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Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Ferro Cement is Economical Construction Method

I'm excited about this method of using cement that I've just read about. It's a means of using cement and wiring, to create a strong structure that's thin and economical! This can have many applications -- construction, artistic structures, boat hulls, table tops, etc.

I found some information from a short article by one Saip bin Sulong. The article suggested utilizing ferrocement methods for construction in national parks, to preserve the trees. Definitely an idea I'll support! (I love trees.) From the article:


Joseph Louis Lambot invented ferrocement in 1848, with the intention of using it for bridges and buildings. It was patented in 1852 with this statement:

"My invention is a new product that can replace timber (in wood flooring, water container etc.) that is exposed to damage by water or dampness. The base for the new substance is a metal net of wire or rods interconnected to form a flexible woven mat. I fashion this net into a form that is similar to the article I want to create, then I use hydraulic cement or bitumen or mix to fill up the joints." (Quoted in UNIMAS, 1996)

By the 1960s ferrocement’s durability and serviceability was recognised by engineers and builders throughout the world who endorsed it as a suitable and economical material for the construction of barges, larger vessels, tanks and housing (Batson, 2000). Ferrocement was widely accepted in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia. For example, in 1967, a sailing ship was produced from ferrocement in New Zealand and successfully travelled over the world, though it had accidents with steel ships and icebergs (UNIMAS, 1996).


Ferrocement is a very adaptable material that can be used to make a wide range of items of various sizes. It is frequently used for the construction of housing and buildings, landscape structures, agriculture facilities, public health facilities and transportation.

Prefabricated ferrocement wall panels have been used for low cost housing in Selangor, Malaysia (Abdullah, 1990). Mosque domes constructed with ferrocement are found in Indonesia and Jordan, taking advantage of the ease of creating curves with the material. Unique and beautiful buildings with this technology are found in India, Cuba, Israel and Bangladesh. In Malaysia, there are two companies that construct ferrocement boats ranging from 2 to 6 feet in width for export. Ferrocement is also used for swimming pools and pontoons (UNIMAS 1996).

The material is particularly useful for repairing old structures.

A related term to ferrocement (or ferro-cement) is "stucco".

This particularly wonderful piece of instruction from Home Mag shows you how to cast a cement countertop. In it, the writer recommends chicken wire and steel rebar.

A how-to page also shows us how to use ferro-cement for construction of art structures.

The cement worktop looks like something worth trying!

By the way. This following link is quite good. Imagine turning chicken wire into a wavy panel, simply for stronger structures. Check it out.


Overboard said...

I'm the original Frugal Female.
Ergo, I purchased a ferrocment boat.
Check it out at