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Formwork

Formwork

Formwork is the moulds into which concrete is poured. There are many different types of formwork which are suited to different applications. M.G.D. Construction use a wide range of formwork techniques and keep up to date on the latest formwork technology and techniques. If the type of formwork to be used on your project has not already been specified then we can advise you on the best types of formwork to use.

Traditional timber formwork

This is what many people refer to as shuttering. Timber and plywood can be used to create concrete moulds to suit most requirements. It is quick and cheap to work with but can become quite labour intensive on larger jobs.

Soffit formwork/falsework

Using a mixture of aluminium or timber beams soffit formwork can be used to create free-standing concrete structures such as stairs or a roof.  Plywood or panelised formwork panels can be supported with aluminium props and timber infills. The props are then left in place to support the formwork until the concrete has set and can hold its own weight.

Falsework Formwork

Radius formwork

Traditional formwork built using wood or metal is very good at doing structures which have straight lines. However trying to build accurate round concrete moulds is a more complex challenge. Our first ever job as M.G.D Construction was to create a carpark for a retail development on Jamaica Street in Glasgow which required a 1000m² of spiral ramp inside of 2000m² of radius cylinders. This was achieved using the SGB (Harsco) Logic 360 System which is a specialist modular formwork system specifically designed for circular systemised panel formwork.

Radius Formwork

Insulating concrete formers

Insulating concrete formers are large hollow polystyrene blocks, a little bit like a polystyrene breeze block. They typically come with interlocking edges allowing large walls and structures to be fitted together very rapidly. Once the wall has been built to the desired height concrete can then be poured into the hollow areas of the walls giving it structural integrity. As well as speeding up the construction process the polystyrene blocks add an extra layer of insulation to the wall.

Climbing formwork

Typically used in the construction of very tall structures such as towers and skyscrapers. One section of formwork is built and re-used all the way up the structure being raised in one crane lift as a complete unit or jacked up continuously (known as self climbing formwork). As well as supporting and moulding the concrete structure climbing formwork is often designed to include a platform for people to work from, reducing the need for additional scaffolding.

Climbing Formwork

Table forms (flying tables)

These are large flat areas of formwork which can be re-used across a large construction project. A typical use would be to form floors in a large multi-storey building such as a factory, office block or shopping mall.  A table form would be built (essentially a large self supporting platform) and this will be craned into place before the concrete is poured. Once the concrete is set the platform can be released and moved by crane to the next area where it is needed.

Table Formwork

Polystyrene and glass fibre formers

Polystyrene and glass fibre formers can be used to form conical column heads and other complicated curved structures. In these cases a mould will normally be made offsite to match the specific dimensions of the structure being built. It can then be used multiple times to form a series of identical structures or features across a project.

Steel shutters

A lot of concrete walls and structures are in places where people will not regularly see them, or where a very high quality finish on the concrete is not a priority. However where concrete is being used in public buildings and homes architects often want to leave some of the structure on display. Steel shutters are particularly suitable for these kind of high spec finishes as they produce a very uniform surface on the concrete. The shutters which have contact with the concrete are supported by timber and props to suit specific goings and risers.

Column Formwork

Column formwork typically consists of a series of rectangular panels which can be locked together to form the mould for a section of column a few metres high. Once the concrete has set on this section the panels can be removed and re-used to form the next section of the column. In this way large columns can be built in sections. When building column formwork we construct them with a working platform and access ladder attached to meet Health and Safety requirements.

Lift shaft formwork

Lift shafts are typically built using a similar method to column framework or climbing framework. Pre-built formwork panels are put together to form the shape of one section of the shaft. Once the concrete has set the panels can be moved up to form the next section and so on until the top of the shaft is reached. The systems we use for lift shafts incorporate striking sections to speed the process of moving the panels in between pouring.

Sacrificial Formwork

Most formwork is designed so that it can be disassembled and re-used. However in groundwork’s, such as the laying of foundations and ground beams it is sometimes desirable to bury the formwork under, or as part of, the concrete structure. Formwork used in this way is known as sacrificial formwork. The formwork that is sacrificed can be traditional timber shuttering but it is more normally a specialist system designed for the job.

Sacrificial Formwork