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Slab Concrete Formwork: Definition, Types, and Application

Posted by Nathan Hartigan on

Formwork is a crucial part of any construction project because it secures every possible safety and health precaution. Concrete formwork is also gradually progressing in the right direction to produce a high level of construction expertise. But this feat comes irrespective of the material we use, either wood, steel, or other materials. The most prominent factors in erecting the best structures involve the capital constraints of construction projects, such as time, cost, and scope. Click here for more detail about the formwork construction project.

Concrete formwork is vital to modern civilization as it applies to the construction sector. By definition, formwork refers to the use of temporary or permanent molds inside which one can pour concrete. Also, the formwork can apply to diverse engineering structures within the industry. At the same time, some of the earliest examples include the Pantheon in Rome, Italy. That structure was built at around 120 AD with some of the best types of formwork that existed.

Moreover, concrete is a relatively more substantial material than many others and has a high compressive ratio and capacity. In addition, it has a low tensile strength as one of the earliest structures that can stand the test of time. Some of the joint structures in the earlier days include domes, vaults, arches, which are all products of the high level of formwork structures. It is also worthy to note that early masonry can be relatively complex and require sufficient effort. 

Besides, the significant parts of a slab formwork include the sheathing, joists, stringers, and shores. And the dimensions of these parts may vary broadly from one country to another, while Australia has its own. It is interesting to compare the costs of either of the two alternatives before making a final choice in practical terms. Beyond the arrangement of formworks in making floor slabs, the next phase will involve placing an order for the required materials.

Since many of the materials in the slab formwork are reusable, they can be hired with all its advantages. At least, you can use marine plywood up to 8 times before it gets damages, while the joists (H-beams) are also very durable for use for a long time. Hopefully, some of this information can serve you better in producing slab concrete formworks and in your general construction projects. Some of the standard products in the slab formwork category include the DUO System formwork, Multiflex Girder Slab formwork, Table Module VT Slab Table, Gridflex Grid Element Slab Formwork, and Skydeck Panelized Slab formwork.

What is Slab formwork?

A slab formwork is a structure that supports the weight of concrete during the curing process of construction. When the concrete slab is in the correct position, the process can produce a high level of quality slab formworks made of concrete. There is a need for a base structure called the sills to serve as the foundation to create slab formworks. In addition, this base can be made from metal or wood. It supports the vertical stringers that can also support horizontal beams.

Moreover, the horizontal beams can form a flat surface from aluminum, steel sheets, timber, plywood, fiberglass, and timber. These materials can contain the poured concrete until it solidifies and takes the shape of the mold. In due time, the formwork may now be removed, and we obtain the desired concrete structure. In addition, slab formwork can be used and reused, depending on the demands that are at hand. 

Whenever the formwork is eventually stripped from the concrete, the formwork should be cleaned to ensure that the connected panels stand straight with no leftover concrete. Reusable formworks are often called ‘Panel forms.’ In contrast, the ones that are not usable are referred to as ‘stationary forms.’ Formwork can also produce a high level of finishing in the concrete structure while evenly distributed across the high structural construction requirements. It can have an accurate mobilization and demobilization level of the formwork. In this way, it will increase efficiency and reduce costs. 

Formwork Construction Projects 

There are diverse kinds of tasks that the creation of formwork demands. For instance, some of the smaller tasks include that creating timber and plywood formwork. But these types have their limitations that may consist of swelling, infestation, rodent attacks, warping, shrinking, and the need to laminate to cause non-permeability of water. In addition, as simple as these two types of formwork are, they can have a relatively shorter lifespan.

On the other hand, when formworks are made with steel, it requires more effort and is made for more lasting purposes. For instance, creating these formworks maybe with the intention of not only using but also reusing them. Similarly, they are more expensive to produce than timber and plywood, but it compensates for that by elongating their lifespan. In some other cases, formworks may require integrating other materials such as aluminum and fiberglass cast in situ while the construction was still ongoing. Concrete slabs may then need to have a curved surface.

The Process of Customizing Formwork for Specific Projects

Slab formwork is applicable in creating horizontal and curved surfaces. It is also valuable for vertical and diagonal concrete structures. At the same time, the enormous demands of creating formworks into concrete slabs also ensure that the project is executed to the letter. The engineer’s job must go beyond the representation of plans but into accurate illustrations and calculations of the placement of the objects in their correct places. Precision is far more critical in massive projects than it is in smaller projects. 

Furthermore, customizable formwork can also be very modular. Architects and other craftsmen can produce diverse shapes and sizes of concrete slab designs for different uses. On the other hand, the falsework also allows for the safe placement and securing of various forms and structures of the whole place. Therefore, if you need to manufacture a slab concrete formwork for your next project, contact BKH for the best structural execution of all concrete construction works.