Ferrocement: Civil Engineering Seminar Report


Ferrocement, also known as ferro-cement, is a construction system that uses reinforced mortar or plaster applied over an “armature” of metal mesh, woven, expanded metal, or metal-fibers, and closely spaced thin steel rods such as rebar. The metal commonly used is iron or some type of steel.

ferrocement seminar report

Historical Background

The concept of ferrocement originated in the 1840s in France and the Netherlands and is considered the precursor to reinforced concrete. The inventors of ferrocement are Frenchmen Joseph Monier and Joseph-Louis Lambot. Lambot constructed a boat with the system in 1848 and exhibited the vessel at the Exposition Universelle in 1855.

Composition and Properties of Ferrocement

Ferrocement is a composite material prepared by using closely spaced one or multiple layers of mesh and small diameter rods, which is entirely covered by cement mortar. It is a highly versatile material with many engineering properties such as flexural strength, toughness, fatigue resistance, impact resistance, and crack resistance. The cement is typically a very rich mix of sand and cement in a 3:1 ratio.

Applications of Ferrocement in Civil Engineering

Ferrocement has a wide range of applications in civil engineering due to its lightweight nature, reduced dependency on skilled labor, and absence of the need for frameworks. Here are a few examples:

  • Housing Components: Ferrocement is used in the construction of housing components, including roofs and walls.
  • Water Tanks and Reservoirs: It is utilized for making overhead water tanks for domestic purposes. The tank is lightweight and can be transported easily.
  • Boat Hull Construction: Ferrocement was first developed for use in the construction of boats.
  • Bridges and Pipes: Ferrocement is also used in the construction of bridges and pipes.
  • Sculptures and Art Installations: Due to its versatility, it is also used in the creation of sculptures and art installations.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Ferrocement

Ferrocement is especially advantageous in a particular structure due to its lower cost and has excellent mechanical characteristics. It has better durability than ordinary reinforced concrete. However, like any material, it has its disadvantages. These include the requirement of skilled labor for its application and the potential for corrosion if not properly maintained.


Ferrocement is a versatile and cost-effective construction material that has been used in various applications. Its unique properties make it a valuable resource in the field of civil engineering. However, like any material, it has its limitations and requires proper maintenance to ensure its longevity.