The Mother City is undergoing major upgrades in terms of buildings and infrastructure in preparation for the 2010 World Cup. This has put formwork contractors in Cape Town in high demand for their formwork skills and expertise.
Formwork involves pouring cement into moulds to create large concrete slabs and sections which form parts of a structure. These are strengthened by reinforcement through steel pins which are added to the concrete before it sets. Various types of formwork offer different results: some is stripped away after the concrete has set; some is left in place and set within the concrete.
The use of formwork in construction is vital to the successful completion and stability of many structures. With the use of formwork, many feats of construction have been achieved which would previously have been inconceivable and impossible.
How formwork originated
Formwork originated in the Roman era, when concrete and formwork were used to build superstructures such as the Colosseum. Since then, many famous architectural wonders have been erected all over the world, providing many examples of the incredible structures which are possible through the use of formwork. The Pantheon Rotunda Dome is another excellent example of formwork built during Roman times. This dome was created using concrete slabs formed in a coffer (a type of mould for concrete), creating sunken slabs with which to build the dome.
Types of formwork
There are different types of formwork available to suit different structural requirements in construction, most of which use scaffolding systems to support the moulds as they are filled with concrete. The most common types of formwork used are timber formwork engineered formwork,re-usable plastic formworkstay-in-place formwork
Timber formwork uses timber to create the moulds into which the cement is poured. Once the cement has been reinforced and then allowed to set, the timber is broken away leaving a solid slab of concrete in the shape required for building. Timber formwork is a common choice amongst contractors.
Engineered formwork uses moulds for concrete which have been made from engineered, metal frames, allowing greater precision and accuracy when creating forms.
Re-usable plastic formwork has an interlocking system which forms the concrete mould. These systems are used to build simpler concrete structures and can be reused once the concrete has set.
Stay in place formwork is used to create concrete slabs but once the concrete is set, the formwork systems are left in place. Once left in place, the systems form part of the final structure.
Specific formwork systems
Some formwork systems are built from specific brands of materials, especially engineered formwork. Metriform and Kwikstrip systems can be used in these instances to create soffits and concrete slabs for use in construction through the deck panels which comprise the systems. These deck panels are available in different sizes which are then supported by props. Metriform and Kwikstrip systems are precision manufactured for better quality and once in use, they can be used with coffers and troughs.
Formwork in 2010
Formwork has been used greatly in the build up to the 2010 World Cup. Formwork contractors have been hard at work revamping city centres, creating large structures and improving the infrastructure of major cities, as well as building magnificent stadiums for the tournament. The use of formwork has been widespread throughout the country, but mostly in major cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Formwork contractors in Cape Town have been especially busy with the construction of the massive Green Point Stadium. Suburbs such as Claremont have seen major construction work in the suburb CBD as new apartments, better public transport and new shopping complexes have been completed, making the area aesthetically pleasing, clean and friendly for tourists’ needs during the tournament.
Formwork has enabled the world to create impressive and appealing skylines. Without formwork, high rise buildings, large bridges, building extensions, sports stadiums, shopping malls and many others would be impossible to construct.
About the Author:
Cape Formwork Contractors (CFC) are formwork contractors in Cape Town offering formwork services which are safe, reliable and cost effective, using Metriform and Kwikstrip engineered formwork systems.