What Is Formwork and Why Is It Important?

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14:00 PM

What Is Formwork?

Formwork is the process of setting up a temporary mould – one in which you pour concrete. Formwork is made out of timber or steel, but there are other materials used as well, such as glass, fibre, and plastics. The formwork is used to support the weight of the wet concrete and helps it stay in place. It is removed when the concrete gains some weight and strength of its own. However, it may be left in its place permanently in certain situations.     

Shuttering is the most popular type of formwork process and uses plywood and timber to form the mould. The plywood must be water-resistant and should be of a particular grade. It can be produced easily; however, it can take time depending on the size of the structure. It is more beneficial to produce it yourself when the cost of labour is low compared to the cost of producing formwork from steel or plastic. For example, a shuttering process can be used to construct a path. The planks used should be trimmed in order to ensure that they are levelled with the surface and a clean finish is achieved.

Why Formwork Is Important

Now that the question of “what is formwork” has been answered, let’s look at the benefits of it. There are many advantages associated with the use of formwork in construction. Some of them are listed below:

Safety of Workers

Formwork provides safety for all, especially construction workers. It ensures that the workers have access to their working platforms and enables them to remain safe against loads and all dangers during construction.

Cost and Time

Formwork helps to reduce cost and time substantially as it minimises the floor-to-floor construction time. Moreover, workers are also able to mobilise and demobilise formwork, which increases efficiency and reduces costs as well as time.


The quality of formwork depicts the quality of the overall construction. If the end result is good, that means that high-quality formwork was effectively utilised. Using formwork effectively is an important factor in construction as it eliminates the need to use plaster as well as reduces the chances of defective construction.

What Type of Formwork Should Be Used?

Two of the most essential considerations while choosing the type of formwork are the type of concrete used and the temperature at the time of pouring. These two factors determine the effect of the pressure. Formwork must be strong enough to handle the pressure exerted by water while the concrete is still wet. Similarly, the base of the formwork must also be strong enough to bear the weight of the concrete.    

The formwork can be removed once the concrete has gained significant strength of its own and a minimum value of 5 N/mm2 is maintained. The entire process requires high-quality inspection and authentication to approve the structure and framework of the concrete. The process of formwork and shuttering require a strong structure of poles and stabilisers, also known as false work, used to support the concrete while it is left to dry.

Formwork is used around the world and is an essential part of the construction industry. It is, therefore, important to consider quality and durability while choosing the type of formwork process. If you have any further questions or queries regarding formwork, please feel free to contact us here, and we will be glad to help you out.