Formwork is an essential part of construction and when done correctly makes it easy and safe for workers to pour concrete and set their grounding. Yet, unsafe, ill supported or wrongly erected formwork can spell disaster for your next project. Formwork is a temporary structure that allows construction and pouring of concrete as a permanent footing or structure. Formwork can allow for a horizontal or a vertical pour of concrete and therefore must be erected in accordance with the plans at hand. There are a few major mistakes that you must avoid when using formwork for concreting.
When erecting scaffold for a vertical concrete pour, the worst thing you could do would be to underestimate the weight of the concrete once finished. Without adequate bracing and support your formwork could become nothing more than a leaking pile of metal causing damage to surrounding structures and potentially causing hazards to workers. Make sure the barcing you use has a sufficient load carrying capacity for the amount of concrete being poured.
When the concreters come to pour their concrete they must ensure that you remove any part of your formwork structure, or displace it as they pour. Ensuring you have erected scaffold to an adequate height for workers and they have the right equipment will be paramount. Make sure when you erect your formwork you leave enough safe space for them to maneuver equipment, and themselves.
Improper Stripping of Formwork
When the strip is ready to be performed make sure your scaffolders strip from the top down. They must not remove bracing that is holding external formwork until you have them supported in other ways to safely bring the formwork to the ground. Ensure stacking of your formwork is safe and away from any pedestrian traffic until you can load it back onto trucks.
Vibration and Movement
The act of pouring concrete will create movement in your formwork. This excess vibration could dislodge any poorly placed bracing or materials. Ensure you have countered for such movement in your build.
The architect will have plans of exactly what their structure will look like and do so make sure you are following their plans to the letter. Don’t try and improve or change their plans to suit your formwork. You need to make sure your formwork suits their plans from start to finish.
Lastly choose the right materials. Formwork can be made up of several different kinds of materials so make sure you choose the one that suits the build.