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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.

Cross-Section of a Ferro-Cement Structure

Fig: Typical cross section of ferrocement structure.

Constituent Materials for Ferrocement

  1. Cement
  2. Fine Aggregate
  3. Water
  4. Admixture
  5. Mortar Mix
  6. Reinforcing mesh
  7. Skeletal Steel
  8. Coating

Reinforceing Mesh in Ferro-Cement

Fig: Reinforcing Mesh

Advantages and Disadvantages of Ferrocement

Advantages

  • 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.

Disadvantages

  • 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.
  • Plastering.
  • Curing

Applications of Ferrocements in Construction

  • Housing
  • Marine
  • Agricultural
  • Rural Energy
  • Anticorrosive Membrane Treatment.
  • Miscellaneous.

Housing Applications of Ferrocement

Housing Applications of Ferro-cement

Housing Applications of Ferro-Cement

Housing Applications of Ferro-cement

Marine Application

Marine Application of Ferro-Cement

Agricultural Applications

Agricultural Applications of Ferro-Cement:

Agricultural Applications of Ferro-Cement:

Application in Rural Energy

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.

Recent Applications:

  • Residential and Public Buildings.
  • Industrial Structures.
  • Agricultural structures.
  • Transportation Structures.

Ferrocement Applications in Residential and Public Buildings

Ferrocement Applications in Residential and Public Buildings

Ferrocement Applications in Residential and Public Buildings

Ferrocement Applications in Residential and Public Buildings

Application in Industrial Structures:

Ferrocement Applications in Industrial Structures

Application in Agricultural Structures:

Ferro-Cement in Agricultural Structures

Application in Transportation Structures:
Ferro-Cement in Transportation Structures

Ferro-Cement in Transportation Structures

Gopal Mishra

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9 Comments

  1. From long we are using ferro cement technology in India, it is generally used in elevation and in construction of shelves, The major disadvantage what we observed are shrinkage cracks and high heat in summers, and also because of expansion of mesh in summer we can find cracks on the surface which are difficult to cover, Also construction with ferrocement is a long process.

  2. I used as Soil Nailing to hold slopes , with drainage of course from inside to outside in several points of the cement cover mesh.

  3. I want to use curved ferrocement slabs as window sunshades.. any suggestions?

  4. Odd question, but I'm doing a documentary that involves creating a structure using the ferrocement process. Would it be possible to use the images for these two figures as illustration of the process in the documentary?:

    Fig: Typical cross section of ferro-cement structure.
    Fig: REINFORCING MESH.

    Thanks. Structure is an art piece designed by a University of Washington professor of architecture (also a member of Jersey Devil Architects).

  5. Sir, I wanted to renovate my old ancestral house to one storied house without altering its foundation. Is ferro cement construction suitable. If yes Whom should I contact in calicut

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