A collection of articles on concrete formwork design and construction


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A collection of articles on concrete formwork design and construction

  1. 1. A Collection Of Articles OnConcrete Formwork Design And Construction By Detail By Design
  2. 2. Concrete is a combination construction material made mostly from water, cement, and aggregates.Concrete can be made with a variety of combinations from the above three components and is one of themost used products today. Architects specify concrete for foundations, walls, pavements, structures,bridges, roads, runways, parking lots, dams, pipes, fences, posts, and even watercraft. Some well knowconcrete structures include the world’s tallest building- Burj Khalifa, dams, e.g. Hoover Dam, canals, e.g.,the Panama Canal, and historic structures like the ancient Roman Pantheon.From history, we know that builders in Roman times used concrete and a great example is the Coliseum.However after Rome fell, concrete was temporarily forgotten until it was resurrected in the mid-18thcentury. As we can see from Roman ruins, structures made of concrete can have a long service life.Modern structural concrete differs from Roman concrete in two important aspects. First, the mixconsistency is fluid and homogeneous which allows the product to be poured into concrete formworkrather than requiring hand-layering together with the placement of aggregate, which, as Roman buildersused often enough was rubble. Second, integral reinforcing steel gives modern concrete formationsadditional great structural and tension strength. In contrast, Roman concrete was dependent only uponthe strength of the concrete bonding to resist tension. Also with modern day’s concrete, since concretehas a high thermal mass and very low permeability, it can be used for energy efficient housing too.Concrete has impacted the world in recent times tremendously. Its usage is worldwide, and is usedtwice as much as steel, wood, plastics, and aluminum combined. Concretes use in the modern world isonly exceeded by the usage of naturally occurring water. Concrete is also the basis of a large commercialindustry and is used to define the infrastructure of the modern world. The business of concrete productionis a thirty billion dollar a year industry, taking into account only the value of the ready-mixed concreteproduct sold each year.The ever present use of concrete has been made easier by advances in concrete formwork technology.Since concrete initially occurs as slurry without forms, the product will settle into lumps or pancakes.Concrete formwork allows concrete to be used in more application and in more difficult projects. Inaddition to the extensive application of formwork, concrete detailing now gives concrete a new image.Gone are the days of simple flat finishes. Today concrete can be poured to resemble stone, brick, tile,and a variety of other products. There are so many possibilities that one should consider asking anexpert in concrete consulting. There are so many aspects that the property owner may find it too difficultto plan for the upcoming remodeling projects. This is why it is better to consult with an expert so as tonow see new trends in concrete detailing work. The expert can save you time and money by advising youas to the best formwork needed, and to the newest possibilities found in concrete detailing.
  3. 3. Key Areas of Concern for the Concrete Formwork Design SpecialistThere is a wide range of things that need to be taken into consideration when it comes to concreteformwork design overall. This type of design is going to serve as the molding foundation of the structurethat is being produced. While you do have the opportunity to remove this framework once the concreteis strong enough to support itself, it can also become a permanent component of the structure if youdecide to leave it in place instead. However, as the design specialist of this concrete formwork, it isimperative that you address several imperative areas of concern even before the work is started. Whatare these areas of concern?Selecting the Appropriate MaterialsBefore any work can even be started, the designer of the formwork is primarily responsible for selectingthe best materials that can be used in order to get the job done right the first time around. They needto ensure that the chosen materials meet the expectations and requirements of the job and are able tomaintain the safety and quality standards that have been put in place as well for the overall project. Inorder to save both time and money, the designer needs to ensure that the formwork is easilyconstructed and develop it in a way that it can be efficiently stripped back down in a timely fashion.Quality Strength & Structure over Quality AppearanceMany engineers and formwork designers become ensnared by the trap of creating a concrete formworkdesign looks great and have an appealing quality from the surface, but that are not efficient andeffective at fulfilling their specific purpose and overall objective. The strength and sturdiness of thisformwork needs to be the first priority, because the design has to be able to bear the weight of theheavy loads that it will be supporting. That is the only way that it is going to be able to produce theconcrete that is required for the structure in an acceptable condition.Do Not Set Yourself Up for FailureThere are many concrete detailing specialists that may have an abundance of experience and trainingwithin this field but that fail in their work from the very beginning. How is that possible? By not payingthe proper amount of attention to ensuring that you have the best quality materials available for thejob, you will be setting yourself up for failure before the job even begins.
