What is Ferrocement?
Ferrocement is a construction material consisting of wire meshes and cement mortar. Applications of ferrocement in construction is vast due to the low self weight, lack of skilled workers, no need of framework etc.
It was developed by P.L.Nervi, an Italian architect in 1940. Quality of ferrocement works are assured because the components are manufactured on machinery set up and execution time at work site is less. Cost of maintenance is low. This material has come into widespread use only in construction in the last two decades.
Properties of Ferrocement
- Highly versatile form of reinforced concrete.
- It’s a type of thin reinforced concrete construction, in which large amount of small diameter wire meshes uniformly throughout the cross section.
- Mesh may be metal or suitable material.
- Instead of concrete Portland cement mortar is used.
- Strength depends on two factors quality of sand/cement mortar mix and quantity of reinforcing materials used.
Fig: Typical cross section of ferrocement structure.
Constituent Materials for Ferrocement
- Fine Aggregate
- Mortar Mix
- Reinforcing mesh
- Skeletal Steel
Fig: Reinforcing Mesh
Advantages and Disadvantages of Ferrocement
- Basic raw materials are readily available in most countries.
- Fabricated into any desired shape.
- Low labour skill required.
- Ease of construction, low weight and long lifetime.
- Low construction material cost.
- Better resistance against earthquake.
- Structures made of it can be punctured by collision with pointed objects.
- Corrosion of the reinforcing materials due to the incomplete coverage of metal by mortar.
- It is difficult to fasten to Ferrocement with bolts, screws, welding and nail etc.
- Large no of labors required.
- Cost of semi-skilled and unskilled labors is high.
- Tying rods and mesh together is especially tedious and time consuming.
Process of Ferrocement Construction
- Fabricating the skeletal framing system.
- Applying rods and meshes.
Applications of Ferrocements in Construction
- Rural Energy
- Anticorrosive Membrane Treatment.
Housing Applications of Ferrocement
Application in Rural Energy
Cost Effectiveness of Ferrocement Structures
- The type of economic system.
- Type of applications.
- Relative cost of labor.
- Capital and local tradition of construction procedure.
- Doesn’t need heavy plant or machinery.
- Low cost of construction materials.
- Residential and Public Buildings.
- Industrial Structures.
- Agricultural structures.
- Transportation Structures.
Application in Industrial Structures:
Application in Agricultural Structures:
Application in Transportation Structures: