Formwork is a mould. A mould on which concrete is poured onto to give concrete the required shape.
In the construction world, formwork is either termed permanent or temporary.
Once the concrete has hardened and cured, formwork is removed. These are called temporary formwork. The ones left are what we call permanent formwork.
Of What Importance is Formwork?
The reasons why formwork is a crucial part of any construction that requires concrete is because they are:
Essential, truth be told, there is no other technology out there that can take the place of formwork.
Formwork makes the construction of concrete structures easy, affordable and quick.
This technique enhances the safety of the workers by offering easy access to even arduous areas.
It’s cost-effective. In a way, it lowers the cost and timeline in cases where there is floor to floor construction.
This favours the project owners for they get to achieve the set budgetary demands.
Formwork gives a guide on the exact facilitation time for shuttering and deshuttering.
This in return, positively affects the effectiveness of the project and its resources.
When it comes to the concrete structure in question, with the help of formwork the result is normally high in quality and with smooth finishes.
Formwork in terms of the safety of the structure, there is no question about that.
It provided the structure with stability against all the overlaying weight, making the structure safe and practical at the same time.
The Classification of the Most Used Formwork
Formwork is classified according to the material used. There are numerous categories of formwork. They include;
- Timber formwork
- Steel formwork
- Aluminium Formwork
- Plywood formwork
- Fabric formwork
- Plastic formwork
Even though formwork has been. in the industry for thousands of years, the materials used, make each unique in its way in terms of performance, durability, availability, and efficiency.
Timber for Formwork
This is by far the most common material used to make formwork. This makes it the most ancient type of formwork used in the construction industry.
Though it’s time-consuming, this type of formwork help to fabricate the shape and size of the required structure.
But it can be timely if used in small projects. Before its usage, a constructor must first check the following to ensure its effectiveness. The timber used as formwork should be;
- Properly seasoned
- Of lightweight
- Termite free
- Easy to work with
- Easy to work with, you can easily shape and size it to satisfactory
- Very provident in small projects
- Are locally and handily available
- Lightweight this makes it easy to transport
Steel for Formwork
Steel formwork has become the most used type because of its stability, durability, and redundant use. This type can be very exorbitant for small projects but very cost-effective for bigger projects.
Compared to timber, steel provides a smoother and fine finish. Perfect for chimneys, tunnels, tanks and sewers that are more cylindrical and curved in design.
Steel formwork is;
- Strong and durable
- Provides a better and smoother finish
- Waterproof hence no risks of honeycomb
- Reusable, you can reuse it countless times
- Easy to work with
Aluminium for Formwork
This type of formwork can easily take the place of steel because of its density. Of the two, aluminium is denser.
Apart from its density, other characteristics are similar to that of steel formwork.
The only shortcoming aluminium formwork has is that once put in place, there is no going back.
Fabric formwork are best for more complex structures, plywood has a shorter life span compared to the rest, whereas plastic formwork is very affordable and economical.