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Concrete formworks are subjected to various loads and pressure. Concrete formwork loads and pressure calculations are described in this article.

Formworks or molds are considerably important for building constrictions by holding fresh concrete mixture at place until it get required strength by which the self weight can be sustained.

Generally, there are various loads which are possible to act on formworks. Vertical loads are one of the most significant loads that act on formworks and are due to the self weight of the formwork and casted concrete plus live load of worker in addition to their equipment.

Moreover, internal pressures which caused by the behavior of liquid fresh concrete, is acted on vertical formworks. Furthermore, it is mandatory to provide lateral bracing to achieve stability against lateral forces for example wind loads.

Table of Contents

Concrete Formwork Loads and Pressure Calculations

Following are the various types of loads and pressures act on concrete formwork:

  • 1. Vertical load

  • 2. Lateral pressure of concrete

  • 3. Horizontal loads

 
  • 4. Special loads

  • 1. Vertical Loads on Concrete Formwork

Vertical loads are exerted on formworks and may consist of dead loads such as formwork dead load, steel reinforcement embedded in the forms, molded fresh concrete and live loads such as the weight of workers, equipments, and tools.

It is recommended to compute weight of materials separately in the case of heavy reinforcement to specify accurate unit weight.

ACI 347-04: Guide to Formwork of Concrete specify that, to allow for workers and their placing tools such as screeds, vibrators, and hoses, at least 2.4Kpa live load should be used for the design of horizontal formworks and a minimum live load of 3.6 kPa should be employed in cases where motorized carts and buggies are utilized.

Furthermore, ACI 347-04 determines combined live and dead load design of not less than 4.8 kPa or 6 kPa if motorized carts are employed.

Finally, formwork selfweight is calculated using unit weight and dimensions of formwork various parts. The weight of formworks is substantially less than fresh concrete dead load and construction live load. That is why an allowance is decided as superimposed load per square meter for form work components during design.

An initial assumption is made between 0.239-0.718 kPa based on experience and checked after the member is sized. This estimation is depending on the fact that common weight of formworks is 0.239-0.718 kPa.

  • 2. Lateral Pressure on Concrete Formwork

Internal pressure resulted from accumulated depth of placed concrete is imposed on vertical formworks such as walls and columns. During vibration and for short period after vibration, placed fresh concrete close to the top and to a small depth of formwork behaves like a liquid and impose lateral pressure on the formwork that is equal to the vertical liquid head. Fresh concrete is granular with internal friction but vibrations eliminate bonds in the mixture and generate liquid state.

There are different reasons such as placement rate, concrete temperature, and internal frictions that affect lateral pressure of below vibration controlled depth and make lateral pressure smaller than liquid pressure head.

When vertical placement is carried out at slow pace, fresh concrete could have time to start stiffening. Moreover, unless concrete temperature is low, the time to start setting is not short.

Other factors such as pore water movement, creation of friction and other parameters may lead to decline lateral pressure. Various types of cement, admixtures, cement substitutes, construction practices might influence level of lateral pressure.

Mostly, concrete lateral distribution pressure, which based on tests, is depicted as shown in Figure-1. The distribution begins close to the top as a liquid and reaches peak value at lower level. For design reasons, it is suggested that ultimate pressure is uniform at conservative value.

Other factors such as pore water movement, creation of friction and other parameters may lead to

Figure-1: Typical and Assumed Distribution of Concrete Lateral Pressure on Formworks

Calculation of Lateral Pressure on Concrete Formwork

ACI 347-04 specify that, concrete lateral pressure is computed as per Equation-1 if fresh concrete slump value is greater than 175 mm and does not placed with normal internal vibration to a depth of 1.2 m or less.

