9 Different Types of Formwork in Construction

Different Types of Formwork
Image credit: uni-span.com.au

Another name for Formwork is Shuttering, and this article discusses some of the different types of formwork available.

Shuttering is made of wood or steel, and the surface that touches the concrete is chosen to achieve the desired finish.

The formwork and falsework must be strong enough to sustain the weight of the wet concrete without causing substantial distortion.

Timber Shuttering, Steel Shuttering, Aluminum Shuttering, Plywood Shuttering, Fabric Shuttering, and Plastic Shuttering are examples of shuttering used in buildings.

Shuttering is a crucial component of the building industry, and it is defined as a temporary or permanent shape into which concrete is poured and hardened.

Furthermore, for hundreds of thousands of years, shuttering has been utilized in construction to aid in creating structures of all sizes and shapes.

Similarly, since colonization, several types of formwork have been employed in Australia for almost 300 years.

Without further ado, let’s discuss some different types of shuttering or formwork used in buildings.

1. Timber Shuttering

Among all types of shutters, timber shuttering is the most common. From the beginning of time, timber shapes have been widely employed in construction.

The oldest kind of formwork used in construction is timber formwork. This is one of the different types of Formwork

Among all types of formwork, timber formwork is the most commonly employed in the building. It can fabricate the appropriate form and size on-site.

It is simple to utilize in any building, but it may take a long time to complete major projects. Also, the longevity of plywood formwork is limited.

Timber shuttering is a low-cost, easy-to-operate shuttering option. It can be cut into any shape or size and connected.

Advantages Of Using Timber Shuttering

  • You can quickly form timber shutters in any shape, size, or height.
  • It is cost-effective for small projects.
  • It is possible to use locally available wood.
  • When compared to steel or aluminum shuttering, timber is lighter.

2. Steel Shuttering

Steel formwork is becoming more popular due to its strength, durability, and ability to be reused repeatedly throughout time.

Also, steel formwork is expensive for small jobs, but you may utilize it for various positions. Compared to timber formwork, steel shuttering provides a clean surface finish to the concrete.

Also, tanks, columns, chimneys, sewers, tunnels, and retaining walls are all examples of round or curved constructions. This is one of the different types of steel shuttering.

Advantages Of Steel Shuttering

  • Steel is strong, long-lasting, and sturdy.
  • It provides a smooth finish to the member’s surface.
  • It is entirely waterproof or moisture-proof, and the honeycombing effect is minimized.
  • You can use it over a hundred times.
  • Steel formwork is more easily installed and removed.

3. Aluminium Shuttering

As we all know, aluminum has a lower density than steel, making it lighter. When compared to steel, this is the most significant advantage.

The formwork made of aluminum is nearly identical to the formwork made of steel. When many repetitive uses are produced in construction, shutting down with aluminum form has proven to be cost-effective.

The main disadvantage is that you can make no changes once the formwork is built. This is one of the different types of shuttering available.

4. Plywood Shuttering

Plywood formwork is a re-molded timber formwork in which resin-bonded plywood sheets are joined to timber frames to create panels of the desired size.

Furthermore, it’s durable, adaptable, and simple to work with. In comparison to other materials, its lifespan is far too short.

5. Fabric Shuttering

Developing complex–shaped structural components is becoming more common as new technology trends in building planning and design advance.

To meet this demand, fabric formwork is introduced, constructed of a flexible material that allows for concrete production in any shape.

Furthermore, fabric formwork’s versatility allows for creating concrete members of any shape.

6. Plastic Shuttering

Plastic formworks are interconnecting, lightweight constructions that can be reused over 100 times. You can use it in conventional concrete construction.

Similar designs and significant housing complexes are increasingly adopting this type of shuttering available.

Plastic formworks for concrete construction provide several advantages over alternative materials, including durability, cost, and flexibility.

It’s made of a specific plastic that won’t adhere to it or cause chemical reactions between poured components and the plastic shuttering, resulting in no patch on the reinforced concrete component’s surface.

Furthermore, The exact interlocking structure of the formwork prevents water or freshly laid concrete leakages from different parts.

Moreover, it is the most labor-friendly system because it is simple to put up and weighs significantly less than other types of formwork systems.

7. Tunnel Shuttering

Tunnel formworks are a sort of shuttering that allows a contractor to cast walls and slabs in one operation throughout the day.

Also, because it combines the speed, quality, and precision of factory/off-site manufacture with the flexibility and costs of in-situ construction, it is considered a modern kind of construction.

The ultimate product is a cellular reinforced structure with high-quality surfaces for direct ornamentation.

At the same time, the end walls and facades are quickly finished with thermally insulated components that can be clad as needed.

Furthermore, the system generates a load-bearing structure that can be employed in various situations.

Also, it’s especially beneficial for projects like residential towers, hotels, student dorms, jails, and barracks that require repeated cellular construction.

8. Permanent Insulated Shuttering

Permanent insulated formwork is a construction method that uses lightweight formwork made of an insulation material to support concrete walls.

At the same time, they are being cast in place and subsequently to keep the insulation in place.

Furthermore, Twin-walled expanded insulation panels are well-stacked to provide a durable formwork that retains ready-mixed concrete for the walls.

The permanent insulated formwork is left to ensure that the finished building’s walls are entirely thermally insulated.

It also generates a consistent surface ready for most finishes and coating systems to be applied immediately.

A flooring system is included in many insulated concrete formwork systems. This is one of the different types of formwork available. 

9. Stay In Place Shuttering

Stay-in-place formwork aims to provide axially and shear support after the concrete has hardened. This formwork is built on-site using prefabricated and fiber-reinforced plastic forms.

It’s primarily used in piers and columns and for corrosion resistance and resistance to many types of environmental damage.

Coffer is a type of structural stay-in-place formwork that is used to build reinforced concrete walls.

It consists of two rib lath filtration grids supported with C profiles. Articulated rebar connectors connect the grids.

Once Coffer is fixed to the ground, concrete is poured into it. The excess water drains through the grids when the fluid concrete solidifies.

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