graphic concrete® is an exciting patented technology that provides architects, designers and builders the opportunity to create amazing high quality imagery to precast concrete elements.
graphic concrete® was invented and developed by Interior Architect and Master of Arts Mr Samuli Naamanka in the late 1990’s. Naamanka, who while attending a university course, developed concrete retarder products and unique printing methods to create patterns, shapes and ultimately artistic and photographic images to the surface of precast concrete.
The challenge was to create a process to combine art with large scale concrete surfaces in an industrial manner. Previously most images or patterns were created by hand or machine and were limited or quite small. Getting larger images or patterns was difficult, expensive and often inconsistent. Form-liners, moulds etc. while attractive alternatives, can add additional concrete, weight and expense to traditional precast concrete panels.
The graphic concrete® system developed is now proven and widely accepted and used around the world. The range of designs, patterns and images are only limited by ones imagination. The technique allows the precast concrete industry to manufacture high quality patterns and images to precast concrete panels, facades, floors and walls.
graphic concrete® is produced by printing selected images or standard patterns onto a special heavy paper membrane using a surface retarder. The membrane is then placed in the base of a precast form, face up, with concrete and reinforcement mesh laid over. The retarder slows the setting or curing process in the applied areas of the membrane.
The panel is completed and after 20 hours is lifted. The surface is then washed using high pressure water and the unset or soft concrete surfaces are removed, revealing a fine aggregate finish. The pattern or image is created by the contrast of the smooth fair face and exposed aggregate surface. Colour pigments and aggregates can be added to further contribute to the design or pattern. Each piece of graphic concrete® membrane is one-time use only but images can be reprinted and used, cut and joined as necessary along a precast wall or façade.
Membranes are ordered through ramsetreid™, printed by graphic concrete® and supplied to the precast company. There are hundreds of standard patterns and designs, which is the most cost effective method of utilising the technology; however, unique individual patterns, designs or images can also be used. Images of faces, artistic elements, historical buildings, nature, animals, almost anything than can be uploaded as a high definition digital image file can be transformed to a precast concrete element.
graphic concrete® has been considered for the Coles Drysdale project along one façade using a standard birch tree image pattern creating a forest of birch trees. Coles Supermarkets loved the new idea as did Council as part of the approved town planning process. The builder for the Coles Drysdale Project is Lanskey Constructions. The precast panels were manufactured by CPC and the panel erection was by Sheer. See video below of the birch tree panels for the Coles Drysdale Project being finished. (Video supplied by CPC).
The project commenced on site in August/September 2016 with precast being delivered and erected in October/November 2016. The feature graphic concrete® panels were delivered and erected last on 10 November 2016. The project is due for completion with the Coles Supermarket opening mid May 2017.
ramsetreid™ is the ANZ distributor of graphic concrete®
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