Other factors such as pore water movement, creation of friction and other parameters may lead to

Where:

P: Lateral pressure of concrete, kPa

: Density of concrete, Kg/m g : Gravitational constant, 9.81 N/kg h : Depth of fluid

: Density of concrete, Kg/m 3

g: Gravitational constant, 9.81 N/kg

h: Depth of fluid or plastic concrete from top of the placement to the point of consideration in the form, m

However, ACI 347-04 stated that, if concrete slump value is no larger than 175 mm and placed with normal vibration to a depth of 1.2 m or less, then lateral pressure of concrete is calculated as follows:

Lateral Pressure on Concrete Formworks for Columns

: Density of concrete, Kg/m g : Gravitational constant, 9.81 N/kg h : Depth of fluid

With a minimum of 30Cw kPa, but in no case greater than

.
.

Where:

P max : Maximum lateral pressure of concrete, kPa

C w : Coefficient of unit weight which is provided in

C c : Coefficient of chemistry that is provided in

R: Concrete placement rate, m/h

T: Concrete temperature during placing, o C

Lateral Pressure on Concrete Formworks for Walls

Concrete lateral pressure for walls with placement rate, smaller than 2.1 m/h and placement height is no greater than 4.2 m.

: Density of concrete, Kg/m g : Gravitational constant, 9.81 N/kg h : Depth of fluid

With a minimum of 30Cw kPa, but in no case greater than

.
.

Concrete lateral pressure for walls with placement rate of greater than 2.1 m/h and placement height exceeds 4.2 m, and for all walls with placement rate of 2.1 to 4.5 m/h.

: Density of concrete, Kg/m g : Gravitational constant, 9.81 N/kg h : Depth of fluid

With a minimum of 30Cw kPa, but in no case greater than .

Table-1: Unit Weight Coefficient, C w

Density of concrete, Kg/m 3

C w

Less than 2240

C w =0.5[1+(w / 2320 Kg/m 3 )] but not less than 0.80

2240 to 2400

1.0

More than 2400

C w =w / 2320 Kg/m 3

Table-2: Chemistry coefficient, C c

Type of cement or blend

C

c

Type I, II, and III without retarders 1

1.0

Type I, II, and III with a retarder 1

1.2

Other types or blend containing less than 70 percent slag or 40 percent fly ash without retarders 1

1.2

Other types or blend containing less than 70 percent slag or 40 percent fly ash with a retarder 1

1.4

blend containing more than 70 percent slag or 40 percent

1.4

fly ash

1 Retarders include any admixture, such as a retarder, retarding water reducer, retarding mid- range water reducing admixture, or high-range water-reducing admixture (superplasticizer), that delays setting of concrete.

Moreover, for pressure equation utilization, columns are defined as vertical elements with no plan dimensions surpass 2 m, and walls are vertical elements with at least one plan dimension larger than 2 m.

Finally, in column forms, internal pressure in transferred to the external tie elements on adjacent side of the form which used as links between opposite sides of square or circular column. Furthermore, internal pressure in wall forms is transferred from plywood, studs, or wales to the tension ties that link two opposite sides of the form.

In addition to provide aforementioned techniques to withstand internal pressures, providing resisting elements for example braces are essential for resisting external horizontal loads which tend to overturn wall, column, slab forms as shown in Figure-2 and Figure-3.

Figure-2: Schematic Bracing in Slab Formworks Figure-3: Schematic Bracing in Walls Formworks 3. Horizontal Loads on

Figure-2: Schematic Bracing in Slab Formworks

Figure-2: Schematic Bracing in Slab Formworks Figure-3: Schematic Bracing in Walls Formworks 3. Horizontal Loads on

Figure-3: Schematic Bracing in Walls Formworks

3. Horizontal Loads on Concrete Formworks

Horizontal loads might result from forces like wind, concrete dumping, equipment starting and stopping, and inclined supports should be opposed by properly designed braces and shore.

For building construction, assumed value for these loads should not be less than the larger of either 1.5 KN/m of floor edge or 2% of total dead load spread as uniform load per slab edge linear meter, these assumptions is specified by ACI 347-04.