  4. 4. Paying Attention to the Costs Associated with Concrete Formwork DesignIn recent years, concrete formwork design has become widely popular throughout the world as manydifferent professionals and specialists strive to find more efficient and cost-effective methods andtechniques to implement within their respective industries. Concrete formwork has always been viewedas the underlying mold and basic foundation of concrete elements that are produced with a specific sizeand setting in mind.Once it has been erected in order to fulfill its primary purpose, it can either be removed once theconcrete has been able to reach a high extent of strength and sturdiness or it can be left in to become apermanent part of the finished structure. However, before making any final decisions about theconcrete detailing, you need to first focus on the on the costs that are associated with this type ofdesign.The Integral Element of the CostWhen it comes to the costs and expenses associated with the concrete formwork design, the mostintegral element that plays a significant role is the formwork itself. You have to be able to control andmanage these costs effectively and efficiently, so it is imperative that you choose wisely when it comesto selecting the concrete forms that you are going to use to meet the requirements and exceed theexpectations of the specific job or project that is being worked.Cutting Corners is Not the Safest RouteEven though saving money is a top priority for many people, especially those that are trying to adhere tothe limited constraints of a tight budget, it is vital that you do not sacrifice the quality of the formworkitself. This high level of quality is necessary in order to create a completed concrete element that is ableto successfully meet the specified criteria for the job that is being worked through in reference to thefinish, size and position. Along with quality, you also want to make sure that you are not jeopardizingthe safety elements of the formwork design as well because it is crucial that those regulations are alsomet.Only Make Wise DecisionsCost is a key factor that should never be forgotten when it comes to concrete formwork design, but youshould not allow the associated costs and expenses become the crutch that impairs your overall vision.
  5. 5. You still have to have a formwork that is reliable, efficient and of a high quality that will provide lastingbenefits as well as meet safety regulations along with the various requirements of your specific job. Understanding the Basics of Concrete Formwork DesignYou may have seen the phrase “concrete formwork design” circulating on different forms of print mediaor may have conversed about the overall concept of this formwork around the water cooler at work.Even though it may seem like an overcomplicated and highly complex concept, it is actually muchsimpler to understand than you may think. What exactly is concrete formwork design? How is it usedand how can it benefit you today?What is Concrete Formwork Design?The basic purpose of concrete formwork is to provide a mold for the production of various concreteelements that all have a specific size and overall configuration. In most cases, it is erected primarily tomeet that target objective and then it is immediately removed once the concrete has been able toprogress to an acceptable level of strength and stability. Even though this step takes place in the vastmajority of situations, it is still possible for you to have this formwork remain in place even after theconcrete has been strengthened can effectively become a permanent part of the structure withoutcompromising its overall stability and texture.How to Ensure Satisfactory PerformanceWhen building the plan for the design and development of the concrete formwork design that you willchoose, your main focus needs to be ensuring that the formwork is sufficiently strong and sturdyenough to carry the weight of the loads that have been produced directly by the concrete, workers andany other type of equipment or useful materials that were brought in to provide further support for theforms.There are many people and professionals that derail this train of thought and overall progress withhopes of still being able to establish the satisfactory degree of performance of their efforts, but theyhave to eventually face the grim reality of the consequence of their mistaken actions. The strength andsturdiness of the formwork truly does need to be at the top of the list of priorities.Rely on the Expertise and Guidance of Trained ProfessionalsEven though it may seem like a simple process that can be handled properly even by an inexperiencedamateur, this is the farthest thing from the truth. If you truly do want to have this done right the firsttime around by constructing a foundation that is going to last for many years to come and pay off as a
  6. 6. great investment of your time and money, then you should not hesitate to trust in the expertise of atrained professional that has an abundance of experience in concrete formwork and overall concretedetailing. Understanding the Differences in Concrete Formwork Design TypesConcrete formwork design has truly become widely popular over the years and has transitionedgradually into becoming a dominant force and highly chosen preference within the industry. When itcomes to these specific type of design overall, there are basically two different categories that can befocused on in which all formwork can be classified. What are these two categories? The first category isa job-built form and the second category is a prefabricated form. What are the differences that existbetween the two categories?The Advantages of a Job-Built FormWhen working with a job-built form, you will be specifically working with a form that is speciallydesigned, developed and used to meet the specific requirements of a specific project. This form isstructurally sound but it not built to be vague or easily customizable for a wide range of differentprojects. It is constructed for the needs of one specific project and should be used in order to fulfill onlythose needs for maximum benefits.In most cases, job-built forms are built with lumber framing as well as plywood sheathing and may evenconsist of proprietary hardware within the planned assembly as well. If you are looking to save moneywithout sacrificing quality, the best thing that you can do would be to invest in this particular type ofconcrete formwork design. Why is that the case? Any type of forming that is more complex in naturewould be more costly when commercial form systems are being used, so the best investment that canbe made in these instances would be to go with a job-built form.The Advantages of a Prefabricated FormOn the other hand, if you are searching for a form that can be designed and developed with materialsthat can be used repeatedly over and over again, a job-built form may not be the best route to take inyour case. Instead, you should seriously consider investing in a prefabricated form. While it is true thatthey are the most costly option of the two available form choices, you are provided with an increasednumber of reuse cycles that you will not receive by going with a job-built form. This will also allow youto benefit from not having to spend time erecting and stripping forms continuously, which will save youmoney in the long run by reducing the amount of productivity that you would have had to allocate inorder to fulfill those needs.
