Scaffolding and Formwork
Products & Services
Since 1985

Formwork FAQs

Q: What is formwork?

Formwork is a complex technique involved in construction which requires specialist contractors for proper use. It’s the term given to specific moulds or receptacles into which concrete is poured to make slabs for construction or actual components of buildings. Once the concrete has hardened to an adequate level, the forms are removed. This is known as “stripping”.

Q: What is the difference between formwork and scaffolding?

Both of these are obviously used in the construction industry, but for different and specific reasons.

In contrast to scaffolding, formwork can be permanent or temporary mouldings or casings, used to support wet concrete until it is hard enough to support its own weight. In a nutshell, formwork is required for concrete structures such as columns, walls and concrete slabs, where as scaffolding is used for access around a building.

Q: What is important to know about formwork?

It is important to know that formwork is fundamental because it is a big expense in the construction of concrete structures. It happens every day that architects spend a great amount of time budgeting for the minimum amount of concrete and steel to be used for a structure, without granting the correct amount of attention to the formwork that must be constructed to form the concrete in the first place. For the majority of structures, more time and expenses are needed to make erect and remove formwork than the time and expenses needed to place the concrete. For some structures the expense of formwork even exceeds the expense of the concrete and steel altogether.

Q: What are the formwork safety procedures?

The failure of a formwork structure is a major concern of all parties involved in a construction project; including the owner, designer and contractor. It is the responsibility of each designer of formwork to ensure that the forms are designed adequately for their purpose. This requires a careful analysis of the job conditions that exist at each job site, a determination of the loads that will be applied to the formwork and the selection and arrangement of suitable forming materials that have adequate strength to sustain the loads.

It is the responsibility of the workers at the job site to construct and erect the formwork in accordance with the design. A safety check of the design and inspection of the work during construc­tion are necessary to ensure the safety and reliability of the formwork. Safety is everyone’s responsibility and all parties must work together as a team with safety as a major consideration.

Q: How can I take care of forms?

Forms are subjected to a considerable amount of damage through everyday use that is caused by mishandling. Wooden forms should be removed with with care, cleaned, oiled and stored under conditions that will prevent further unnecessary damage and decay. At periodic intervals, all forms should be checked to determine whether renailing, strengthening and/or parts replacement is necessary.

Q: What types of formwork do I have to choose from?

Metal beam slab formwork is similar to the traditional slab formwork method, the only difference being that steel is used instead of timber and metal props are used instead of supports.

Modular slab formwork is created from pre-made timber modules or modules made from steel or aluminium.

The table system consists of slab tables which are reusable. These tables do not have to be dismantled and can be used in high buildings where cranes or elevators are used to lift the tables. Once the table is positioned, the space between the wall and table is filled.

Q: Formwork hire in Cape Town – how do I choose a good formwork contractor?

Should you hire separate companies for your formwork and scaffolding needs?

If you find a contractor who specialises in both scaffolding and formwork, it would be ideal to have one company handle both these services, rather than two different companies handle each service individually.

The reason for this is that it may ultimately work out cheaper if you’re only employing one contractor. Secondly, if one company is solely handling your scaffolding and formwork needs, their activities will be greatly synchronized, which may ensure a greater level of service delivery.

How to choose good formwork hire in Cape Town

Things to keep in mind when you’re looking to hire a respectable formwork contractor are:

– Licencing. The quality of the formwork of your project is crucial for its longevity. Make sure your contractor is licenced for the job at hand.

– Hire a specialised contractor. One way to be sure of this one is to get references from the contractor of work that he’s done in the past that is similar to your project.

– Quotations. Gather a variety of quotes from different contractors and analyze each one. Make sure that you’re going to get what you pay for. Some quotes may be cheaper than others, but that may be because you were quoted for inferior products.

Q: Is CFC a lisenced formwork contractor?

CFC (Cape Formwork Contractors) is a safety-approved formwork contractor. At CFC, formwork and construction safety is vitally important to us because it affects the health and safety of our customers, our staff members and the public at large. With the heavy duty and dangerous work involved in construction, safety is something CFC is not only passionate about, but incredibly strict about as well. We are committed to ensuring that all of our sites adhere to stringent health and safety standards in compliance with the OHS Act & SANS 10085, and we endeavor to remain up to date with all current legislation.

Q: What formwork needs does CFC cater for?
  • Formwork
  • Seating Stands
  • Stages & Platforms
  • Staircases
  • Access Equipment
    1. Pedestrian Bridges
    2. Ramps
  • Towers
    1. Commentary Towers
    2. Camera Towers
    3. Signage Towers
    4. Mobile Towers
  • Special Events
  • Film Sets
  • After Hours Work
Q: What formwork systems does CFC offer its clients for hiring purposes?
  1. Kwik-Stage
  2. Self-Lock towers
  3. Aluminium towers
  4. Metri-System for decking & beam soffits
Q: What is the Kwik-Stage formwork system?

This industrial formwork system is modular and has a wedge for all access formwork needs. The wedge enables erecting and dismantling to be simple and fast whilst still eradicating the risk of having loose parts. The formwork stays in place without movement and has dependable vertical alignment.
It can be used by bricklayers or any trade requiring a heavy duty type of formwork. It is also flexible in terms of where it can be positioned, so this makes Kwik-Stage useful not only in construction but also for use of film sets, for special events. Kwik-Stage formwork is available in painted or hot dip galvanised form.

Q: What is the Self-Lock formwork towers system?

These towers comprise of frames attached to one another to form the tower, which are easily manageable due to their lightweight and easy construction ability and are also very safe. Towers can be constructed by two workers and are quick and simple to use. Towers can be can be built up to four times the base length or can be left free standing up to a height of six meters, after which it is attached to the structure it is being used for. Self-Lock tower formwork systems can be used in electrical work, building maintenance, decorating such as painting, plumbing and for use in events such as creating seating stands and access ramps and on film sets.

Q: What is the Aluminium formwork towers system?

At CFC we use the Span-Tower and Step-Tower Aluminium formwork systems. They are incredibly safe for use whilst being easy to assemble and dismantle. Aluminium towers is one of the safest systems used in the industry, because of its sturdiness whilst being incredibly lightweight. Thus aluminium formwork is especially used in the film, special events and sporting industries.

Q: What is the Metri-System for decking & beam soffits?

A soffit is the term used to describe the part of a structure that forms the ceiling or underside of an architectural structure (typically a roof’s eave). Soffits can be made with engineered formwork using beams or decking panels, or through the use of coffers which are sunken slabs assembled to create a structure.
With the Metriform system the soffits are reduced, as is the use of different components when using the system. Metriform system formwork also helps reduce construction timeframes as the formwork can be removed earlier than other types of formwork.

Q: Does CFC Scaffolding also sell formwork equipment?

Yes, we do. Our ‘Products & Services’ section above discusses at great length the formwork equipment we offer our clients.