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How Innovating Formwork Technology is Shaping Construction

In this article, we explain how Formwork technology is shaping the construction industry in Australia

Over the years, the construction industry has significantly strengthened because of technological innovations. Formwork is one of these innovations that significantly affects the construction world. Formwork is a modern construction technique in which a temporary (sometimes permanent) structure is built to support fresh concrete until it strengthens and becomes rigid. With the emergence of more innovative designs, formwork manufacturers are constantly developing custom solutions to handle these abstract projects. Below are a few examples of the innovations in formwork technologies adopted worldwide.

Innovative Technologies in the Formwork Industry

The construction industry has used different types of formwork, such as fabric, steel, aluminium formwork, etc., for a long time. However, today, we will explore some modern technologies within the formwork industry that can handle highly innovative designs.

Modular Formwork

The modular formwork system consists of standardised panels and connecting components that are easy to assemble and disassemble without requiring a lot of labour on site.

Modular formwork is much faster than traditional formwork, resulting in faster yet more efficient project completion. This formwork can adapt to a wide range of shapes and sizes, which makes it an ideal solution for high-rise buildings, bridges, and complex geometries.

In addition, the modular system is lightweight and more accessible to transport, resulting in improved workers’ safety and less fatigue. The materials used in this system are highly reusable, and you can use them on multiple projects.

But if a contractor doesn’t want to purchase this system separately, then hiring a modular formwork team is much more cost-effective than buying your system.

The chances of complications are meager with this formwork technology, which offers no surprises at the site.

Self-Climbing Formwork

Climbing formwork technology (also known as jump form) is primarily used to construct tall vertical concrete structures, such as towers, skyscrapers, lift shafts, and high-rise residential buildings.

Imagine a formwork that automatically ascends as the concrete structure grows! That is precisely a self-climbing system. A self-climbing formwork doesn’t require a crane to lift it, as this system operates automatically.

Hydraulic jacks and winches continuously elevate the mould in a self-climbing system, and it shifts secondary formwork to the next pouring cycle without cranes.

Self-climbing formwork eliminates the need for any lifting equipment, which means only a few workers are required to manipulate it, resulting in reduced labour and overall costs.

Moreover, this formwork doesn’t require people to work at heights, which minimises fall risks and enhances overall safety. It is also very wind-resistant, so builders can continue working even when the wind is strong.

The only con of this technology is that it requires specialised expertise and resources for design and implementation and is more expensive than traditional methods.

Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs)

Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) not only shapes concrete but also insulates it. Previously, this formwork was used in residential construction but has gained fame for low-rise commercial and industrial construction.

Prefabricated panels, known as ICFs, combine the functionalities of traditional formwork with a layer of insulation, typically polystyrene or expanded polystyrene (EPS). The concrete walls are sandwiched between the interior and exterior layers of a rigid thermal insulation material.

However, traditional finishes are applied to the interior and exterior surfaces of the building, so it resembles typical construction, even though the walls tend to be thicker.

Installing ICF formwork is easy, and one can make designs of any shape and size at a low cost.

This technology eliminates the need for separate framing and insulation installations, which helps reduce labour costs.

In addition, this built-in insulation significantly reduces thermal transfer, leading to lower energy consumption and increased comfort. ICFs are also customisable according to people’s needs, as some buildings require more insulation against traffic and noise pollution.

These forms are durable enough to withstand heavy construction loads and are easily dismantled. They are also reusable and can be used multiple times, which is also a cost-saving factor.

However, this formwork technology also requires specialised knowledge and trained professionals, and a company that specialises in this formwork can perfectly do the job.

Tunnel Formwork

Tunnel formwork is a fast method for constructing walls and slabs simultaneously. This formwork system offers high quality, speed, and accuracy compared to conventional methods.

For concrete construction, tunnel forms are like giant Lego blocks. Tunnel forms resemble hollow rooms or chambers encompassing walls, floors, and ceilings. By strategically positioning and connecting these forms, builders can efficiently create the entire floor of a structure in a single concrete pour.

Because of their all-steel face, tunnel forms can be reused for a more extended period without any repairs or replacement, resulting in an economic benefit to both the client and the contractor.

This formwork technology can be used for projects such as hotels, apartment buildings, residential blocks, hospitals, schools, barracks, student housing, and prisons.

A tunnel form produces earthquake-resistant, load-bearing structures while lowering labour and maintenance costs compared to other formwork technologies. However, installing and operating tunnel forms effectively require trained personnel familiar with the specific system.

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Final Words

The innovations in formwork technology in 2024 are revolutionising the construction industry. These new formwork systems are more durable, cost-effective, and easier to use than conventional formwork.

We’ve just described a few of these modern formwork technologies. As the advancements continue, we can expect even more innovative solutions for more sustainable, faster, and safer construction.

The latest formwork technology and the adoption of formwork will enable you to stay ahead of your competition. When you use the right formwork system, you can save money and time while maintaining high quality.

If you’re a construction company, you can schedule a consultation with us if you need a cost-effective and efficient formwork solution. The Future form team can help you design the perfect formwork plan for your modern construction project.

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