Concrete formwork is necessary for all types of commercial construction. However, it’s not as simple as just placing the forms and pouring the concrete. When concrete formwork isn’t used correctly or in the way it’s intended, it can cause job site failures that end up costing a huge amount of time and money. Most conventional formwork is built from wood, but it can also be made from steel, aluminum, or reinforced plastic.
Formwork failure can occur both during and after the concrete is poured and can lead to concrete blowouts, structural collapse, formwork collapse, construction delay, added financial expense, and even severe injuries or death. That’s why using Concrete Form Systems correctly and with extreme care is the only way to prevent costly mistakes and failure. Typically, mistakes occur during the pouring process because one minor mistake or unexpected event can cause the entire structure to become overloaded or even knock out of alignment. Keep these seven tips in mind for preventing formwork failure on the job site.
Hire an Experienced Formwork Professional
Many failures occur due to a poor or faulty design. Once lateral forces come into play, the temporary structure stability is at risk. That means there’s no bracing system to handle such forces as construction loads or high winds. When too much weight is applied, the formwork can collapse in on itself. This is particularly a problem when the formwork is reused multiple times, negatively impacting its structural integrity. If a contractor uses the original data from when the formwork was brand new, this can lead to unexpected and catastrophic events where the formwork can fail. Ensure proper design and creation with the help of an experienced professional.
Ensure Adequate Inspections Take Place
Concrete formwork needs to be inspected during both placement and the construction process. If the inspector or workers on the job site aren’t qualified, this can lead to improper inspections and, ultimately, failure. Hire a competent individual with experience to perform thorough quality checks and assessments throughout the entire construction process. This will ensure that workplace safety is prioritized, keeping the job site safe and complying with building codes.
Don’t Cut Corners on Connections
Some people prefer the tradeoff of a speedier dismantling process to the stability of proper and stable connections. However, this can lead to significant problems down the road. It’s crucial to have sufficient support, nails and splicing, welding, and wedges. Neglecting those critical areas can lead to instability and or even collapse. Take the time to ensure each connection is stable and secure before pouring concrete.
Perform the Proper Maintenance
Sometimes, formwork failure can be the result of neglecting proper maintenance of the formwork components. While companies often use formwork multiple times to save money, the formwork can be at risk for failure without the appropriate upkeep. The wear and tear formwork can suffer on the job include corrosion, breaks, and other damages.
Ensure Adequate Shoring
The loads from concrete debris can be a catalyst for the vertical shores to collapse during the pouring process. Shoring must be installed to allow for a continuous load path from the actual formwork to the structure’s foundation. That way, the new concrete has adequate support during the entire construction process.
Place Formwork on a Strong Foundation
If formwork is placed on subsoil that’s weak, it can ultimately cause a collapse or failure. This can also cause improper settling of the formwork, and then the shores become overloaded, too. Placing concrete formwork on a weak foundation with insufficient stability can diminish the load-carrying capacity of the formwork itself.
Avoid Premature Removal
Though it might be tempting to remove formwork as quickly as possible to fit within time or budget constraints, avoid falling into this trap. Removing formwork before the concrete is cured can be dangerous and cause the entire construction project significant harm.
Avoid These Common Concrete Formwork Mistakes
When it comes to concrete commercial projects, the formwork used to pour the concrete is one of the essential elements of the entire job. When these precautions aren’t taken, it can cause epic failures, including the whole structure collapsing. Use these seven tips to help ensure that the next job using concrete formwork gets completed safely and successfully.