Fibre cement

Fiber cement is a perennial composite of cement and high-tensile fibers, which is used for building and construction products. It is largely manufactured and sold under the name Eternit.

  • 4.1 " Eternit process " in Italy


Fibre-reinforced cement products were developed in the late 19th century by the Austrian Ludwig Hatchek, the mixed 90 % cement and 10% asbestos fibers with water and the product led through a paper machine. Hatchek patented the production process and the registered trademark Eternit. Earlier it was mainly used as a fiber asbestos. Fiber cement has been widely used because of its low cost, fire resistance, light weight and other properties for cladding facades. From the 1960s to the 1980s, fiber cement panels were a preferred building material to give half-timbered houses a supposedly modern appearance.

The harmful because respirable asbestos fibers can also be released during processing and in the decomposition of aging materials. The processing of asbestos was the end of the 20th prohibited the beginning of the 21st century in Europe, Japan, Saudi Arabia, large parts of Latin America, Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia and Vietnam. In fiber cement asbestos in these countries has been replaced by other fibers, such as glass, carbon, or polyvinyl alcohol.

Description of material

Cement is a substance that chemically reacts with water to a hard material developed ( concrete). Fiber cement contains a fiber reinforcement that enhances the flexural, train and fracture strength of the material. Fiber cement is made after a curing time of 28 days in terms of volume of approximately:

  • 40 % binder
  • 11% additives
  • 2% reinforcing fibers
  • 5% process fibers
  • 12% water
  • 30 % air


Fiber cement is durable, non-flammable, hail resistant and has a relatively light weight. For the production of a low energy requirement is necessary, which earns him a good CO2 balance.


The material is used for a variety of products and applications. Examples are: design products for the interior, facade cladding, roof coverings (eg corrugated sheets ), water pipes, flower pots and garden furniture. In the 1960s, all the houses were made of fiber cement materials.



  • Wet Room
  • Fire protection
  • Lightweight partition wall constructions


  • Cladding
  • Eaves
  • Roofing
  • Under roof

Fiber cement products are used in all construction sectors: residential, industrial, agricultural, commercial and public buildings - for new construction and renovation projects.


A list of major manufacturers of fiber cement, which does not claim to be complete.

  • AMROC Materials GmbH
  • Cembrit
  • ETEX Group ( Belgian holding company of Jean -Louis de Cartier de Marchienne )
  • Eternit AG ( German Eternit licensee companies in the ETEX Group)
  • Eternit AG ( Switzerland ) ( Swiss Eternit licensee companies in the Schmidheiny family, Holcim )
  • Eternit -Werke Ludwig Hatschek AG (Austrian Eternit licensors)
  • James Hardie
  • Toschi GmbH & Co KG
  • Landini
  • LTM
  • SVK

Fiber cement and asbestos

Fiber cement has long been established with health- damaging asbestos, which has earned him a bad reputation worldwide. The use of asbestos was banned. Under the leadership of Stefan Schmidheiny was the first company to dispense with the use of asbestos at Eternit ( Switzerland ) AG, even before an official ban has been imposed.

" Eternit process " in Italy

From 2009 to 2012, in Turin, the so-called " Eternit process " negotiated. Accused were two entrepreneurs, the Swiss Stephan Schmidheiny and Belgian Baron Jean -Louis de Cartier de Marchienne. Both were in February 2012, in absentia, sentenced to 16 years in prison. They were found guilty of being responsible for an environmental disaster and the Asbesttod of around 3000 people because they are in the factory Eternit SpA to have not met in Casale Monferrato in the period 1966-1986 precautions and suppressed information about the health hazards of asbestos. Stephan Schmidheiny let out to announce through his spokesman Peter Schürmann in a media release to challenge the verdict and move on to the next higher instance.