Last edited 30 May 2017



Ferro-cement is a composite material made up of mortar and light wire steel mesh. It is a highly versatile form of reinforced concrete.

The mesh is formed into the shape of the structure in thin sections, and should mesh uniformly throughout the cross-section. Rebar is sometimes used as a means of stiffening the structure. On both sides of the reinforcement layer the stiff mortar is applied to the required thickness. Care must be taken to completely cover with metal with mortar, or else the metal may be at risk of corrosion.

The strength of the ferro-cement is determined by the quality of the sand/cement mortar mix and the quantity of the reinforcing materials used.

Ferro-cement is typically used to relatively thin but strong surfaces and structures, such as for shell roofs, water tanks, and so on.

Due to the increased amount of labour required for the construction process, ferro-cement structures tend to be found in countries with low labour costs, such as in Asia and the Pacific regions.

The advantages of ferro-cement are as follows:

  • It can be fabricated into any shape required.
  • Construction is relatively easy and low-skill.
  • It is a lightweight material with good durability.
  • Relatively cost-effective.

The disadvantages of ferro-cement are as follows:

  • Fastening with bolts, screws, nails, and such like, can be difficult on ferro-cement.
  • Labour-intensive construction process.
  • Tying rods and mesh together is time-consuming.
  • Can be vulnerable to puncture from pointed objects.

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