  7. 7. Examining Your Preference and Specific NeedsWhen it comes to deciding whether or not you want to invest in the job-built form or prefabricated formfor your concrete formwork and concrete detailing needs, the most important point that you need tokeep in mind is that your choice must be able to fulfill your specific needs. Even though you maypersonally prefer one particular form over the other does not mean that it is going to be the best optionto meet your specific requirements and needs. Focus on your needs first instead of your personalpreferences when it comes to concrete formwork design and it will pay off for you in the end.Getting A Great Patio Starts With Concrete FormworkAs you stand at the fence admiring your neighbor’s patio or driveway with its’ clean edges, a tinge ofenvy reaches for you. Maybe it is time to get off your “you know what”, and build that concrete patioyou have talking about. Concrete is really amazing. Remember as a kid how you fell on it and scraped aknee? It was so hard, yet it comes out the mixer as heavy slurry which you can shovel. It flows andadopts the shape desired by the contractor. Hence, your finished concrete work is only as good as theconcrete formwork.Concrete formwork is the system of boards and supports that support the concrete until it curesbecause concrete is aggregate, e.g. a coarse gravel and sand, cement which serves as the binder, andfinally water. As such, concrete is a heavy material with the aggregate and water mass. The forms needto be a material that can withstand the pressure. Usually a contractor will use at least one inch thickplywood. But even then, the forms still have to be reinforced every 16 inches or 2 feet with a braceanchored into the ground. The mass of the concrete is pushing out and wants to flow everywhere, yet inorder to have that clean edge, the formwork walls have to be extremely sturdy to withstand thepressure. Therefore the vertical bracing has to be driven deep into the ground. Any softness in the earthwill translate into sagging stakes. Once the stake sags, the form will bulge. The result will be concretethat cures crooked. A badly staked form is very difficult to correct with wet concrete. The mass of theconcrete is heavy, and you are also fighting concrete hardening. Concrete will cure within minutes, andforget about adjusting the formwork for deviations. If your form does bulge, and your concrete cures, itis possible to use a diamond blade concrete chop saw to trim the concrete, but this is a time consumingand dirty process.Also remember that since the curing of concrete is a chemical process, the concrete can bind to yourforms. Therefore, use “formoil” on form surfaces. This oil will stop concrete from binding to the form.Also concrete expands after it dries; you will need expansion joints between your patio and the house.An expansion joint has to be inserted which absorbs the slab’s movement. Finally for concrete detailing,you will need concrete float finishing and scoring tools. In order to get that smooth surface, the finishingtool is drawn across the top surface to smooth out the finish, and the expansion joint scoring toolcreates the cracks needed.With a little preparation, you will have that beautiful patio which you will enjoy, and it will be due toyour good solid concrete formwork. In the event you still feel intimidated, there are experts in concreteconsulting who can assist you with your project.
