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What is Formwork?

Formwork by name means “The Mold” which means it is the casing into which the casting material, usually concrete, is poured to obtain the desired structural shape. In the construction, it is similar to a mold to cast concrete members in different shapes and sizes using different types of materials such as timber, steel, aluminum, plastic, etc. Shuttering is a synonym term used for form-work. Formwork should have sufficient strength to carry the dead load and live load coming on it during casting operation and after that till concrete gets hard and gain some percentage of design strength.

What is right type of formwork for economy?

Different types of formwork

Various types of shuttering used in the construction industry are listed below:

1. Timber Form work

In terms of structure, multi-faceted aluminum plywood is similar to form made of steel. Aluminum form is lighter than steel due to its low density and this is their main advantage when compared to steel. The closure is economical if large amount of repeated use is made in construction. The downside is that it cannot be changed once the formwork is constructed.

2. Plywood forms (in combination with timber)

Plywood is an artificially manufactured wooden material available in different thicknesses and sizes used for concrete members. It is strong enough, durable and light weight. Plywood is one of the mostly used materials for sheathing, decking and form linings in shuttering.

3. Steel Formwork

Currently, steel formwork is becoming popular today due to its long life span and reusable many times. Steel formwork is expensive but can be used for a large number of projects. Steel shutters provide a very smooth finish to the concrete surface. It is suitable for circular or curved structures such as tanks, columns, chimneys, drains, tunnels and retaining walls.

4. Aluminum Form work

Aluminum formwork is similar in many respects similar to those made of steel. Aluminum forms are lighter than steel forms due to low density and this is their primary advantage when compared to steel. The shuttering is economical if large numbers of repeating usage are made in construction. The disadvantage is that no alteration is possible once the formwork is constructed.

5. Plastic Formwork

Plastic Formwork

Plastic Formwork for concrete construction

This is a lightweight, interlocking modular system that can be used more than 100 times. It can be used for simple concrete structures. This type of shutters are becoming popular for similar shapes and large housing schemes.

6. Fabric Formwork

Builders see it as an emerging technology in the closed industry for building irregular shapes and complex structures. The versatility of this material makes it possible to produce concrete of any shape.

7. Coffor Formwork

Coffor is a stay in place formwork system. It is composed of two filtering grids which is reinforced by vertical stiffeners and linked by articulated connectors which can be folded to transport on site. Coffor remains in place after concrete is poured and acts as reinforcement. Coffor is transported to the site prefabricated from the factory. This type of shuttering can be used for any type of structure like houses, multistory buildings etc.

 4 tips for choosing effective formwork

How can the results of the form be selected? Here are some tips that you can consult

Tip #1 – Evaluating total project needs
Consultation and professional support from the beginning will help you to choose the best-suited formwork system for your job. You will then be able to use it efficiently and to its full capacity.

Tip #2 – Value engineering of project design
A good formwork company will provide professional engineering services that recommend design changes to provide for a more economical total project cost.

Tip #3  – Estimating total costs and schedule.
Having your formwork supplier join your project team at an early stage facilitates both, a more precise cost estimate and schedule.

Tip #4 – To Buy or Not to Buy
The decision whether to buy or rent forming material should be based on the duration of the project, how it is being used, and the overall strategy of a construction company.


Beside, Selecting the best system can be much easier if you develop a relationship with a formwork supplier, and make use of his or her input while drawing up plans. Other factors to consider when choosing between formwork systems are the unique concerns of your particular job site, the availability of various materials, and whether the supplier offers services such as pre-assembly of some components and field training for your workers.

𝗙𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘅 – Hope it helpful for you! Thank you for your time

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