Ferrocement

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Introduction

It is a term used for products made by sandwiching a galvanized wire mesh between 2 layers of cement-sand mortar. Ferro cement is used in roofing units, partitions, cabins, etc.

Ferro cement is a thin cement mortar laid over wire mesh, which acts as a reinforcement. It is relatively cheap, strong and durable, and the basic technique is easily acquired.

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.

When building Ferro-cement structures the sand/cement mortar is applied to the reinforcing wire with a trowel, never poured like common concrete. Often a form is used to provide the desired shape.


Brief Description

Advantages of Ferrocement:


o Greater Tensile strength

o Its simple techniques require a minimum of skilled labor

o The materials are relatively inexpensive, and can usually be obtained locally

o Only a few simple hand tools are needed to build uncomplicated structures

o Repairs are usually easy and inexpensive

o No upkeep is necessary

o Structures are rot-proof, insect-proof, and rat-proof, and non-flammable

o Structures are highly waterproof, and give off no odors in a moist environment;

o Structures have unobstructed interior room

o Structures are strong and have good impact resistance

o Structures can be shaped in any form


Disadvantages of Ferrocement:


o Its heavy in weight and its poor impact resistance

o Structures made of it can be punctured by forceful collision with pointed objects.

o The large amount of labor is required

o It is not possible to nail, screw, or weld to Ferrocement


Some Applications:


Ferrocement's features make it useful in a wide range of applications, including aqueducts, boats, buildings, bus shelters, bridge decks, concrete road repair, factory-built homes, food and water storage containers, irrigation structures, retaining walls, sculptures, and traffic-caution signboards. In its final cured stage, Ferro cement is somewhat flexible and can be bent slightly without developing cracks. Ferro cement can be used in such compound-curved structures as domes, roofs, and ship hulls. Compound curvature adds to the strength, stiffness, and impact resistance of these structures, which can be built over a minimum of internal forms. Round or conical tanks, silos, and pontoons can also be constructed very satisfactorily with thin-walled Ferro cement.


Technology:


Ferrocement is a form of RCC made from mortar and layers of thinly spaced steel rods or wires. Layers behave together as a composite, in which the concrete absorbs most of the compression and the steel reinforcing absorbs the tensile and shear stresses Mortar is the term applied to the mixture of cement, sand, and water before it solidifies into concrete.

The main steps in Ferrocement construction are assembly of forms (if used), assembly of reinforcing materials, application of mortar, curing, and finishing and painting.


References:

http://ferrocement.com/intro-Ferro/intro.en.html

http://www.green-trust.org/2003/ferrocement/default.htm

http://www.fao.org/docrep/003/v9468e/v9468e04.htm

http://www.cd3wd.com/cd3wd_40/VITA/FERRCMNT/EN/FERRCMNT.HTM

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