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Hiram began his research into GFRC, and its durability, in 1977 while working for the Glass Fiber Division of PPG Industries in Pittsburgh, PA. Studying the available literature on the material composition and accelerated durability programs using the recently patented AR glass fiber from the British Research Establishment and Pilkington Glass he determined there must be more required to maintain the long term flexural properties of the composite than just the high alkali resistance of the new glass fiber formula, which ultimately was commercialized under trade name Cem-FIL.

His original thinking was to use a water-based polymer to modify the GFRC matrix and that it would also have a chemical affinity to the binder that PPG could put on the glass fiber filaments so that long term durability would be improved. This led to a connection with the research already underway at Dutch States Mines (DSM), BV, Silenka and PPG's glass fiber plant in the Netherlands, which had already identified the same points and had begun an evaluation program. The results of this research and aging tests were positive. A specific water-based polymer formula satisfying the process and technical requirements of GFRC was commercialized under the trade name, Forton, which means "force beton" ("strong cement") in the Germanic languages. He introduced the Forton technology and polymer into the North American GFRC market in 1980, after leaving his position at PPG Industries. Hiram has been a participating member of the following groups and associations and actively contributed to supplying technical information and writing for the industry:

PCI IMNL 128 and MNL 130J   ASTM [C27 GFRC testing specifications)
APA (GFRC Committee)   GRCA (international association for GFRC)
ACI [Committees 544, 548 & 549J    
     
He can also advise on material selection, evaluations and mix design suggestions to achieve the producer's needs.
Photos: Walters & Wolf Hayward, CA
 
  Hiram Ball 412-737-3141 |     hiram@dos-pelotas.com |     527 Main Street, #9 |     Harwich, MA 02645