Bracing for wall forms should be designed to meet requirements of minimum wind loads of ASCE 7-10 with adjustments for shorter recurrence intervals which could be found in ASCE 37-

02

For wall forms exposed to elements 0.72 kPa or greater is used as minimum wind design load. Wall from bracing need to be designed for loads no less than 1.5 KN/m of wall length which is applied at the top.

4. Special Loads on Concrete Formworks

It is required to design formworks for uncommon construction conditions that could occur such as reinforcement concentrated loads, unsymmetrical placement of concrete, machine-delivered concrete impact, uplift, form handling loads.

Constructing walls over spans of slab or beams that could impose different loading pattern before concrete hardening than that for which the supporting structure is designed for, is an example of special conditions that should be taken into consideration b form designer.

Wooden formworks are generally used for construction due to its ease of use. Different criteria for design of wooden formwork and their calculation is discussed.

Formwork is substantially significant temporary construction element in the construction of structures. It provides necessary support until the concrete member achieves required strength and can support its own weight in addition to the imposed loads.

There are various materials for example steel, aluminum, fiber composite and wood from which formworks can be constructed. Manufacturers can produce steel, aluminum, and fiber composite formworks and can be utilized directly based on the information and specification provided by the manufacturer.

However, wood formworks as shown in Figure-1 can be made in the construction site, but is needs to be designed properly. There are different criteria that must be considered when wood formwork is designed.

In the following sections, different formwork design criteria will be discussed.

Table of Contents Fig.1: Wooden Formwork  Wooden Formwork Design Criteria for Concrete Construction ASD Adjustment

Table of Contents

Fig.1: Wooden Formwork

 Wooden Formwork Design Criteria for Concrete Construction ASD Adjustment Factor for Lumber Stresses Factor of
Wooden Formwork Design Criteria for Concrete Construction
ASD Adjustment Factor for Lumber Stresses
Factor of Overall Element Size
Stability Factor for Beam for Wooden Formwork Design
Column Stability Factor for Wooden Formwork Design
Factor of Load Duration for Wooden Formwork Design
Bearing Area Factor for Wooden Formwork Design
Moisture Factor
Flat Application Factor
Safety Factor for Formwork Accessories
Repetitive Factor of Member Utilization
Manufactured Wood Products
Adjustment Factor for Plywood Stresses
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o

Wooden Formwork Design Criteria for Concrete Construction

Following are the different criteria for design of wooden concrete formwork

ASD adjustment factor for lumber stresses Factor of overall member size

Stability factor for beam

 

 

Column stability factor Factor of load duration

 

Bearing area factor Moisture factor

Flat application factor

 

Safety factor for formwork accessories

 

Repetitive factor of member utilization

Manufactured wood products Adjustment factor for plywood stresses

ASD Adjustment Factor for Lumber Stresses

National design standard for wood construction 2015 recommends various adjustment factors to adjust reference design values (F) and consequently achieve permissible design values (F’) for bending stress, shear stress, bearing stress, compression stress, and elastic modulus as follows:

It should be noted that, adjustment factors in the parentheses is employed in case of truss member. Apart from those factors in the brackets, the adjustment factors will be explained in the following sections

  ASD adjustment factor for lumber stresses Factor of overall member size  Stability factor

Factor of Overall Element Size

This factor is denoted as (C f ) and it is demonstrated through tests that the size of the element, which intended to be constructed, influence the stress that causes failure. Therefore, the member

size should be taken into consideration and this can be done by multiplying basic bending and compression values by size factor.

Stability Factor for Beam for Wooden Formwork Design

National design specification provided recommendation regarding the value of beam stability factor (C L ). In the case where the compression edge of rectangular bending member is unstable, the stability factor for beam is calculated as per the equation provided by NDS 3.3.3.8.

Moreover, the national design specification recommends values for beam stability factor may be taken as 1 for sawn lumber based on lateral support condition and member depth to with ratio which is provided in Table-1.

