What is Ferrocement?


Ferrocement is a composite material of mortar and reinforcement such as light steel fabrics and meshes and is used to form thin section.

Ferrocement is a form of reinforced mortar that is embedded with closely spaced multiple layers of wire mesh. The mesh is generally metallic or non-metallic. The ferrocement is widely used to construct thin, hard, and strong structures with different shapes. It was developed by  P.L. Nervi an Italian engineer in 1940.

In the construction of Ferrocement cement mortar is used which provides mass and the wire mesh imparts tensile strength and ductility to the material. ferrocement exhibits very high tensile strength weight ratio and has good cracking resistance. Ferrocement is an eco-friendly construction Technology.

Materials used in Ferrocement

1. Cement mortar mix

  • Cement: The cement should be fresh, of uniform consistency, and free of lumps and foreign matter.
  • Sand: It should be hard, strong, non-porous. It should be free from silt, clay, and other organic impurities. The maximum particle size should be 2.36 mm.

2. Skeleton steel: It is used for holding the wire mesh in the position and shape of the structure. The diameter of the steel rods ranges between 3 to 8 mm and spaced at 60 to 100 mm apart.

3. Wire mesh: The wire mesh consists of galvanized wire having a diameter of 0.5 to 1.5 mm which is spaced at 6 to 20 mm centre to centre.

Ferrocement Construction Process

  1. Fabrication of skeleton frame.
  2. Setting up the bars and mesh.
  3. Applying cement mortar mix.
  4. Curing

Application of Ferrocement in Construction

  1. It is used in the construction of water tanks.
  2. It is also used in the construction of some residential and industrial buildings.
  3. Used in the construction of boats.
  4. It is also used in making sculptures
  5. It is also used in the production of pipes.
  6.  Ferro cement also is suitable for casting thin curved benches for parks and gardens.
  7. It is also used in the strengthening of RCC structures.

Advantages of Ferrocement

  1. It is a very durable and versatile material.
  2. It has better Earthquake resistance.
  3. It doesn’t require formwork during its Construction.
  4. It has low shrinkage.
  5. It has high tensile strength and better punching shear resistance.
  6. It will undergo large deformation before cracking.
  7. It has a low water/cement ratio.

Disadvantages of Ferrocement

  1. The reinforcing material like wire mesh may be corroded if not completely covered by mortar.
  2. It requires a large number of labours
  3. There may be a chance of buckling due to thin structures.
  4. Connecting wire mesh and rods with each other is tedious work.

Ferrocement is one of the most innovative construction Technology which can conserve natural resources, save energy, protect the environment, and reduce human effort.


Also Read: Textile Reinforced Concrete

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