Formwork Information | Future Form

The Different Types ofFormwork

Our guide below goes through the different types of Formwork used in construction.

Formwork is a type of temporary mold where concrete is poured into casting the desired shape of the concrete. Formwork and its associated “false works” need to have enough strength to support the entire weight of the wet concrete without causing a lot of distortion. There are different types of formworks in construction. These include plastic formwork, plywood framework, fabric formwork, steel framework, and timber Formwork. Usually, when the concrete has gained enough strength, the formwork is removed, although in some cases, it may be left to stay in place as it is (permanent formwork).

Formwork in construction has usually been used for thousands of years to help build structures of all shapes and sizes. Australia’s different types of formwork have been used for approximately 300 years since colonisation. Keep reading to discuss the most commonly used ones below!

different types of formwork

Types of Formwork in Construction


Timber Formwork

Timber formwork is the most popular formwork among all others because it has been extensively used in construction since ancient times. In small constructions, timber formwork is popularly used because it offers you an onsite fabrication for the required shape and size of concrete. However, for larger constructions, using timber formwork is very time-consuming. One thing to note is that timber formwork has less life than other formwork.

On the flip side, timber formwork is typically cheaper than aluminium, steel, or aluminium formwork when used for comparably smaller works. The best timber formwork should have the following characteristics:

– It should be easily workable.
– The best timber formwork should be free from termite attacks.
– It should be lightweight.
– The best timber formwork should be well-seasoned.


Advantages of using Timber Formwork.

Timber formwork is easy to form in any size, height, or shape.
It is very economical for smaller projects.
Timber formwork can be easily made using locally available timber.


Steel Formwork

Steel formwork is popular due to its durability, strength, and long reusability. This type of formwork is normally costly for small projects. However, it offers you an impressively smooth surface finish to concrete compared to timber formwork. The steel framework is great for curved or circular structures such as columns, chimneys, tunnels, sewers, etc. Steel formwork normally consists of panels fabricated from thin steel plates hardened on the edges by small steel angles. The panel units on the steel formwork are connected using suitable bolts and clamps and can be fabricated in any size or shape. Steel forms are commonly used for larger projects and have the following advantages!


Advantages of Steel Formwork

Steel has a considerably longer life.
Steel formwork gives you a smooth finish on the concrete.
It is totally moisture-proof and is effective at reducing the honeycombing effect.
Steel formwork is highly reusable.


Plywood Formwork

Plywood formwork features re-molded, resin-bonded sheets attached to timber frames to create panels of the most suitable sizes. Plywood frameworks are usually strong, flexible, and simple to handle. However, one of its unimpressive characteristics is its short life. In many instances, the cost of plywood formwork is relatively less compared to timber formwork if you consider the following things:

If you use relatively larger-sized panels, you can get significant cost reductions associated with dismantling and fixing.
Plywood formwork offer you a relatively greater number of reuses in comparison with timber formwork.


Fabric Formwork

The advancement of technology and the emergence of newer trends in designing and building planning, have resulted in the construction of more complex structures like fabric formwork. These are highly sophisticated shapes and large sizes. Therefore, fabric formwork comes in handy in developing fantastic concrete structures with greater flexibility and various shapes.


Aluminum Formwork

As is common knowledge, the density of aluminium is less than steel’s, making it relatively lighter than steel. This is actually the main advantage of the aluminium formwork when you compare it to steel. Aluminium formwork has generally been proven to be super economical if there are large numbers of repeated usage during the construction of a particular project. Its major drawback is that no alteration is possible once the formwork is constructed.

Some advantages of aluminium formwork in construction are:

– Aluminium formwork is very economical when the construction area is large.
– It is relatively lightweight when you compare it to steel formwork.
– Aluminium formwork does not usually suck water from the concrete. The resulting surface of the concrete has fewer chances of being honeycombed.
– It provides the smooth surface of your concrete surface, making re-finishing this surface unnecessary.


Plastic Formwork

Plastic formwork are lightweight, made from robust plastic, and characterised by interlocking systems. One of the best things about plastic formwork is that you can use it approximately more than 100 times. It is handy for normal concrete constructions and large housing schemes. It is also a fantastic choice for small, repetitive construction projects and low-cost housing estates. Reusable plastic formwork have panels made of plastic, and this implies they do not need formwork removing agents. They can simply be cleaned with water.


Advantages of Plastic Formwork

Plastic formwork is usually lightweight and comes with less handling cost.
When you install and use it properly, you can enjoy multiple reuses with this formwork.


Tunnel Formwork

Tunnel formwork is a type of formwork in construction that is most commonly associated with developing high-rise structures and buildings. The tunnel formwork is a type of room formwork in which the RCC slab and wall are cast in a continuous pour. After that, hot air blows thermal curing is used to accelerate the curing process of concrete. The cycle time for the tunnel formwork system is usually around 1-3 days only. The tunnel formwork system is very handy for repetitive room design.

different types of formwork
different types of formwork


Today’s concrete structures vary and are designed to serve different purposes. There are different types of formwork in Australia you can use to construct the durable, affordable, and highly sustainable structures you desire. The choice depends on your preferences and specifications of the types of structures you wish to develop!

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