Fibre Cement - the composite material with amazing properties
The earliest fibre cement products consisted of up-to 90% cement. The remaining 10% was composed of asbestos fibres, which gave the building material its excellent binding capacity. Today, the recipe has been considerably refined. For the most part, fibre cement panels are used as panels in rear-ventilated façades, or as roof coverings in the form of fibre cement corrugated sheeting. Various layering compositions and surface treatments enable a wide spectrum of application for the material and enable a wide range of aesthetic effects.
A recipe that works - fibre cement and its composition
Modern fibre cement contains up to 40% Portland cement. Other ingredients include powdered limestone, powdered fibre materials from recycled substances, and water. Synthetic-organic fibres are added as a reinforcing element, replacing the function of the dangerous asbestos fibres that used to be added. The fibres act similarly to reinforced steel in ferroconcrete construction components: they support and stabilise the concrete, improving it tensile strength. In the panel itself, tiny air-pockets allow for frost resistance. Fibre cement is also waterproof, UV-resistant and non-flammable. The material, also known as eternit panels, is therefore ideal for façade and roof structures and hence very frequently used in hall construction.
Fibre cement panels - ideal for rear-ventilated structures
According to the requirements of the façade structure, fibre cement panels can be constructed in various strengths from 5 to 20mm. The highly compressed panels are specially coated, either with a matt varnish or special protective paints. The panels can also be dyed through in various colours. The material is used in roof constructions in the form of corrugated sheets. When fibre cement is cut, the cut edges must subsequently be sealed up to prevent the inflow of any moisture. So that any moisture penetration is avoided, good rear-ventilation is a must when this technique is employed. The assembly must also be carried out without any mechanical affixing and with well-functioning joints. The panels are used in the following façade structures, amongst others:
- Rear-ventilated curtain wall façades
- As infill in post-and-beam construction
- As bevel siding
- As an exterior coating for sandwich components
- As a balcony covering
The panels are affixed to aluminium or wood substructure. Fixtures can be either visible or hidden, and are either anchored screws, clamps, or glue. The maximum available dimensions for fibre cement panels is 3.3 x 1.25m. Especially for hall-building construction, large format panels attach particularly well to the grid substructure.
Whether used for roofs or façades, fibre cement is an indispensable material in both hall construction and commercial building. We would be glad to provide further information and advise you about whether this modern material is suitable for your building project.
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