DURABILITY OF NON-ASBESTOS FIBRE REINFORCED CEMENT
In the last decade asbestos containing products have increasingly become a health issue, causing the asbestos cement (AC) industry to consider alternatives. During this time it has marketed a variety of building products with a similar appearance but reinforced with alternative fibres which are considered to be much less of a health hazard than asbestos, as described by West and Majumdar (1989). These alternatives have mostly been made from a premixed slurry as with AC. However a variety of alternative building components were developed a decade earlier at BRE before the health issue was so prominent. Various hydraulic binders and a spray suction process were used to make glass fibre reinforced cement (GRC) and gypsum (GRG), the latter being particularly
good for lasting impact strength and fire protection in drier environments. The more recent products have also used artificial fibres such as glass or fibres of textile polymers or of natural origin such as cellulose to reinforce cement and autoclaved hydrated calcium silicate products respectively, as described by Hodgson (1987) and Studinka (1989).