, people were fascinated natural concrete design for interior and exterior, it was a big trend. That trend seems to be continued 2017, people indented to decorate their house more naturally, but they need more unique design. Precast architectural concrete can fill their desires. Architectural precast concrete is one of the most durable, fire resistant, and sustainable construction material for buildings.

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Curing concrete at Petra Design’s production

Precast concrete likes a baby. It’s very sensitive and easily ruined before curing. After curing, concrete will be more stronger and better. Right-timing/proper temperature is the key point. Continue reading

Design your Ceiling


The perfect ceiling design varies for each room depending on the space you have, if it is a high or low ceiling. Also it is depending on the surrounding walls and the overall theme of the house. Coffered ceilings in a large room will help break it up and add a stunning detail instead of just having a big flat ceiling. Coffered ceilings are just one example of ceiling design. There are plenty of other options to design your ceiling, design it with ceiling beams to add historical appeal to your living or kitchen area. Round ceiling domes or coffered ceiling domes can add depth and style to your loopy or entrance area, cove ceilings are another way to decorate your ceiling. Modern ceiling design does not have to be plain ceiling. With Petra Design architectural decorative elements you can achieve the modern classic look by incorporating one of our ceiling design ideas, and proper lighting techniques. Cove moulding, ceiling centre pieces, crown mouldings and ceiling domes all provide amazing ceiling design ideas for your dream home.