Graphic Concrete allows you to impart nearly any pattern, image or design onto precast surfaces. It opens up an unlimited range of design possibilities with the renowned resilience of precast concrete.
The technology transfers custom or stock graphics as a surface retarder via paper placed at the bottom of the precast form. After the concrete is cured and extracted from the form, the retarder is washed away, revealing an image that results from the contrast between the fair-faced (smooth) surface and the exposed aggregate surface. It is as durable and maintenance-free as concrete itself.
You can select various aggregates and pigments to dramatically expand possibilities in the finished surface. Precast concrete has a new look. And it’s more beautiful than ever.
Graphic Concrete is suitable for prefabricated concrete products that are cast horizontally. Typical applications include facades, partition walls, supporting walls, noise walls and concrete slabs. It is suitable for all sizes of concrete panels and slabs and does not require the use of special concrete mix designs. The technology cannot be used for in-situ casting.
Whether you select one of our ready-made repeating patterns or decide to create your own design, we recommend contacting us at the very start of the design process so that we can help you find the optimal solution.
We will help you make your project a success. We have experience of over 1000 projects worldwide. For inspiration, take a look at our reference projects.
Whatever your mind imagines and you can draw on a paper, you can place on any precast concrete and create a stunning iconic facade or surface.
Designing a pattern for a Graphic Concrete surface is relatively simple. A well-functioning pattern however requires some knowledge regarding repetition, contrast and e.g. use of rasters.
Pay special attention to viewing distances, colours and contrasts. Consider how you want the image to appear. A good design is one that can be viewed from afar while revealing more detail the closer you get. Colours and contrasts play an important role in bringing out the details: changing the aggregate and/or cement colour offers a vast amount of variation in the overall effect.
Below we have gathered instructions and tips for designing. It is worthwhile contacting us in the early stages of the project, so we can ensure the best possible outcome and cost-effective result for your design.
Contrary to popular belief, concrete and cement are not the same thing; cement is just a component of concrete. Concrete is made up of three basic components: water, aggregate (rock, sand, or gravel) and cement. Cement, usually in powder form, acts as a binding agent when mixed with water and aggregates. This combination, or concrete mix, will be poured and harden into the durable material with which we are all familiar.
The Graphic Concrete manufacturing process is basically the same as with a fine exposed aggregate surface produced by a liquid retarder. A dry special retarder paper is placed on the bottom of a mold, and concrete is cast on the paper. The actual pattern on the surface of the concrete results from the contrast between the exposed and smooth concrete finish. There are different retarder strengths to choose from; which one to use depends on the concrete mix and casting conditions and has to be determined by testing.
We provide GCTechnology Training and materials. If you wish to receive, please contact us.