Table-1: Beam Stability Factor Based on Depth to Width Ration and Lateral Support Conditions

Depth to width ratio, b?d

Lateral Support Condition

Beam Stability Factor (C L )

b >= d < 2

Lateral support is not needed

1

4>=b/d >2

Formwork ends should be supported by nailing, or bridging, full depth solid blocking, or other means

1

5

>= b/d >4

Member compression edge must be kept in position by suitable for its full length to prevent lateral displacement, and rations should be prevented at the end bearing point of the element

1

 

Compression edge of the member should be kept at its position by subflooring or other means, lateral

 

6

>= b/d>5

displacement at end bearing point must be avoided, and at spacing of 20 cm bridging or diagonal cross bracing or full depth solid block should be provided

1

7>=b/d >6

Not only does the point of end bearing need to be supported to prevent rotation but also both compression edge of the member should be kept at

1

their original position

Column Stability Factor for Wooden Formwork Design

Column stability factor, which is denoted as (C p ) is found out as per the provisions of national design standard. The value of column stability factor is taken as 1 if lateral displacement of compression member is avoided in all direction by providing supports throughout the entire length of the member.

However, if members such as shores or braces are likely to fail in buckling instead of crushing, the column stability factor reduces the permissible compression stress that is parallel to the

natural lines (grain) in the wood. The following equation is employed to compute column stability factor.

natural lines (grain) in the wood. The following equation is employed to compute column stability factor.

Where:

F c *: reference compression design value parallel to natural line on wood (grain) multiply by applicable adjustment factor apart from C p , look at section 2.3 of national design specification for wood construction

c: taken as 0.8 for sawn lumber, 0.85 for round timber poles and plies, and 0.90 for structural glued laminated timber, structural composite lumber, and cross laminated timber

F cE : is computed by applying the following expressions

natural lines (grain) in the wood. The following equation is employed to compute column stability factor.

Where:

l e : is the effective length

l e ?d: is the larger of slenderness ratio about the possible buckling axis and usually do not surpass 50 apart from short loading during construction and in this case, it can be up to 75.

Factor of Load Duration for Wooden Formwork Design

It is demonstrated through tests that, the ultimate load which is carried by wood in short duration is massively greater than the maximum load that is supported by wood in normal duration. This property of wood is adjusted and arranged by applying load duration factor. Table-2 provides load duration factor for certain cumulative maximum load duration.

It is worth mentioning that, the load duration factor for most formworks is taken as 1.15, but if different parts of the formworks are reutilized for larger cumulative durations then load duration factor need to be decreased appropriately for the formwork.

Table-2: Load Duration Factor Employed for Provided Cumulative Maximum Load Duration

Duration of loading

Load duration factor, C D

Load duration > 10 years

0.9

2 months < load duration ? 10 years

1.0

  • 7 days < load duration ? 2 months

1.15

load duration < 7 days

1.25

Wind/ earthquake

1.6

Impact

2.2

Bearing Area Factor for Wooden Formwork Design

This factor is utilized to increase concentrated load design values on wood perpendicular to grain or natural lines of wood. As per national design specification for wood construction, the bearing

area factor is employed to bearings of any length at the end of the member, and to all bearing that

  • 6 inch or more in length at any other location.

If the above conditions are reached, then the factor is computed using the following formula otherwise it is 1.

7 days < load duration ? 2 months 1.15 load duration < 7 days 1.25 Wind/

Where:

l b : is the bearing length measure parallel to wood grain.

Moisture Factor

If wood lost about thirty percent of its moisture content, its strength will increase. The essential design values have been established for a wood with moisture content of nineteen percent or smaller.

However, this moisture content might be increased because wood could expose to external conditions. In this case moisture factor need to be applied to adjust the design values.

Flat Application Factor

When 50.8cm to 101.6 cm thick wood is subjected to loading on its wide face, it will deflect around weak axis. In this situation, the stress which causes failure will be larger by small amount. Therefore, flat use factor (C fu ) is used to adjust basic design values of bending stress. Table 3 provided flat use factor.

