Quality Control and Certification Standards in GRC Building Materials


Table of Contents

Since GRC/ GFRC panels, columns, cornices, balusters, domes, etc. of a building are exposed to unavoidable forces like sun, rain, changing weather condition relating to the outer world, the importance of material testing of GRC/ GFRC elements sits in the middle and center. The failure in doing so, the structural success of a building during construction and after its delivery will always remain doubtful that may result in higher risks and lower lifespan of their assets.

With a sharp growth in its demand, the architects and civil engineers have timely realized and started to concentrate on the best and scientifically proven methods of accurate GRC/ GFRC materials testing to determine the best building and construction solutions for the ongoing and upcoming building façade projects. While on the one hand, the chemical properties of GRC/ GFRC elements talk volume about various applications and dispositions, the idea of material testing proves strength, lightness, durability against seen and unseen factors and quality of the materials produced in the factory, on the other.

Importance of Material Testing of GFRC/ GRC materials

GFRC/ GRC, in its composite form, is meant to withstand various known and unknown forces to ascertain their quality, fire and weather resistance, durability and stiffness. Hence, various tests like ASTM, PCI, BS, etc. are performed to determine the applicability of GRC/ GFRC in both fit-for-purpose laboratories and tailor-made factories. More importantly, procuring material testing certificates (MTC) of GRC/ GFRC decorative elements to ensure the best performance is common not only in the developed nations but also in other parts of the world where these composite decorative elements or materials are often applied during a building’s various construction phases despite the varying method of production and application. These certificates boost up the moral of building and construction professionals during production, application and afterwards.

Whether it is GFRC, GFRG or GFRP, a proven technique is employed to assess the physical and mechanical properties of raw materials and their components to come up with relevant data and interpret them in order to draw meaningful and fruitful conclusions. This article delves into the most common standards meant to enhance the effectiveness and performance efficiency of GFRC/ GRC elements in the building and construction industry.

Global standard

It is easily noticeable that many countries have their own quality testing standards. However, these testing systems either phased out or met with failure to deliver the desired results. Hence, the need for a global standard arose to broaden the reach of composite building materials.


An ISO certification helps companies with business credibility, safety and quality of the products. It can improve the efficiency of the products or the services that a company provides. When companies find it difficult to differentiate their products in the market and face increased market rates, getting an ISO certification can be helpful in solving these problems and sustaining in the market. The major benefits of ISO certification include helping businesses with efficiency, product quality, easy marketability and improved international credibility.

British Standard

GRCA: Headquartered in London and established in 1975, the International Glassfibre Reinforced Concrete Association (GRCA) is the first global association of GRC/ GFRC members to house under one umbrella. The organization now has a membership of almost 100 businesses or business professionals with stakes in GFRC/ GRC industry. The members represent Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, North and South America.

As per the GRCA website, the main purpose of GRCA is to highlight and propagate the idea of using GFRC/ GRC materials to bring about the best building performance. These are primary methods of GRC Testing propounded by GRCA.

  • Glass Reinforced Cement Association (GRCA)
  • GRCA Methods of Testing Glassfibre Reinforced Cement (GRC) Material-GRCA S 0103
  • GRCA Method of test for strength retention of glassfibre in cements and mortars –
  • GRCA S0104
  • Specification for Alkali Resistant Glassfibre Rovings and Chopped Strands for Reinforcement of Cements and Concretes GRCA S0105
  • Guide to Specification for Glassfibre Reinforced Cement Cladding GRCA S0106
  • GRCA Guide to the use of Acrylic Polymers in GRC GRCA G0109 Specification for the Manufacture of Glassfibre Reinforced Cement (GRC) GRCA S 0110

BS: BS or British standard is the code incorporated by the BSI (British Standards Institution), a non-profit organization. The below listed codes mainly serve the purpose of GFRC/ GRC decorative materials, as per the BSI website.

  • BS EN 1169: 1999: Precast concrete products — General rules for factory production control of glass-fibre reinforced cement products.
  • BS EN 1170: 1998: Parts 1-8 Precast concrete products: Test methods for glass-fibre reinforced cement. Part 1. Measuring the plasticity of the mortar— ‘Slump test’ method. Part 2. Measuring the fibre content in fresh GRC, Wash out test’. Part 3. Measuring the fibre content of sprayed GRC. Part 4. Measuring bending strength — ‘Simplified bending test’ method. Part 5. Measuring bending strength — ‘Complete bending test’ method. Part 6. Determination of the absorption of water by immersion and determination the dry density Part 7. Measurement of extremes of dimensional variations due to moisture content. Part 8. Cyclic weathering type test
  • BS EN 14649: 2005 Precast concrete products — Test method for strength retention of glass fibres in cement and concrete (SIC TEST).
  • BS EN 15422: 2008 Precast Concrete Products – Specification of glassfibres for reinforcement of mortars and concretes.
  • BS EN 1169: 1999. Precast concrete products – G

US standard

ASTM: The American Society for Testing and Materials that came into being in Pennsylvania (PA), USA in 1898 is popularly known as ASTM International. It is an International Standards Organization for materials, products, systems and services for wide-ranging industries like metal, paints, plastic, cement, fiberglass etc.

As per the National Precast Concrete Association (NPCA), these are the most important specifications and test methods for GFRC/ GRC:

  1. ASTM C947, “Standard Test Method for Flexural Properties of Thin Section Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (Using Simple Beam With Third Point Loading)”
  2. ASTM C948, “Standard Test Method for Dry and Wet Bulk Density, Water Absorption, and Apparent Porosity of Thin Sections of Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete”
  3. ASTM C1228, “Standard Practice for Preparing Coupons for Flexural and Washout Tests on Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete”
  4. ASTM C1229, “Standard Test Method for Determination of Glass Fiber Content in Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) (Wash Out Test)”
  5. ASTM C1230, “Standard Test Method for Performing Tension Tests on Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) Bonding Pads”
  6. ASTM C1560, “Standard Test Method for Hot Water Accelerated Aging of Glass Fiber Reinforced Cement Based Composites”
  7. ASTM C1666/C1666M, “Standard Specification for Alkali Resistant (AR) Glass Fiber for GFRC and Fiber Reinforced Concrete and Cement”
  8. ASTM C1704 “Standard Test Method for Sampling and Test Structural Cementitious Panels”

Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI): Founded in 1954, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) has built a solid reputation of being an excellent technical organization with an undivided focus on research, develop and disseminate the technical knowledge for the design, fabrication and erection of precast materials. PCI’s research team conducts a thorough research on precast projects in consultation with academic institutions.

PCI Committee on Glassfibre Reinforced Concrete Panels, “Recommended Practice for Glassfibre Reinforced Concrete Panels” Third Edition 1993 CEM-FIL GRC TECHNICAL DATA 87

PCI Committee on Glassfibre Reinforced Concrete Panels, “Manual for Quality Control for Plants and Production of Glassfibre Reinforced Concrete Panels” Publication number MNL- 130-91, ISBN 0-937040-46-0


In conclusion, above explained standards significantly contribute towards establishing a fruitful action plan with an aim to manufacture, install and deliver the GFRC/ GRC projects. The schemes and action plans some organizations employ include awards, quality assurance and client feedback programs. If executed with a proper plan in place, these factors immensely contribute to higher operational efficiency of GRC/ GFRC composite manufacturing factory.



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