Ferrocement is a type of reinforced concrete with embedded mesh layers in cement mortar. The mesh may be metallic or nonmetallic and mortar composition may vary using advanced concepts of concrete technology. In light of above definition, Ferrocement may be considered as a low technology material as well as a high performance composite. It can be used as a self-help and high performance material to be used as prefabricated technology. In concrete family and composite materials, ferrocement is the most innovative invention which can conserve resources, save energy, protect environment and reduce human effort.
History of ferrocement
Joseph Louis Lambot is considered father of ferrocement. He constructed boats, seats, and plant pots in 1855 and patented his innovation with name of “Ferciment” in France. In 1940’s Pier Luigi Nervi of Italy reinvented ferrocement, he tested ferrocement to discover its characteristics and performed some experiments to recognize advantages of ferrocement. Nervi first used ferrocement in a public structure in 1948 that was an exposition hall at Turin with 100 m span roof. The roof was constructed using prefabricated panels of ferrocement. In 1953, Nervi used ferrocement for roof of Milan Fair Building and Flaminio Stadium, Rome. In 1959 Nervi used ferrocement corrugations for construction of cantilever roof. Research Studies on ferrocement behavior started in late fifties. In 1968, fisheries department of USA built boats with ferrocement in Asia, Africa and Latin America to be used in fishing. In 1972, US academy of sciences reported potential applications of ferrocement in developing countries. In 1975, American concrete institute formed committee ACI 549 on ferrocement. The committee issued its first report in 1980. In 1976, International Ferrocement Information Center (IFIC) formed at Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) Bangkok. In 1979 RILEM formed committee 48 for Ferrocement (Sasiekalaa and Malathy 2012). International Ferrocement Society formed a committee IFS-10-01 which developed ferrocement model code (FMC) in 2001. A lot of research on ferrocement is going on to develop it as a substitute material for various conventional construction materials such as bricks, stones, timber, steel, concrete.
Writer is author of research paper on Ferrocement which can be accessed here.