Ferrocement or ferro-cement is a form of a composite material made of cement mortar and layers of wire mesh or similar small diameter steel mesh closely bound together to create a stiff structural form.
The inventors of ferrocement are Frenchmen Joseph Monier who dubbed it "ciment armé" (armored cement) and Joseph-Louis Lambot who constructed a boat with the system in 1848. Lambot exhibited the vessel at the Exposition Universelle in 1855 and his name for the material "ferciment" stuck. In the first half of the twentieth century Italian Pier Luigi Nervi was noted for his use of ferro-cement, in Italian called ferro-cemento. In the 1930s through the 1950's, it became popular in the United States as a construction and sculpting method for novelty architecture, examples of which are the Cabazon Dinosaurs and the works of Albert Vrana.
Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper, commonly with about 12–12.5% tin and often with the addition of other metals (such as aluminium, manganese, nickel, or zinc) and sometimes non-metals or metalloids such as arsenic, phosphorus, or silicon.
The cement is typically a very rich mix of sand and cement in a 3:1 ratio and contains amounts of gravel. However, when used for making boards, no gravel is used, so that the material is not concrete. Ferrocement is used to construct relatively thin, hard, strong surfaces and structures in many shapes such as hulls for boats, shell roofs, and water tanks.
The "Mulberry harbours" used in the D-Day landings were made of ferrocement, and their remains may still be seen at resorts like Arromanches. The Cabazon Dinosaurs, a famous tourist attraction in Cabazon, California is also made of ferrocement.
Ferrocement is the cheapest and easiest form of construction for boats over 25 ft.