Concrete appeared in 6500 BC when Jordanians and Syrians used it to lay floors. Later, the Romans’ use of column formwork transformed construction forever. For almost seven millennia, due to its semi-liquid nature when first mixed, the use of this aerated mixture of cement, water, sand, and gravel was limited to two dimensions.

The iconic building material only began to reveal its full potential when Roman ingenuity led to the use of simple moulds made from materials like reed and fibre to secure the uncured mix in place until set. Gradually, Rome evolved from a brick-and-mortar city to a concrete metropolis. The fact that much of the Pantheon and Colosseum remains standing today is ample proof of the value of even this primitive formwork. Surprisingly, it was only after the fall of the Roman Empire that timber was first used for this purpose.

Column Formwork in Modern Construction

Columns and pillars are frequent features of modern construction products, like bridges, tunnels, motorway overpasses, and multi-storey car parks. These vertical elements must support and transmit the compressive and bending forces from the infrastructure above to the foundations below, so their integrity is crucial. Longitudinal steel bars and brackets within these structures help resist flexion and prevent buckling, while the external column formwork determines the desired shape.

Smaller builders still use timber and plywood formwork, but although it’s cheap and versatile, it absorbs water and may tend to shrink or deform, limiting its useful lifespan. However, the introduction of steel in the early 1900s provided builders with an option that was strong, easy to use, and which, with only minimal care, could be reused repeatedly.

Despite the introduction of aluminium formwork in the 1960s and the arrival of plastic versions in the early 2000s, steel has remained the option of choice for most large construction companies. While aluminium is lighter and cheaper, steel is stronger and more durable.

Column Formwork from Disc-o-Scaff

All formwork manufactured by us at Disc-o-Scaff is engineered to the highest standards using only SABS-approved materials. You may find a cheaper product but not a better one, which might explain why our products have become the preferred choice of so many leading South African construction and scaffolding companies.

We offer two high-quality column formwork products:

  • Circular Column Box: These can be supplied in various sizes to create circular columns.
  • Economy Panel Column Box: For creating square or rectangular columns of various sizes with just four components.

If you want quality and value for money, phone us, email us, or complete our online contact form to learn more about world-class formwork and scaffolding from us at Disc-o-Scaff.