What is ferrocement?

Ferrocement is used to build houses, boats, bridges and a variety of other structures.

Ferrocement is a composite material used in construction throughout the world. As the name implies, ferrocement is a type of cement, but it is applied in a very special way, using minimal material and, as a result, being much cheaper than traditional cement construction. Ferrocement is used to build houses, boats, bridges, and a variety of other structures, and some artists also work with ferrocement, creating sculptures and architectural features from this very strong, durable, and versatile material.

To build something out of ferrocement, one starts by creating a wire mesh structure. Chicken wire is a common choice, but any type of wire mesh will work. The mesh is usually layered, creating a matrix. Then, a mixture of cement, sand and water is spread over the structure, normally very thin, and then the ferrocement structure can cure; most people keep ferrocement moist while it dries. Healing time varies, but can exceed a month in some climates and situations. At the end of the curing period, the resulting structure is quite strong and very solid, despite the walls being very thin.

You may hear ferrocement referred to as “thin husk” or “wire mesh and cement construction”. There are several advantages to ferrocement that make it the material of choice for some people. On the one hand, it is extremely flexible, as the load on the structure is widely distributed and ferrocement tends to perform well in earthquakes. It is also fire resistant and extremely durable; Well-built ferrocement structures can last for decades with minimal maintenance.

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One reason many people like ferrocement is that it is a very cheap material to build. Fans of ferrocement construction sometimes say that it “pays for itself” for being minimally expensive. In areas where resources and skilled labor are scarce, this building material is an excellent choice to have on hand, allowing people to build durable and affordable structures.

For people interested in using ferrocement to build a house, consulting local building codes is an excellent idea, as discussing the idea with an engineer, who can help you create a load-bearing design that meets your requirements. local code. In some regions, ferrocement construction classes and workshops are available for people who would like to have some experience working with the material; If you’re willing to let your house be a model, you can also sponsor a workshop, learning to work with ferrocement while your house is built by a team of students.

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