Experts Advice On The Type Of Formwork That Suits Your Concrete Project

The type of formwork you choose to use should be in line with the type of concrete structure you want to build. Different types of formwork are made from distinct elements like timber and steel to meet the needs of specific structures. For example, the type of formwork used in the construction of walls is not the same as the one for slabs.

These modifications on formwork are usually made to increase the safety standards and the durability of the concrete structures. The main blunder that concreters make is the use of wrong formwork in the construction of concrete structures. To avoid making unnecessary mistakes that can cause you tremendous penalties and even human lives, it is better to read and understand the following expert’s advice on the type of formwork that will suit the concrete project you have at hand.

1.  Steel Formwork

This type of formwork is great for big projects. Here, a large amount of concrete is poured on the plates tightened with bars also known as falsework. This technique makes steel formwork the best choice for building bridges and tall structures like skyscrapers. The steel makes this type of formwork very powerful in terms of carrying weight. Steel formwork is resistant to cracks, splitting, and warping. So if you are looking for a permanent type of formwork that will be perfect to build bridges, parking buildings, skyscrapers and other large concrete projects, then steel formwork is the best choice for you.

However, this doesn’t mean that it is entirely perfect, steel formwork also has its shortcomings too. Steel formwork is says the foreman of :

  • Not easy to transport from one place to the other
  • Difficult to store
  • Might need modifications to achieve other concrete layouts
  • You might need the help of heavy machinery to construct tall structures

Why steel formwork? Even though purchase this type of formwork can be very exorbitant, the best thing about it is that you can reuse it as many times as you want. It is very easy to install and remove.

Experts Advice On The Type Of Formwork That Suits Your Concrete Project

2.  Aluminium Formwork

The Aluminium type of formwork has a lot of similarities to the steel type. This type of formwork is great got builders who want the same effects of steel formwork on concrete structures but in an affordable manner. The main difference that this formwork has from the steel type is that aluminium lighter. You can easily transport and use it when compared to steel formwork.

The only shortcoming that this type of formwork has is that once put in place there is no going back, it is permanent. It is perfect in the construction of tall buildings, and bridges.

3.  Fabric Formwork

This type of formwork is perfect for building complex concrete structures that have sophisticated shapes like mosques. Fabric formwork is preferred for these types of concrete structures because of its ability to flex. So if you’re looking for a type of formwork that can produce concrete structures with beautiful curves and corners, then fabric formwork is the solution to your problem.

Bottom Line

Experts recommend doing comprehensive research on the type of formwork you want to use before using it.

The Pros and Cons of Formwork in Concrete Construction

In formwork concrete construction, there are different types of materials that are used based on the design of the structure. These materials have numerous advantages and disadvantages which are discussed as follows.

Timber Formwork

Timber is generally one of the most used materials in formwork concrete construction.

Pros of Timber Formwork in Concrete Construction

  • They are light in weight
  • They are easy to handle
  • They are easy to dismantle

Cons of Timber Formwork in Concrete Construction

  • The moulds made from timber are not durable
  • Dry timber weakens the structure this is because it absorbs water from the concrete

Pros and Cons of Plywood Formwork in Concrete Construction

Plywood being a byproduct of timber is used in formwork to give a smooth finish which reduces the finishing cost. Some of the pros and cons of plywood are as follows

  • They provide a smooth finish
  • They are light in weight
  • They are easy to install
  • They are also used in making curved moulds

Below are the cons in plywood formwork in concrete construction.

  • They are known to be expensive as compared to timber
  • When the thickness is compromised they can hardly handle the concrete weight.

Pros and Cons of Aluminium Formwork in Concrete Construction

Aluminium in formwork concrete is used for both high and low-rise concrete construction. This type of construction is gaining popularity each day as the demand for structure increases. Some of the aluminium pros are as follows

  • They are long-lasting
  • They are reusable
  • They require less support
  • They are easy to install and flexible when dismantling
  • They provide high-quality finish to the structure

Aluminium formwork in concrete construction has the following cons,

  • They are expensive whether it’s buying or renting
  • In the case of deformation, it’s difficult to repair
  • The aluminium surface is prone to oxidation which affects the moulding concrete.
  • The experienced labour force is required

The Pros and Cons of Formwork in Concrete Construction

Pros and Cons of Plastic Formwork in Concreting Services

Plastic is one of the materials used in formwork and concerning services. Plastic moulds are used in complex design structures.

Below are the cons and pros when using plastic formwork in concrete construction says :

  • They are light in weight
  • They are durable and said to be long-lasting
  • They can easily be moulded into complex design
  • Old plastic can be recycled into new moulds

Plastic formwork has the following disadvantages

  • They are costly as compared to timber
  • Plastic is known to be weak on heat
  • Plastic does not take too much load

Pros of Steel in Formwork and Concrete Structures

Steel exists as the most expensive type of material to be used in formwork concrete construction as compared to other materials. It’s mainly used in the construction of big projects like dams and bridges.

The following are some of the pros of using steel in formwork concrete construction.

  • They can hold heavy loads
  • They can be reused several times as compared to other materials
  • They offer easy installation and removal instructions


Different materials are used in formwork concrete construction depending on the nature of the structure. The materials have different effects on the structure which include cost implications. Always have detailed research before choosing the materials to use in formwork concrete construction.