Table-3: Flat Use Factor

Width, mm

Thickness

 
 

50.8mm and 76.2mm

101.6mm

50.8 and 76.2

1

101.8

1.1

1

127

1.1

1.05

152.4

1.15

1.05

203.2

1.15

1.05

254

and wider

1.2

1.1

Safety Factor for Formwork Accessories

Hangers, anchors, and ties are examples of accessories which are employed in formwork. These accessories are commonly manufactured from steel and either ultimate or allowable strength of such tools are provided by producers.

So, if the ultimate strength is given, then it should be multiplied by safety factor to achieve permissible strength. Minimum safety factors for accessory are provided by ACI 347-04 and shown in Table 4.

Table-4: Minimum Safety Factor used for Accessory Formwork

Accessory

Type of construction

Safety factor

Form tie

All applications

2

Form hangers

All applications

2

Form anchor

Formwork supporting form weight and concrete pressure only

2

Form anchor

Formwork supports form weight, concrete, construction

3

live load, and impact

Anchoring inserts used as form ties

Precast concrete panel when employed as a formwork

2

Repetitive Factor of Member Utilization

Bending design values is multiplied by repetitive use factor if minimum three lumbers with thickness of 5.08cm to 10.18cm are employed like plans, joists, studs, rafters, decking, or other similar members with maximum spacing of 60.96cm and connected to each other by an element that can withstand design loads.

Flooring, sheathing, subflooring are examples of members, which can withstand and distribute design load, may be used to connect lumbers. Generally, the repetitive use factor which is employed is 1.15.

Manufactured Wood Products

There are different manufactured wood products that may be used in the construction of formworks for example laminated veneer lumber (Figure 2 and Figure 3), parallel strand lumber (Figure 4 and Figure 5), laminated strand lumber (Figure 6).

Fig.2: Laminated Veneer Lumber Fig.3: Laminated Veneer Lumber Used to Construct Formwork

Fig.2: Laminated Veneer Lumber

Fig.2: Laminated Veneer Lumber Fig.3: Laminated Veneer Lumber Used to Construct Formwork

Fig.3: Laminated Veneer Lumber Used to Construct Formwork

Fig.4: Parallel Strand Lumber Fig.5: Parallel Strand Lumber Used in Formwork

Fig.4: Parallel Strand Lumber

Fig.4: Parallel Strand Lumber Fig.5: Parallel Strand Lumber Used in Formwork

Fig.5: Parallel Strand Lumber Used in Formwork

Fig.6: Laminated Strand Lumber

Adjustment Factor for Plywood Stresses

There are three adjustment factors namely: load duration, wet use, and experience factor which are applied to permissible stress values provided by The Engineered Wood association. The load duration factor is the same as of wood while both experience and wet use factor are considered in permissible plywood stress.

The removal of concrete formwork also called as strike-off or stripping of formwork should be carried out only after the time when concrete has gained sufficient strength, at least twice the stress to which the concrete may be subjected to when the formworks are removed. It is also necessary to ensure the stability of the remaining formwork during formwork removal.

Table of Contents

Concrete Formwork Removal Time

The rate of hardening of concrete or the concrete strength depends on temperature and affects the formwork removal time. For example, time required for removal of concrete in winter will be more than time required during summer.

Special attention is required for formwork removal of flexural members such as beams and slabs. As these members are subjected to self-load as well as live load even during construction, they may deflect if the strength gained is not sufficient to handle to loads.

To estimate the strength of concrete before formwork removal, the tests on concrete cubes or cylinders should be carried out. The concrete cubes or cylinders should be prepared from the same mix as that of the structural members and cured under same circumstances of temperature and moisture as that of structural member.

When it is ensured that the concrete in the structural members has gained sufficient strength to withstand the design load, only then formworks should be removed. If possible, the formworks should be left for longer time as it helps in curing.

Removal of formwork from concrete section should not make the structural element to:

Collapse under self load or under design load

deflect the structural member excessively in short or the long term physically damage the structural member when formwork is removed.

