Asbestos cement, genericized as fibro or fibrolite – short for "fibrous (or fibre) cement sheet" – and AC sheet, is a building material in which asbestos fibres are used to reinforce thin rigid cement sheets. Although invented at the end of the 19th century, the material rose to necessity during World War II to make sturdy, inexpensive military housing, and continued to be used widely following the war as an affordable external cladding for buildings. Advertised as a fireproof alternative to other roofing materials such as asphalt, asbestos-cement roofs were popular not only for safety but also for affordability. Due to asbestos-cement's imitation of more expensive materials such as wood siding and shingles, brick, slate, and stone, the product was marketed as an affordable renovation material. Asbestos-cement faced competition with the aluminum alloy, available in large quantities after WWII, and the reemergence of wood clapboard and vinyl siding in the mid to late twentieth century. Asbestos-cement is usually formed into flat or corrugated sheets or piping, but can be molded into any shape wet cement can fit. In Europe, many forms were historically used for cement sheets, while the US leaned more conservative in material shapes due to labor and production costs. Although fibro was used in a number of countries, it was in Australia and New Zealand where its use was the most widespread. Predominantly manufactured and sold by James Hardie & Co. until the mid-1980s, fibro in all its forms was a very popular building material, largely due to its durability. The reinforcing fibres involved in construction were almost always asbestos. The use of fibro that contains asbestos has been banned in several countries, including Australia. As recently as 2016, the material has been discovered in new components sold for construction projects.