This incident is a perfect example of the disaster that can happen if the concrete forming systems used during construction fall short of building standards, which begs the question, “what type of formwork is safe to use?” or “how do you know which type of material makes a good formwork?”
The truth is that there are a range of options to choose from, each of which can perform well depending on several essential factors, including the size of the project, the loading involved, the part of the structure that needs concreting, and the like. Here are the most commonly used types of formwork used for construction.
Before synthetic materials were introduced to the construction industry, builders had relied heavily on timber. They used it in almost anything, be it as formwork components or as the actual structural components. As a formwork material, timber exhibits exceptional strength and durability. While it is practically organic, properly treated timber can hold up to excessive weight and resist infestation. Even in modern construction work, this material is still a viable choice of material for building formwork systems. However, for large projects that involve incredible amount of load, timber is usually replaced with tougher materials, such as metal or plastic.
While plastic in general has a reputation for poor quality, there are certain types of plastic that can rival timber and some metal alloys in terms of robustness. Not only are they easy to manufacture and use, but plastic formwork systems are also reusable. Unfortunately though, plastics have far lower tolerance to stresses compared to today’s high-quality aluminum concrete wall forms for sale from top providers like LECO Concrete Forms and Supplies.
Those who can’t afford to risk the success of their construction projects should go with metal concrete forms. Compared to other materials, metal has a higher tensile strength, which is essential to the function of a formwork. As concrete is poured into the formwork, tension builds up on the interior surface of the mold. Metal can easily hold up to this kind of pressure better than other materials. And because it is made of aluminum, a notoriously corrosion-resistant metal, rusting has been completely removed from the list of potential issues.
The evolution of construction materials has made it easier for builders to find suitable formwork materials for their projects. The options are almost limitless but the best is always the one that promises great results. For guaranteed successful formwork construction, get in touch with a world-class concrete form manufacturer, such as LECO Concrete Forms and Supplies.
Types of Formwork (Shuttering) for Concrete Construction and its Properties, theconstructor.org
Three contractors cited by Cal/OSHA in formwork collapse that injured 13 workers, safety.blr.com