Because of its outstanding characteristics, concrete is one of the most extensively utilized construction materials. Concrete, on the other hand, must be poured into a specifically built mold in order to be used to make architectural parts. This is referred to as formwork or shuttering. As one of the formwork companies Sydney features, it’s imperative that you understand the different types of concrete structures.

Formwork can employ either temporary or permanent molds to keep the poured concrete in form until it cures and becomes strong enough to sustain itself. Formwork can be characterized in a variety of ways:

  • Type of material used
  • By the concrete element supported
  • Removable or permanent

Formwork is essential in concrete building. It must be strong enough to withstand all of the loads present during casting processes and then keep its shape as the concrete solidifies.

Different types of Formwork for Concrete Structures

Which Are the Requirements for Good Formwork?

Although there are many formwork materials, the following are general performance features to meet the needs of concrete construction:

  1. Capable of withstanding dead and live loads.
  2. Retaining its shape with adequate props and braces.
  3. Joints must be leak-proof.
  4. If formwork is removable, the process must not damage the concrete.
  5. Reusable material.
  6. As lightweight as possible.
  7. The formwork material should not warp or distort.

When choosing formwork, keep the kind of concrete and the pouring temperature in mind, since both impact the pressure exerted. Formwork must also be able to withstand loads of wet and dry concrete.

Formwork necessitates the use of structures such as poles and stabilizers to prevent movement during building operations, which is referred to as falsework. A skilled crew and proper supervision are required to achieve good quality while working with concrete. In this regard, you should hire one of the best formwork companies Sydney has to offer.

The following sections provide an overview of some common formwork materials.

Timber Formwork

Timber formwork was one of the original forms of formwork employed in the construction business. It is the most adaptable variety and is erected on-site, providing the following benefits:

  • Easy to produce and remove
  • Lightweight, especially when compared with metallic formwork
  • Workable, allowing any shape, size and height
  • Economical in small projects
  • Allows the use of local timber

However, before utilizing lumber, its condition must be thoroughly examined to ensure that it is free of termites. Timber formwork also has two drawbacks that must be considered: it has a short life period and takes a long time to install in large projects. Timber formwork is often preferred when labor costs are minimal or when intricate concrete portions necessitate flexible formwork.

Plywood Formwork

Plywood is frequently used in conjunction with lumber. It is a produced hardwood substance that comes in a variety of sizes and thicknesses. It is primarily utilized in formwork applications for sheathing, decking, and form linings.

Plywood formwork has the same features as timber formwork, such as strength, durability, and lightweight.

Metallic Formwork: Steel and Aluminum

Steel formwork is becoming more popular due to its extended service life and ability to be reused several times. Steel formwork, though expensive, is beneficial for several projects and is a reasonable solution when numerous possibilities for reuse are anticipated.

The following are some of the main features of steel formwork:

  • Strong and durable, with a long lifespan
  • Creates a smooth finish on concrete surfaces
  • Waterproof
  • Reduces honeycombing effect in concrete
  • Easily installed and dismantled
  • Suitable for curved structures

Steel formwork and aluminum formwork are extremely comparable. The primary distinction is that aluminum has a lower density than steel, making formwork lighter. Aluminum also has a lesser strength than steel, which must be taken into account when employing it.

Plastic Formwork

This style of formwork is composed of lightweight and durable plastic and is made up of interlocking panels or modular systems. Plastic formwork is best suited for modest projects with repeated operations, such as low-cost housing developments.

Plastic formwork is lightweight and easily cleaned with water, making it ideal for big portions and several reuses. Its biggest disadvantage is that it is less flexible than lumber because many components are prefabricated.

Fabric Formwork

Fabric formwork, also known as flexible formwork, is a type of formwork that is made of fabric. This technique employs lightweight, high-strength fabric sheets that are meant to adapt to the fluidity of concrete and produce fascinating architectural shapes.

This style of formwork requires less concrete than rigid systems, resulting in cost savings. It is a new technology in the shuttering business that is well suited for irregular and complicated designs.

Stay-In-Place Formwork

This formwork is intended to stay in place after the concrete has hardened, functioning as axial and shear reinforcement. This formwork is constructed on-site using prefabricated, fiber-reinforced plastic forms. It is mostly utilized in piers and columns, and it also resists corrosion and other sorts of environmental degradation.

Coffor is another sort of stay-in-place formwork that may be utilized in any sort of building:

  • It is composed of two filtering grids, reinforced by stiffeners and linked with articulated connectors.
  • Thanks to its construction, it can be easily transported from a factory to the point of use.

Permanent Insulated Formwork

This is one of the most sophisticated formwork systems, with permanent insulation. It may also have thermal, acoustic, fire, and rodent resistant qualities. The most popular type of permanent insulated formwork is insulating concrete forms (ICF), in which concrete structures are insulated with polystyrene boards that remain in place after the concrete has dried.

Permanent insulated formwork provides energy efficiency and sustainability, helping to reduce the environmental effect of the building industry.

Classifying Formwork Based on Structural Components

Formwork can be classed not only by material, but also by the construction elements that it supports:

  • Wall formwork
  • Beam formwork
  • Foundation formwork
  • Column formwork
Different types of Formwork for Concrete Structures

All formwork types are designed to sustain the structure they support, and the materials and needed thickness are specified in the associated building plans. It is vital to remember that formwork building takes time and might account for 20 to 25% of structural expenditures. Consider the following suggestions to reduce the cost of formwork:

  • To allow for formwork reuse, building layouts should reuse as many architectural elements and geometries as feasible.
  • When dealing with wooden formwork, it should be chopped into big enough pieces to be reused.
  • The design and purpose of concrete constructions differ. As with other project selections, no choice is superior to the others for all purposes; the best formwork for your project will vary based on building design.

Final thoughts

With what you just read, you should be able to understand the different types of formwork. This is especially beneficial if you’re running a formwork business and need it to rank as ome of the top-rated formwork companies Sydney has to offer.