Ferrocement is characterized by fine diameter mesh reinforcement, and size of mesh opening, and the surface area per unit volume of mortar may be as much as ten times that in conventional reinforced concrete. The behavior of ferrocement is characterized by volume fraction of the fibers Vfx and Vfy in x and y directions and the specific surfaces of the mesh SLx and SLy. An experimental investigation on the shear strength of ferrocement plate reinforced with hexagonal mesh is carried out. Ferrocement square plate specimens were cast and tested. A total of 24 simply supported square plates (500×500mm) having mortar with cement/ sand proportions 1: 2 and 1: 3 by weight have been cast and tested under ‘patch’ load varying the number of mesh layers, the plate thickness, the size of the mesh opening and the arrangement and orientation of the mesh. Woven hexagonal mesh has been used. All plate specimens have been tested with their edges simply supported over a span of 450mm in two directions. During tests, central patch loads of size 100×100mm at the center of each plate specimens were applied to the models through a universal testing machine of 250 ton capacity. Having located the specimens within its support, series of patch load increments were then applied to the plate up to failure loads. The plate behavior has been presented in the form of the first cracking load Pcr and the ultimate load Pu which is the total patch load at failure. It was observed that the first cracking load is influenced by the ultimate mortar strength and not much affected by volume content of reinforcement. The slope of the curves at collapse indicates that the load carrying capacity is highly influenced by the steel volume content and the tensile strength of the mesh reinforcement while the contribution of mortar is negligible. The failure loads in the plates with closely spaced wires were higher as compared to the plates with widely spaced wires. There is an increase in the value of failure load Pu for the plate specimens with orthogonally oriented mesh layers as compared to the specimens with twin layers. An important conclusions regarding the plate behavior are drawn and expression to estimate the first cracking load is proposed. A comparison of the first cracking load values with those obtained using the proposed expression. It is seen that the proposed expression gives a reasonable estimate of the first cracking load.

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