The most common types of concrete form material are plywood and steel. While both exhibit beneficial qualities, they may not be ideal for certain types of project. For instance, plywood-based formwork may not be ideal for high-rises since constructing tall buildings involves a much heavier load, which the form may not be able to hold. Steel forms, on the other hand, can handle heavy loads but are malleable enough to be formed into complex shapes.
Today’s builders are turning to a more viable option—aluminum concrete forms—and for good reasons.
Strong but Formable
When it comes to strength, aluminum rivals steel, so either metal can be a great choice. When supporting an intricate building design, however, aluminum is more preferable because of its malleable and elastic properties. It can be pushed to extreme dimensional limits without snapping or breaking. If a material is not strong enough to hold concrete to a certain shape, irregularities in shape may occur. These tiny flaws can have a huge impact on the building’s structural integrity.
Apart from aluminum’s incredible malleability, it is also light and therefore easy to work with. The weight of the form is crucial because a form when installed becomes part of the structure during the early stages of the project. Meaning, its weight adds to the overall weight of the structure being cured. If the forms are too heavy, the building may collapse even before it is fully cured. This is why aluminum is a better choice than steel.
Aluminum Forms Can Be Reused
Unlike steel, aluminum and its alloys don’t contain iron, a metal known for its quick reaction to oxidation. When iron makes contact with any oxygen-containing substance, it reacts to form iron oxide or rust. While steel contains carbon and other metals, it still has iron in it that permits the process. Meanwhile, aluminum is non-ferrous. It doesn’t rust, which makes it a perfect concrete form material, because concrete contains water. It will preserve its strength throughout the duration of the project and beyond. You can even reuse it in future projects.
If you are looking to use aluminum concrete forms, however, don’t try to build them yourself. It won’t benefit you especially if you are concerned with structural safety. Consider buying aluminum concrete forms for sale from reputable suppliers to make sure that you will have the best options available.
Steel versus Aluminum (Weight, Strength, Cost, Malleability Comparison), WenzelMetalSpinning.com
TYPES OF FORMWORK (SHUTTERING) FOR CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION, TheConstructor.org