March 8, 2003 2:44 PM   Subscribe

Ferrocement made from sand and cement applied by hand to chicken wire is a cheap and simple yet long-lasting building material that an unskilled practioner can use to build Anything you imagine for example Ships Dinosaurs Bomb Shelters Computer Desk Sailboats Hobbit Houses Furniture and Lawn Gnomes.
posted by stbalbach (3 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Ferrocement I-Beams?. See halfway down the page. That page also leads you to the Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council. Interesting. Anyone know anything about these people?

There's also a textbook on using Ferrocement.

Some explanation of the material, including disadvantages:
"The main disadvantages of ferrocement are its weight and poor impact resistance. However, these disadvantages only restrict the application, of the material, but need not detract from its potential. In the case of heavy displacement workboats over 11 m LOA, the increased weight is of reduced importance; for such craft over 15 ms, the weight will be no more than that of a similar size steel vessel. Poor impact resistance can be largely overcome at the design stage by provision of appropriate hull protection members.

It may well therefore be asked why ferrocement has not been used more widely? This is due mainly to three factors: bad publicity due to poor amateur and professional construction; publication in the early years of outlandish claims for strength and low cost of construction, which in some cases could not be substantiated; the heavy rise in labour costs in industrialised countries which affected what is generally speaking a labour oriented material. Although today with the range of building techniques for ferrocement expanding, the labour cost factor need not play such an important part.
Mostly found this stuff while googl'ing for tensile, shearing, and compression strengths of the material. I haven't found any numbers that mean anything to me yet. Anyone else?
posted by namespan at 3:35 PM on March 8, 2003

gee, some of the furniture is pretty funky, but that lawn gnome is god-awful. (Begging the question, are there any non-god-awful lawn gnomes?)

Interesting stuff stbalbach! Seems like I should buy a 20 lb bag to go with my duct tape and plastic sheeting for the fabrication of a kiss-my-ass-goodbye MeFi safe surfing station.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:19 PM on March 8, 2003

posted by quonsar at 1:50 PM on March 9, 2003

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