The following points must be kept in mind during formwork removal whether the structure will be prone to:

freeze thaw damage cracks formation due to thermal contraction of concrete

after formwork striking. If there is a significant risk of any of the above damages, it is better to delay the removal time of formwork. If formwork have to removed for optimising the concrete construction activities, then these structures must be insulated well to prevent such damages.

Calculation of Safe Formwork Striking Times: Structural members are constructed based on designed load. But before

Calculation of Safe Formwork Striking Times:

Structural members are constructed based on designed load. But before a structure is complete and subjected to all loads assumed during structural design, the structural members are subjected to its self weight and construction loads during construction process.

So, to proceed with construction activities at a quicker rate, it is essential to calculate the behaviour of structure under is self load and construction load. If this can be done and structural member is found to be safe, formwork can be stripped-off.

If these calculations are not possible, then following formula can be used for calculation of safe formwork striking times:

Characteristic strength of cube of equal of maturity to the structure required at time of formwork removal

Calculation of Safe Formwork Striking Times: Structural members are constructed based on designed load. But before

This formula was given by Harrison (1995) which describes in detail the background of determination of formwork removal times.

Other method to determine the strength of concrete structure is to conduct the non-destructive tests on structural member.

Factors Affecting Concrete Formwork Striking Times

The striking time of concrete formwork depends on the strength of structural member. The strength development of concrete member depends on:

 

Grade of concrete higher the grade of concrete, the rate of development of strength is higher and thus concrete achieves the strength in shorter time.

 
 

Grade of cement Higher cement grade makes the concrete achieve higher strength in shorter time.

 

 

Type of Cement Type of cement affects the strength development of concrete. For example, rapid hardening cement have higher strength gain in shorter period than the Ordinary Portland Cement. Low heat cement takes more time to gain sufficient strength than OPC.

 
 

Temperature The higher temperature of concrete during placement makes it achieve higher strength in shorter times. During winter, the concrete strength gain time gets prolonged.

A higher ambient temperature makes the concrete gain strength faster.

 

Formwork helps the concrete to insulate it from surrounding, so longer the formwork remain with concrete, the less is the loss of heat of hydration and rate of strength gain is high.

 

Size of the concrete member also affects the gain of concrete strength. Larger concrete section members gain strength in shorter time than smaller sections.

 
 

Accelerated curing is also a method to increase the strength gain rate with the application of heat.

Generally following values of concrete strength is considered for removal of formwork for various types of concrete structural members.

Table 1: Strength of concrete vs. Structural Member Type & Span for Formwork Removal

Concrete Strength

Structural Member Type and Span

2.5 N/mm 2

Lateral parts of the formwork for all structural members can be removed

70% of design

Interior parts of formwork of slabs and beams with a span of up to 6m can

strength

be removed

85% of design

Interior parts of formwork of slabs and beams with a span of more than 6m

strength

can be removed

Table 2: Formwork Stripping Time (When Ordinary Portland Cement is used):

Type of Formwork

Formwork Removal Time

Sides of Walls, Columns and Vertical faces of

24 hours to 48 hours (as per engineer’s

beam

decision)

Slabs (props left under)

  • 3 days

Beam soffits (props left under)

  • 7 days

Removal of Props of Slabs:

  • i) Slabs spanning up to 4.5m

  • 14 days

ii) Slabs spanning over 4.5m

  • 14 days

Removal of props for beams and arches

  • i) Span up to 6m

  • 14 days

ii) Span over 6m

  • 21 days

Important Note:

It is important to note that the time for formwork removal shown above in Table -2 is only when Ordinary Portland Cement is used. In normal construction process Portland Pozzolana cement is used. So, the time shown in Table-2 should be modified.

For cements other than Ordinary Portland cement, the time required for formwork removal should be as:

Portland Pozzolana Cement stripping time will be 10/7 of the time stated above (Table-

 

2)

Low heat cement stripping time will be 10/7 of the time stated above (Table-2)

 
 

Rapid Hardening Cement stripping time of 3/7 of the time stated above (Table-2) will be sufficient in all cases except for vertical sides of slabs, beams and columns which should be retained at least for 24 hours.

