Ferrocement is a form of reinforced concrete using closely spaced multiple layers of mesh and/or small dia rods completely infiltrated with mortar.
It is thinner and lighter than RCC structures and has greater tensile strength and more flexibility than RCC. /one can create a lot of interesting shapes with ferrocement. It is water tight and thus finds application in structures like water tanks, roofs etc.
It also uses lesser quantity of cement and steel and is hence cost effective compared to RCC.
|Typical Cross section
|Ferrocement Roofing using ferrocement channels
|Roofing using ferrocement U sections
With Ferrocement, it is possible to make slabs of thicknesses as less as 20mm, which can be used in applications like door shutters, water tanks etc.
Ferrocement is especially useful for cost effective housing projects. The technology is easy to master and even ordinary masons can be trained to use this. There is a large scope for application in developing countries, where the resources are scarce.
v Doors and Windows- Frames and Shutters.
v Wall panels, Roofing Elements, Flooring channels, Precast Toilets
v For setting up Temporary shelters for workers toilets, Site offices, etc.
v Water tanks, Manhole covers, Stair Treads, cupboard shelves etc.
The first thing required is a base mould over which casting can be done. The negative mould (because it is in the opposite shape of the final structure), is often made of brick, sand and mortar. The mould is made first and is allowed to set
|Mould for Ferrocement channel
|A portable mould
Once the mould is ready, the basic reinforcement cage is made using 8mm rods and chicken mesh. 2-3 layers of chicken mesh are spread over the reinforcement and tied in place by binder wires. Once the basic reinforcement is ready, waste oil is applied on top of the mould. This is to facilitate easy debonding during the final removal of the finished structure.
A marginal layer of mortar is laid over the mould, over which the reinforcement layer is placed.
Finally, once the chicken mesh reinforcement is properly in place, mortar is then applied from the top and finished in the desired shape. The thickness of this mortar layer is around 10-15mm.
The finished structure is allowed to set completely and then removed from the mould. After this, regular curing is to be carried out using hessian bags and water. Normally, the structure is cured for around 28 days for complete structural integrity.