Traditionally, concrete has been synonymous with strength and durability, serving as a reliable building material. Many imagine concrete to be a grey, cold and heavy material that’s mainly utilised for driveways and structural use. Blend Concrete Design challenges this traditional notion by utilising fibre reinforced concrete to push design boundaries and create high quality, beautiful concrete furniture.
This blog delves into the unique attributes, applications, and advantages of fibre reinforced concrete, highlighting its capability and Blend’s ability to design and handcraft complex shapes to create unique concrete furniture.
What is fibre reinforced concrete and how does it differ from traditional concrete?
To put it simply - glass fibre reinforced concrete is ‘normal concrete’ with fibres mixed through it to enhance the strength of the material.
Fibre reinforced concrete is a cement based composite material comprised of cement, fine aggregate, water, acrylic co-polymer and fibres. Beyond the foundational similarities of cement, water, and aggregates, it’s the infusion of fibres that distinguishes fibre reinforced concrete from traditional concrete. The fibres in the material reinforce the concrete, much as steel reinforcement does in traditional concrete.
The fibre reinforcement allows for higher flexural, compressive and tensile strength than traditional concrete, resulting in a lightweight, durable material that can be cast into thin structures in a wide range of shapes, colours and textures. Fibre reinforced concrete is also more resistant to cracking than traditional concrete products.
Why create furniture from fibre reinforced concrete?
We could talk about the many benefits of fibre reinforced concrete all day! Here are just five of them.
1. Thickness and weight
Fibre reinforced concrete produces lighter products that are more practical to move around. The combination of fibres in the mix greatly increases the strength of the material and enables us to create pieces that are far thinner than if we were to create them with traditional concrete. Our pieces are generally poured as thin as 20mm to 25mm which broadens design potential and makes our concrete furniture lighter and easier to transport and install. A common question we’re asked is whether our concrete furniture can be moved or if it’s ‘there for life’ once placed in a space. No need to worry – our fibre reinforced concrete allows our concrete furniture to be easily moved if our clients would like to restyle their space or relocate.
2. Complex designs
Our concrete pieces feature beautiful unique shapes. We create these unique shapes by casting fibre reinforced concrete into moulds designed and built in house that consist of flat, circular and complex surfaces. Our mould making capability allows us to design unique furniture, bring to life custom concepts and create practical, durable and aesthetic concrete piece.
3. Unique characteristics
Every piece Blend handcrafts is unique. Just like stone or natural timber, fibre reinforced concrete is a natural product and features unique, natural and raw textures and tonal qualities. Air pockets, colour variation and natural patina are distinctive qualities of concrete and make your concrete piece unique to you. Check out Blend’s Qualities of Concrete Guide here for more information.
4. Indoor and outdoor use
Our concrete furniture is well suited for indoor and outdoor use. Whilst fibre reinforced concrete is naturally porous, our high-quality sealers are UV resistant and protect concrete surfaces from staining and scratching.
Our concrete pieces are easy to maintain. Explore a few of Blend’s care and maintenance tips below
1) Keep your surfaces clean
- Clean concrete surfaces with a damp cloth and a non-abrasive, light solvent or water based solution (we recommend a product like Koh’s surface spray)
- Use a high pressure hose to clean outdoor concrete pieces
- Refrain from leaving spills such as food, liquid, oils, toothpastes or outdoor elements such as leaves/flowers/berries on your surface for a long period of time
Our fibre reinforced concrete can be cast in many different colours using different percentages of coloured pigment. We can create the perfect hue for your space. Explore our range of 13 concrete colours here. For our custom projects, we offer custom colours and colour matching. From bold vibrant colours to warm and cool neutrals, we work with our clients to create the colour they’re envisioning.
Fibre reinforced concrete is a versatile material. With innovative in-house design, advanced in-house mould making capability and refined artisanal techniques, Blend Concrete Design utilise fibre reinforced concrete to push design boundaries and produce high quality, innovative furniture. To learn more about fibre reinforced concrete or Blend’s products, give our team a call on 07 3726 9595, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or book a showroom appointment online here.