Glass-fibre Reinforced Concrete in its Sustainable Facets

24/01/2023Lindner NewsGlass-Fibre Reinforced Concrete

A subsequent coating turns LinCrete glass-fibre reinforced concrete into a façade talent: The combination of self-cleaning and air-cleaning effects ensures a long-lasting beautiful appearance, significantly reduces maintenance efforts and cleaning costs as well as reduces nitrogen pollution in big cities.

Material with a Surprise Effect

The variety of realisable geometries as well as the stability of glass-fibre reinforced concrete is already known in the construction industry – but only a few people are aware that fibre-reinforced concrete can also shine in terms of sustainability. Due to the thin-walled design, the material is particularly light and thus also results in a reduced use of resources: the Lindner Group pursues the goal of achieving only a quarter or even less of the weight of LinCrete compared to conventional precast concrete elements. This reduces the use of cement to a minimum and the environmental impact resulting from cement production is kept as low as possible.

From Nature to the Façade

Apart from the economical use of cement, glass-fibre reinforced concrete can now be used even more sustainable: This is the case for the pioneering project MARK in Munich for which the white element façade made of LinCrete was subsequently provided with a special coating by Lindner. In combination with the glass-fibre reinforced concrete, this coating enables an air purification effect resulting from the photocatalytic reaction where nitrogen is broken down in a natural way. In the process, the surface of the façade reacts with the UV radiation of the daylight and harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx) are converted into less harmful chemical end products such as NO2 or NO3. These in turn are washed off via the rain cycle and fed into the sewage system. Finally, the wastewater is simply co-purified by treatment plants and returned to the water cycle. Via the exposure to sunlight and rain cycles, air purification takes place completely naturally and significantly improves air quality, especially in cities.

Reduced Cleaning Effort

The air purification effect is one advantage of the glass-fibre reinforced concrete coating; but what makes the façade particularly attractive not only for the environment but also for building owners is the self-cleaning effect. Due to exhaust gases, soiling from weathering and other contaminants, façades quickly become dirty and would have to be cleaned regularly – in many cases even twice a year. This enormous maintenance effort is eliminated by the coating: Thanks to the self-cleaning effect, organic soiling is decomposed and dissolved by solar radiation. Similar to the air purification effect, the rain then washes away the dirt particles.

Coordinated with Each Other

In order for both effects to work smoothly, a product is required that optimally interacts with the coating – this is the only way to ensure that the photo catalyst does not react negatively with other ingredients from the façade. Therefore, the glass-fibre reinforced concrete LinCrete and the photocatalytic coating were developed to perfectly harmonise. Thanks to extensive tests and trials, the Lindner Group finally succeeded in developing a product that brings the benefits of the coating forward in the best possible manner. The coating does not necessarily have to be applied afterwards: It can also be immediately mixed into the glass-fibre reinforced concrete during production.