There’s no doubt that construction has formed the basis of modern civilization. Whether it be buildings, houses, roads, tunnels or bridges, construction has enabled humans to evolve by providing the means necessary to make our lives easier and more comfortable. Since its inception, modern technology has played a crucial role in the construction industry. Having the ability to design and construct entire structures digitally has significantly increased speed and efficiency and considerably reduced costs at the same time.
Additionally, the materials that are now used in construction are stronger, more flexible and durable, allowing for more sustainable structures that are safer and more environmentally friendly. Among the biggest factors that led to high quality commercial concrete construction is the use of formwork, and this article will explore the different types of formwork and why formwork is so important in modern construction projects.
What is Formwork?
Formwork is an ancillary construction, where temporary or permanent moulds are used into which fresh concrete is poured that subsequently hardens. Forms or shutters are the terms used for made up sections that touch the concrete while it is hardening. There are several different types of formwork that can be used depending on the purpose of the structure and the project’s budget. The following describes three of the most common types of formwork used in construction today:
- Traditional timber formwork. This type of formwork is made from timber and plywood. While it is easy to produce, it has a short lifespan and the process is time-consuming so it’s not suitable for large structures. Despite this, timber formwork is extremely flexible and is ideal to use in complicated sections of construction.
- Engineered Formwork System. This is an evolved type of formwork that is made out of prefabricated modules with metal frames, typically steel or aluminium. Compared with traditional timber formwork, this type of formwork is much faster to construct (using pins, clips, and screws) and is considerably cheaper because it can be reused thousands of times before it needs to be replaced.
- Re-usable plastic formwork. This type of formwork uses interlocking and modular systems that are used to build highly variable but simple structures. Using extremely lightweight and robust panels, this formwork is particularly suitable for similar structure projects such as mass housing schemes.
The Importance Of Formwork In Construction
The use of formwork in construction has brought about many advantages that cannot be substituted with other technologies. Firstly, the safety of workers is paramount in the construction industry and formwork provides proper access and working platforms that ensure the safety of workers during construction. In addition to this, modern formwork ensures the structural safety of the project by providing custom solutions against all superimposed loads which produces extremely safe and sustainable structures.
Good formwork also greatly reduces the amount of time it takes to construct a project by minimising floor to floor construction cycle time. Due to the huge costs involved in construction, using good formwork is critical in reducing costs and meeting budget requirements. The use of formwork also enables project managers to facilitate accurate on-time mobilisation and demobilisation of formwork resources which further increases efficiency and reduces costs.
Lastly, the quality of the surface finishing of the concrete structure is solely attributed to the quality of the formwork used during construction. The use of Engineered Formwork System eliminates the need of plastering for any roller compacted concrete (RCC) surface. Defective concrete finishing is very expensive to repair so it’s crucial that high quality formwork is always used.
The quality of formwork used during construction projects significantly affects the costs and efficiency of each project, and most importantly worker safety. Uni-Span Formwork Solutions designs and engineers the highest quality formwork for use in civil, infrastructure, mining, energy and industrial sectors, supplying formwork systems in Australia and internationally. For an exclusive range of formwork products and services, visit https://uni-span.com.au