Formwork is an essential component for any type of concrete construction. The term is used to describe permanent or temporary molds that concrete is poured into and left to dry or harden. Formwork is something that has been used for several thousand years in the construction industry. One of the earliest known examples of this was during the building of the Pantheon in Rome, which was constructed in the year 120 AD. The Slab Formwork System is used to help strengthen and support concrete while it is curing. This formwork, when first introduced, was commonly used for masonry projects. It was not until around the mid part of the 19th century that concrete became a preferable building material option in the construction industry.
Different Types of Formwork
There are several different types of formwork and which option is used will depend on the type of structural elements that are being constructed and the material used. For example, with slab formwork, the purpose is to build concrete slabs. For column formwork, concrete columns are constructed (as the name implies).
When a concrete slab is being constructed in a suspended state, it means that it is not being supported by the ground. At this point, slab formwork is needed to provide the support. Some examples of slab formwork include shores, joists, stringers, panels, and other types of supporting materials that allow the concrete to be poured and then set over (rather than on) the ground. There are several materials that are used for slab formwork, which include aluminum, metal, timber, and plywood. In some cases, even plastic components are used for shaping and giving the concrete strength. Many companies also choose plastic to help reduce overall costs, as it is the cheapest formwork material available.
What Is Slab Formwork?
Slab formwork is designed to provide support for the weight of the concrete while it is curing. It is also used when concrete slabs are put on permanent supports. Bases, which are also called sills, are required and made out of metal or wood. These bases will support the vertical stringers, which will then support the different horizontal joists. These joists will create a flat surface where fiberglass, aluminum, steel sheets, plywood, and timber can be used as a type of base that the concrete is then poured into.
In most situations, formwork is something that can be used more than once. The formwork will be removed once the concrete is set. This removal process is known as stripping. Once the formwork is stripped, it has to be cleaned to make sure the panel’s faces are straight and there is no type of concrete residue or build-up left behind. The reusable forms are called “panel forms.” The non-reusable forms that are used are called “stationary forms.”
Big and Small Formwork Jobs
With a smaller job, plywood or timber formwork is the most common option used. However, this type of formwork may shrink, swell, or warp, even if a water-impermeable laminate is used. As a result, the plywood and timber formwork will both have a very short lifespan. However, with bigger jobs, steel sheets are used. This allows the formwork to be reused many times. Even though these are more expensive, steel sheets have a longer lifespan than wood options, making them a smart investment for some companies. Understanding this is essential to seeing what the option offers.