Formwork: Material Types & Requirements

Formwork is a temporary structure that supports part or the whole of a permanent structure until it is self-supporting. Once assembled the components form the temporary structure. The most common method of keeping the formwork in place during casting is to use a supporting scaffold system. When scaffolding cannot be used, lifting equipment can be used instead. Bygging-Uddemann has the most comprehensive systems in the business for this kind of works. Our systems are suitable for practically all kinds of heavy loads whose placing or removal require a high degree of precision. 

As construction methods evolve, the use of lifted formwork / formwork for heavy lifting equipment has become common among the leading construction companies in the world. Generally, strand climbers and hydraulic steel rod climbers are used for lifting and lowering of formwork. Construction projects requiring formwork are lifting of roof and steel structures, cranes, bridges, bridge sections and more. 

Let’s learn more about formwork for heavy lifting equipment, the material types and requirements for a good formwork.


Types of formwork materials

Many different kinds of concrete formwork are used in construction. The type of formwork system used for construction largely depends on important factors such as the types of the structure to be built, as well as the material to be used.  Some of the different types of well-known formwork are slab formwork, column formwork, beam formwork and more. 

Timber formwork

Timber and plywood are used in traditional timber formwork to form the pouring moulds. While this method is cheaper, it isn’t as effective because wood is not as strong and durable as metal or steel. The timber should be lightweight, well-seasoned, easily workable with nails, as well as free from loose knots. Still, complicated sections of buildings requiring great attention to detail, utilize timber formwork.

Engineered formwork: steel, aluminium & plastic

Generally, prefabricated moulds made from metal frames of steel or aluminium are used in engineered formwork systems. It is cheaper and quicker to use than traditional formwork. The added benefit is that these frames are extremely cost-effective, strong and durable, and rarely need replacement. The construction of engineered formwork is faster and requires less manpower, saving time and money. Simple structures can be built with reusable plastic formwork systems, consisting of interlocking, lightweight and strong systems.

Stay-in-place formwork

Stay-in-place formwork is used for supporting parts of a structure. This type of formwork consists of insulating concrete forms that  are filled with reinforced concrete and are left in place once they are set.

Concrete formwork

Last but not least, concrete formwork is what is mostly used in modern construction. Although there are different types of formwork available today, concrete is the preferred option. When reinforced, concrete is a virtually indestructible material, making it the perfect choice for major construction projects, as well as small, complex and detailed structures.

Formwork construction should be efficient enough to be able to retain its original shape. When it comes to formwork, construction businesses should be able to select the type most suited to the structure to be built. While there are many formwork systems available for use today such as beam, column, plastic, slip form, cassette, climbing, flexible and horizontal formwork, the last option is found to be the most widely used.

Requirements of a good formwork

Good formwork should satisfy all the following requirements listed below: 

  • Should be strong enough to withstand all kinds of dead and live loads
  • Should be efficiently braced and propped both horizontally and vertically, to retain its shape
  • The joints in the formwork should be able to prevent cement grout leakage 
  • Construction of formwork should permit removal of various parts in desired sequences without concrete damage
  • The material of the formwork should be easily available, affordable and suitable for reuse
  • It should be set accurately to the desired line
  • It should be as light as possible with reusable material
  • The formwork material should not warp or get distorted when exposed to the elements.
  • It should rest on a firm base and be levelled on a plane surface
  • Must have high-quality workmanship and regularly scheduled inspections

With rapid technological advancements, it has become easier for contractors to make formwork because they can design it electronically and then copy the designed mold for faster and quicker construction. Only formwork companies can handle doing a formwork because the concrete weight needs to be supervised with caution and the finer points need to be evaluated correctly to make it favourable for building construction. Businesses can research and opt for reputed formwork services in Sweden such as Bygging Uddemann to help reach a more detailed understanding of the process.

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