Types of formwork materials and their benefits
Formwork belongs to a mould or open box, similar to container where fresh concrete is poured and compacted. The objective of formwork is to shape and support the concrete unless it obtains adequate strength to bear its own weight.
The formwork comprises of the following materials :- Timber, Steel, Plastic, Aluminium.
Timber formwork – It is the conventional formwork method since most common materials are utilized for bracing. It can be cut to size at the construction site without any difficulty.
Benefits of timber formwork :-
a. It can be handled efficiently due to its light weight.
b. It can be easily detached.
c. Defective parts can be substituted with new one.
d. It contains superior thermal insulation and hence it is suitable for colder regions.
e. It can be constructed to surpass 60 years of design life.
Steel formwork: Steel forms are robust, long-lasting as compared to timber formwork and are reprocessed frequently. Steel forms are set up and disassembled smoothly and quickly.
Benefits of steel formwork:
a. It can be employed for high number of times.
b. It is very robust and efficiently bears load.
c. It is non-absorbent.
d. Its volume is fewer.
e. It comes with consistent size and surface.
f. There is no shrinkage in formwork.
g. It can’t absorb moisture from concrete.
h. The quality of exposed concrete surface with the use of steel forms is superior and further treatment is not required for such surfaces.
Plastic formwork – Glass reinforced plastics (GRP) and vacuum formed plastics are applied when complex concrete shapes are essential. For self supporting, GRP is fabricated with integral bearers.
Benefits of plastic formwork:
a. It is light weight.
b. It can be easily reprocessed.
c. It has good resistance capacity against chemical.
d. It has good resistance capacity against fungus & termites.
e. It can be simply cut and nailed through wood working.
e. Damages on the formwork can be easily eliminated.
Aluminium formwork: It is frequently utilized in pre-fabricated formwork that is assembled on construction site.
Benefits of aluminium formwork:
a. It is robust and light and as a result, less supports and ties are necessary.