What is Ferrocement ?
It is a strong, versatile, low-cost, long-lasting building material made from a wire reinforced mixture of sand, water, and cement. A ferro-cement structure is usually 2-5 cm (3/4″-1 3/4″) thick— much thinner and lighter than poured concrete structures. Because it has wire reinforcing distributed throughout the structure, ferro-cement structures have much greater tensile strength and flexibility than ordinary concrete.The term “ferrocement” was given to this product by its inventor in France, Joseph Monier.
The strength of a ferro-cement structure depends on basically two things:
1. The quality of the sand/cement mortar mix.The sand must be clean and sharp. The cement must be fresh, and the mortar mix “dry”-that is: well mixed using a minimum of water. The mortar should be used as soon as possible after mixing, especially in warm
2. The quantity of reinforcing material, usually common “chicken wire”. More wire results in a stronger structure. A high quality boat hull will require as many layers of wire as can be gotten into the thickness of the hull.
The term ferrocement is most commonly applied to a mixture of Portland cement and sand applied over layers of expanded steel mesh and closely spaced small-diameter steel rods rebar. It can be used to form relatively thin, compound curved sheets to make hulls for boats, shell roofs, water tanks, etc. It has been used in a wide range of other applications including sculpture and prefabricated building components.
Ferro concrete has relatively good strength and resistance to impact. When used in house construction in developing countries, it can provide better resistance to fire, earthquake, and corrosion than traditional materials, such as wood and stone masonry.
The economic advantage of ferro concrete structures is that they are stronger and more durable than some traditional building methods. Ferro concrete structures can be built quickly, which can have economic advantages.
The advantages of a well built ferro concrete construction are the low weight, maintenance costs and long lifetime in comparison with purely steel constructions.
The disadvantage of ferro concrete construction is the labor intensive nature of it, which makes it expensive for industrial application in the western world. In addition, threats to degradation (rust) of the steel components is a possibility if air voids are left in the original construction
( Reference : Ron Davis www.watermotor.net , Wikkipedia)
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