Due to its exceptional properties, concrete is the most widely used material in construction. To create building elements with concrete, it must be poured into a specially designed mould which is known as formwork. 

The most fundamental aspect of this is that it must be strong enough to bear various loads during casting operations. As a builder or contractor, the only question you need to ask is what are the best types of formwork for concrete structures?

Best Types of Formwork for Concrete Structures

There are several different types of formwork for concrete structures. Choosing the best types of formwork is all dependent on the type of build.

  • Timber – timber was one of the first types used in construction and is quite popular as it is lightweight and easily workable, allowing for any shape, height, or size.
  • Plywood – plywood is often used alongside timber. It is available in different sizes and thicknesses and is mainly used for sheathing, decking, and form linings.
  • Steel – steel is becoming more popular to use because of its durability and multiple reuses. Steel is perfect for curved structures and is easily installed and dismantled. The finishing treatment is less after using steel as it gives excellent exposed concrete surfaces as steel has no ability to absorb water, so there are negligible chances of a honeycomb formation on the surface.
  • Plastic – plastic is more modular and assembled from interlocking panels. This works best in small repetitive projects such as low-cost housing developments. As this is prefabricated, it has little flexibility unlike timber and steel.
  • Stay-In-Place – as the name states, it is designed to remain fixed after the concrete has set, acting as reinforcement. It is assembled on site from prefabricated, fibre-reinforced plastic forms and provides resistance against corrosion and other environmental damage.
  • Permanent Insulated – this is one of the most advanced types as it offers permanent insulation. Concrete structures are insulated with polystyrene boards that stay in place after the concrete has been cured. The benefits include energy efficiency and sustainability.
  • Fabric – fabric (also known as flexible formwork) is mostly used when the design of the building is more irregular and complex. It uses lightweight high-strength sheets of fabric designed to work with the fluidity of the concrete.

Performance Features

Before deciding on the best types of formwork to use in concrete structures, the performance features need to meet the requirements of the structure. This should include:

  • The capability of withstanding wet and dry loads
  • The ability to retain the shape with adequate props and braces
  • Leak-proof joints
  • If it is removable, the process should not damage the concrete
  • Reusable material
  • Material that does not warp or distort

Finding the best formwork for specific builds is what we at Disc-O-Scaff pride ourselves on. Contact us to find out more about our best types of formwork for your next concrete build.