What is "formwork" in construction?


Quick Answer

in construction, "formwork" refers to any mold that is subsequently filled with another material, such as concrete, to ensure accuracy and stability. A formwork consists of both horizontal and vertical braces as well as joints between each segment.

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Full Answer

One of the most common types of formwork is the frame of lumber and rebar that is used to create the solid foundation of a house. The formwork is created, after which the cement is poured into the form and allowed to dry. Formwork can be either permanent or temporary, though the latter is the most common type.

Modular formwork is typically created off-site, then moved to the field. However, some types of formwork are created on-site, especially when they are constructed primarily or exclusively of lumber.

When formwork is permanent, the original frame serves to strengthen and stabilize the structure. This can reduce the effects of wind, precipitation, vibration and other destabilizing factors.

The practice of using formwork in construction dates back to the Ancient Romans. Modern engineering has improved upon those original applications. Several different types of formwork are still in use today, including table forms, flying forms and tunnel forms. Examples of foundation forms include modular slabs, metal beam slabs and timber beam slabs. Flexible forms have increased in popularity due to the rise in sustainable engineering and construction.

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