GFRC Info: Life Safety

November 16, 2011

Blast Hazard Mitigation

GFRC:  A Building Material for Disaster Proof Buildings


Blast Mitigation Cladding Safeguards You

GFRC and Life Safety

It seems that natural disasters are occurring at an increasing rate.  Many areas are passing stricter and stricter building codes in order to make sure buildings withstand major disasters.  The big four disasters to prepare for are hurricanes, floods, earth quakes, and fires.  Even if the area you are building in does not have strict building codes, making sure your building can withstand these four disasters is good for business.

Hurricanes pose two threats:  wind and water.  According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, most hurricane damage starts with roof damage.  The wind works portions of the roof off of a building and then rain soaks the insulation in the attic.  The wet insulation causes the ceiling of the building to fall in.  Attic vents provide another entry point for water with the same result.

Of course, it doesn’t matter if the roof stays intact if the walls do not.  Hurricane winds can and do destroy structures entirely.  One solution is to use strong building materials.  Stromberg GFRC has ridden out hurricanes as severe as category 5, so it is a good choice for walls in hurricane prone areas.  GFRC can be constructed for special applications so that it will withstand 240 mile an hour winds.  That is quite a wind load.

Floods are the other problem posed by hurricanes.  Of course, they occur for other reasons as well. Typically, if a wall is flooded, it does not recover well.  Sheetrock must be removed and the structure stripped down to the studs and rebuilt.  The exterior of the building is often ruined, as well.  Stromberg GFRC, however, is waterproof.  In fact, it has been used for aquariums and other water features at the Atlantis Resort with a great deal of success.  If your walls are covered with this material, they will withstand whatever water is thrown at them.

Earthquakes are one of the most frightening disasters because they are difficult for the average property owner to predict.  They may cause problems such as floods and fires because they damage dams and rupture gas mains.  The major way in which property owners can prepare for this event is by making sure their walls are reinforced, water heaters and other large objects are fastened securely to the wall so they will not tumble during the quake, and having a disaster plan.  GFRC cladding does an excellent job of reinforcing walls.  This product can be used both inside and out to give the wall more stability in an earthquake.

GFRC: Non-Combustible and Fire Resistant

Fires are sometimes the result of earthquakes, such as when a gas main ruptures, or a hurricane or flood.  Sometimes, however, fires erupt out of the blue.  Whatever the cause, they are terrifying and destructive.  They can even be deadly.

Fortunately, however, there are things you can do to mitigate the risk of fire and minimize the damage if one occurs.  Stromberg GFRC is both non-combustible and fire resistant.  A non-combustible substance will not ignite, smoke, burn, support combustion, or give off fumes when heated.  A fire resistant substance will not combust but also will not warp or change in the heat of a fire in a way that makes it unable to function.  For example, steel is non-combustible but will expand and warp in the heat of a fire, pushing walls out and failing to support its load.  This can lead to the collapse of the building.

“0” Flame-spread GFRC

It is easy for a manufacturer to talk about how good their product is.  At Stromberg GFRC, we are committed to proving how good our product is.  GFRC has been tested using the protocols endorsed by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).  According to the scoring system used in the ASTM E84 – 11b Standard Test Method for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials , GFRC received a finding of 0 flame-spread, 0 smoke.  You can use GFRC for your building or other application with confidence.  It will not burn or spread the fire, should your building be so threatened.

Stromberg GFRC And Disaster Safety

  • GFRC is non-combustable
  • GFRC is fire resistant
  • GFRC has an ASTM finding of 0 flame-spread, 0 smoke
  • GFRC can help stabilize a wall in an earthquake prone area
  • GFRC can withstand a Category 5 hurricane

 GFRC Projects Illustrating Life Safety

Specific Applications of GFRC in Life Safety

  • Fire walls
  • Wall cladding for increased earthquake survival
  • Waterproofing the  base of buildings in flood prone areas

For More Information on Stromberg GFRC

Need help disaster proofing your building?  Professionals at Stromberg Architectural Products are waiting to assist you with your GFRC project. Stromberg offers design assistance, CAD details, and specifications. Visit Stromberg Architectural Products for more information about GFRC, or call (903) 454-0904. Stromberg is here to help, and the initial consultation is free.


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