GFRC Concrete Fence Exhibits Detail Never Seen Before!
Gallery courtesy of Smooth-On, Inc.
Unique mold making process quickly generates 11,880 lightweight concrete panels and 1,981 posts to form a 3 mile (4.8 km) decorative wall that will provide safe and secure area for resort in Cancun, Mexico.
Established in 1999 and based in Cancun, PRETECNO, Inc. (division of Grumasa - España) is the premier builder for many large scale hotels and resorts around the world. Their consulting, design and fabrication services are sought out internationally and have been the driving force to PRETECNO’S rapid growth. PRETECNO’S services were contracted to design and install a low-cost, low-maintenance fence system that would offer security as well as reflect the tropical theme of the surrounding environment of the resort. Mexico’s dynamic Cancun resort coast economy presents many societal challenges in the form of balancing the interests of the resort with that of the local population. The decorative fencing system is a solution that serves the best interests of all parties.
Many material and design options for the panels were considered. Panel material had to be physically indestructible and withstand weather extremes including high heat, high humidity and hurricane force winds and rain. Designers were also concerned with preserving the ecological beauty of the area. The overall design, right down to the texture of individual panels, needed to fit into the natural contours of the resort. Minimal impact on the surrounding environment was imperative.
The aesthetic design option that was deemed most desirable and attainable by artisans, was to simulate the look of bamboo.
The best material to meet the criteria was originally thought to be concrete. But panels cast to the prescribed size in concrete would have weighed just under 1,000 lbs. (454 kgs.). Heavy equipment would have been necessary for installation, but deemed too damaging to the environment and not allowed at the installation site. Workers needed to transport, manipulate and install the panels by hand. The only material that would meet the criteria for appearance, durability and weight is Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete.
Lead Engineer, José Hormiga, is a material expert with years of experience matching the right material for a specific job. He chose Rebound® 25 brushable silicone to make the molds for several reasons;
- Rebound is easy to use and apply. Mr. Hormiga’s team was able to measure, mix and apply Rebound® 25 successfully without a problem.
- Rebound cures quickly. Molds are in production next day.
- The rubber reproduced the detail of the bamboo perfectly. The detail was subsequently reflected in each and every concrete panel.
- Rebound is strong and “stretchy”. Rubber withstands the physical stress of demolding hundreds of highly detailed concrete castings.
- Rebound also withstands chemical attack from the GFRC.
- No Release Agent Allowed – Because finished panels needed to be stained, no release agent could be used. Rebound rubber releases GFRC castings without a release agent.