Formwork means Mold which means it is the casing into which the casting material, usually concrete, is poured to obtain the desired structural shape. In construction industry formwork is similar to a mold to cast concrete member in different shape and sizes using different types of materials such as timber, steel, aluminum, plastic, etc. Shuttering is a synonym term used for form-work.
Timber Forms: The Timber formwork is one of the mostly used in construction industry, fabricated on site using timber. It is easy to produce but time-consuming for larger structures. Plywood facing has a short lifespan. Timber is easy to fix, remove and lightweight. Timber Shuttering is most flexible type of shuttering; it can be used for any shape and size.
Plywood forms: Plywood is an artificially manufactured wooden material available in different thickness and size used in formwork for concrete member. It is strong enough, durable and light weight. Plywood is one of the mostly used materials for sheathing, decking and form linings in shuttering.
Steel Forms: Steel formwork is now becoming popular due to its long life time and multiple time reuses. Steel formwork is costly but can be used for large number of projects. Steel shuttering give very smooth finishes to concrete surface. It is suitable for circular or curved structures such as tanks, columns, chimneys, sewer, tunnel and retaining wall.
Aluminum Form work: Aluminum formwork is similar in many respects similar to those made of steel. Aluminum forms are lighter than steel forms due to low density and this is their primary advantage when compared to steel. The shuttering is economical if large numbers of repeating usage are made in construction. The disadvantage is that no alteration is possible once the formwork is constructed.
Plastic Formwork: Plastic form work is a lightweight modular, interlocking system and can be used more than 100 times. It can be used for simple concrete structures. This type of shuttering is becoming popular for similar shape and large housing scheme.
Fabric Formwork: Fabric formwork is emerging technology in shuttering industry for construction of irregular shape and complex member. The flexibility of this material makes it possible to produce concrete at any shape.
Coffor Formwork: Coffor is a stay in place formwork system. It is composed of two filtering grids which is reinforced by vertical stiffeners and linked by articulated connectors which can be folded to transport on site. Coffor remains in place after concrete is poured and acts as reinforcement. Coffor is transported to the site prefabricated from the factory. This type of shuttering can be used for any type of structure like houses, multistory buildings etc.