Options Reviewed: A Back-to-Back Comparison of 7 Types of Formwork You Can Get Today

Concrete must harden to function as intended.

However, molds need to retain the material until it achieves its initial strength. Formworks provide the mold needed to complete this task, and the construction industry uses several types of molds in their projects. The formwork used depends on the usage, fabrication, and the type of material.

Where Are Forms Used?

Construction workers use forms when creating the foundation of a building, and they become very helpful when constructing a tie beam, column, and more. Project delays become an issue when the formwork isn’t ready on time. In addition, workers must take care when using the molds, as the concrete may crack after being poured if they don’t use the form properly.

<h3What types of formworks are available today?


Large projects and ones that must finish quickly rely on Steel Formwork products. Although many people feel the forms look expensive when compared to some other options, companies find they save on finishes and plaster. The molds hold up with time and are reusable. Steel pins or keys hold the steel plates together, and installing and dismantling the form takes little time and effort. As the mold doesn’t absorb moisture from the concrete, the material cures well without cracks.


However, some companies opt for aluminum over steel. It comes with the same advantages but doesn’t weigh as much. Engineered formwork systems make use of molds constructed using steel and aluminum. Certain companies offer an aluminum mold profile suitable for buildings with walls and a slab system. Using this form, companies find they can pour an entire story of a structure, as there are no beams and columns. The construction industry classifies this as a box construction system.


Traditional formwork makes use of timber, as this product is economical and flexible. Well-seasoned timber must be used, and the panels come in different thicknesses. The construction company determines which thickness to use based on the project being completed. Upon arrival at the job site, the workers connect the panels and arrange them. However, this method isn’t appropriate for fast construction and won’t provide a finished concrete surface if the timber isn’t sawn correctly.


Companies might turn to plywood as a formwork material for certain projects. The sheets come in large sizes and can be cut and shaped to fulfill the project requirements. This saves the company money in terms of workmanship and labor. In addition, plywood offers many advantages over timber in the finished surface.


Plastic formworks don’t require a great deal of workmanship, and their weight makes them ideal for many projects. Most companies use plastic forms when constructing walls or slab ribs. As the plastic form won’t stick to the concrete, removal of the form at the completion of the project is easy. Plastic remains resistant to corrosion and termites, and the company may reuse and recycle the molds. Furthermore, the mold provides a nicely finished concrete surface.


Builders use disposable or fabric formworks in those projects where flexibility is a priority. In addition, fabric forms allow for the creation of rounded or curved shapes, depending on the architecture of the project. A computer program tests the fabrics to ensure they can meet applied force and stress demands.

Slip Forms

Companies carrying out large and uniform construction projects turn to slip forms as they move. The company uses these forms when constructing bridges, highways, chimneys, towers, and more. The forms allow for rapid construction with less workmanship.

Most construction projects today make use of timber formworks. However, other options need consideration. No two projects are alike. Companies need to recognize this and use the right forms for the job to get the best results.