Made from 95% recycled materials, it’s no wonder that Ferrock is taking off as a popular building compound.
Here, we’re going to be exploring the advantages and disadvantages of using Ferrock for building.
Before you begin to consider building materials, speak with an expert. Get in touch with us and talk to a structural engineer in Cornwall today.
Ferrock was actually invented by accident in the early 2000s. Dr David Stone, the founder of Iron Shell Media Technologies and former University of Arizona PhD student, was researching ways to prevent iron from rusting and hardening when he accidentally created Ferrock.
This happy accident started a journey into finding an eco-friendly material with the same capabilities as concrete.
Ferrock can be used in much the same way as concrete. Dr Stone even made a ‘green’ greenhouse for his wife, using Ferrock as the main building component for the walls and roof.
There are some great advantages to using Ferrock in building.
Ferrock has been proven to be five times stronger than traditional concrete. It also has a much higher compression strength and much more flexibility as well.
Ferrock is CO2 negative, which means that instead of emitting CO2 as it dries (like concrete), Ferrock absorbs and binds CO2 to itself. This is just another reason why Ferrock is a more environmentally friendly construction material when compared to your standard concrete.
When exposed to saltwater, concrete gradually erodes as the sulfates attack the concrete and cause expansions. The presence of chlorides in the seawater then causes the swelling of the concrete to retard, and this leads to erosion.
Ferrock, however, has shown to excel in saltwater environments and become even stronger! This makes Ferrock a perfect alternative to concrete when building marine-based structures.
Not only is Ferrock CO2 negative and made from 95% recycled materials, but the process in which it’s developed also doesn’t cause any damage to the environment either.
Concrete, however, results in 2.8 billions tonnes of carbon dioxide and is responsible for a tenth of the world’s industrial water usage. A recent study claims there’s more concrete by weight than there is plant matter on Earth today.
There are unfortunately some drawbacks to the use of Ferrock that makes it difficult to completely replace concrete.
Despite being economical when used for niche products, Ferrock is not a cost-effective solution for more large scale projects. These would include roads and motorway developments where concrete is a cheaper and more accessible material.
The two main ingredients in Ferrock are waste steel dust and silica, both of which are the byproducts of other construction processes. If Ferrock were to become a mainstream construction material, the value of ‘waste’ steel dust and silica would skyrocket.
It also takes a lot of silica and metal shavings to create Ferrock, and with both of those in limited supply, it makes Ferrock unsuitable for big projects.
Seeing as Ferrock has only been around since the early 2000s, it remains pretty untested compared to other building materials. We’re still not entirely sure what the lifecycle of the material is or how resistant it is in extreme or unprecedented circumstances.
There are also limited applications for what you can build with Ferrock.
Overall, Ferrock is a brilliant alternative to concrete if you’re looking to be more eco-friendly with your building. However, if you’re thinking of a more large-scale product, then you’re out of luck.
If you want to be more eco-friendly in your construction, why don’t you read our article on Energy Efficient Materials for Green Building?
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