  8. 8. Concrete Formwork, From The Crude Forms Of Yesteryear To The Massive Structures Of Todayholding up a new sky scraper.The history of concrete dates back to the Romans and Egyptians. The Romans and Egyptians usedconcrete in various forms for their infrastructure and buildings. The concept has been around sinceabout 125 A.D. The Roman Pantheon an iconic structure of history was one of the earliest structures touse concrete formwork in its construction. The world of concrete has made numerous advances overthe years, however concrete is still roughly just cement, aggregate and sand. Certain projects requirethe use of what is referred to as reinforced concrete. This is typically a steal framework like rebar whichadds a tremendous amount of strength to the concrete.There are many different types of concrete formwork systems. Concrete formwork systems can betemporary structures such as a patio, sidewalk or concrete steps; up to a complex building made ofconcrete reinforced with a steel structure. The formwork supports the weight of the concrete until ithas had adequate time to dry into a specific shape and has enough strength to support itself. There areseveral types of formwork for concrete. Timber formwork, moisture resistant and used for traditional types of structures, very simple and reusable. Engineered or prefab formwork molds typically built with metals allowing them to be re used over and over. Plastic formwork molds, used b y the mass housing developers, cheap to produce, easy to assemble and very re usable.Concrete can also be used toward making a structure much more energy efficient. ICF or Insulatingformwork is a permanent structure put together somewhat like Lego blocks that are interlockedtogether. Once the pieces are interlocked together the structure is then filled with wet concrete. Thisproduces a very strong and energy efficient structure. Although a little more costly, a concrete homenot only would be cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter but take less energy to heat and coolthe home, thus saving more money in the long run. ICF formworks produce minimal air leaks which improve comfort and reduce heat loss. Has a high thermal resistance
  9. 9. Up to 10 times stronger than traditional wood frameworksThe world of concrete formwork has made leaps and bounds of positive improvements over the last1000 years. All the way from the ancient Egyptians to the awesome sky scrapers of today andtomorrow. I believe the question is concrete formwork necessary for your construction project hasbeen simply answered. Absolutely necessary, from simple sidewalk forms to complicated steelbuildings, the formwork is what holds it all together.WOW Look At That Designer Concrete Work!Gone are the old days of just plain old concrete patios and drives. The old days were marked with flatsurfaces and straight expansion joints every so often to keep the slab from cracking.Today you can have a driveway that looks like stone, or bricks, and it all comes in the form of concretedetailing that is now available. In the case of patios, there are stamping designs. All kinds of newinnovations can be learned from your local expert in concrete consulting. In other cases, you can haveconcrete walls and columns also poured appearing as tile, stone, or brick, and this is all due to the typeof concrete formwork.Concrete formwork is the system of boards and supports that support the concrete until it curesbecause concrete is aggregate, e.g. a coarse gravel and sand, cement which serves as the binder, andfinally water. As such, concrete is initially a heavy slurry material from the aggregate and water mass.The forms need to be a material that can withstand this pressure and weight. Usually a contractor needssturdy form boards which have to be reinforced with braces so that the forms don’t bulge. The concreteflows and adapts to the shape of the formwork desired by the contractor. Depending on the design, theformwork must perform its’ job both to hold the concrete’s shape and then to impart the concretedetailing desired. Hence, your finished concrete work is only as good as the concrete formwork. Alsosince concrete curing is a chemical process, if you don’t treat your forms with “formoil”, then you won’tbe able to remove your designer form easily which will cause damage to the intended design work.Since concrete needs to flow into nooks and crevices for the design work, you have to have the correctslump. This is the percentage breakdown of components for the concrete to flow correctly. Your expertin concrete consulting will also be able to tell you the needed mix. If the proper recipe is not followedthe concrete can fail structurally and/or decoratively.Even with a designer driveway, you have to have good formwork. Usually a contractor will use atleast one inch thick plywood for a form board. Yet even then, the forms still have to be reinforced every16 inches or 2 feet with a brace anchored into the ground. The mass of the concrete is pushing out andwants to flow everywhere, so to have that clean driveway edge, the formwork walls have to beextremely sturdy to withstand the pressure. This is very important when you start to stamp the surfaceof your patio for concrete detailing. As the concrete cures, but is not totally dry that is the time to startstamping and as you are pressing the pattern into the concrete your formwork has to hold. The sayingso goes that “your concrete project is only as good as your formwork.”
  10. 10. Call Harry Stamaty for your next concrete formwork design project at 614-870-5144 or visit our websiteat www.concreteformworkdesigns.com