Concrete Formwork Removal Specification:

i) Slabs spanning up to 4.5m 14 days ii) Slabs spanning over 4.5m 14 days Removal

During stripping of formwork, following points must be remembered:

      Formwork should not be removed until the concrete has developed
Formwork should not be removed until the concrete has developed sufficiently strength
to support all loads placed upon it. The time required before formwork removal depends
on the structural function of the member and the rate of strength gain of the concrete. The
grade of concrete, type of cement, water/cement ratio, temperature during curing etc.
influence the rate of strength gain of concrete.
The formwork parts and connections should be arranged in a way that makes formwork
removal easy and simple, prevents damage to concrete and formwork panels so that it can
be reused without extensive repair.
The formwork removal procedure should be supervised by the engineer to ensure that
quality of hardened concrete in structural member, i.e. it should be free from or has
minimum casting defects such as honeycombing, size and shape defects etc. These
defects in concrete influence the strength and stability of structure. Thus immediate repair
works can be done or the members can be rejected.
The separation of forms should not be done by forcing crowbars against the concrete. It
may damage the hardened concrete. This should be achieved by using wooden wedges.
Beam and joist bottoms should remain in place until final removal of all shoring under
them are done.
Joist forms should be designed and removed so that the shores may be removed
temporarily to permit removal of joist forms but must be replaced at once. The shores and
joists will be dismantled beginning from the middle of the member’s span, continuing
symmetrically up the supports.
The approval from the engineer should be obtained for the sequence and pattern of
formwork removal.
Reference:
ACI (1995) In-place methods to estimate concrete strength. ACI 228.1R-95.
ASTM (1987) Standard practice for estimating concrete strength by the maturity method.
ASTM C1074–87
BS 8110 – code of practice for the structural use of concrete
IS-456 – Plain and Reinforced Concrete – Code of Practice

Formwork (shuttering) in concrete construction is used as a mould for a structure in which fresh concrete is poured only to harden subsequently. Types of concrete formwork construction depends on formwork material and type of structural element.

Formworks can also be named based on the type of structural member construction such as slab formwork for use in slab, beam formwork, column formwork for use in beams and columns respectively etc.

The construction of formwork takes time and involves expenditure upto 20 to 25% of the cost of the structure or even more. Design of these temporary structures are made to economic expenditure. The operation of removing the formwork is known as stripping. Stripped formwork can be reused. Reusable forms are known as panel forms and non-usable are called stationary forms.

Timber is the most common material used for formwork. The disadvantage with timber formwork is that it will warp, swell and shrink. Application of water impermeable cost to the surface of wood mitigates these defects.

Table of Contents

 A good formwork should satisfy the following requirements:   Economy in Formwork Types of
A good formwork should satisfy the following requirements:
Economy in Formwork
Types of Formwork (Shuttering) for Concrete Construction:
Timber Formwork:
o
Normal sizes of members for timber formwork:
Plywood Formwork
Steel Formwork
Steel forms compared with timber formwork:
o
Construction of Concrete formwork:
Order and Method of Removing Formwork:
Table: Period of Removal of Formwork

A good formwork should satisfy the following requirements:

  • 1. It should be strong enough to withstand all types of dead and live loads.

  • 2. It should be rigidly constructed and efficiently propped and braced both horizontally and vertically, so as to retain its shape.

  • 3. The joints in the formwork should be tight against leakage of cement grout.

  • 4. Construction of formwork should permit removal of various parts in desired sequences without damage to the concrete.

  • 5. The material of the formwork should be cheap, easily available and should be suitable for reuse.

  • 6. The formwork should be set accurately to the desired line and levels should have plane surface.

  • 7. It should be as light as possible.

  • 8. The material of the formwork should not warp or get distorted when exposed to the elements.

  • 9. It should rest on firm base.

Economy in Formwork

The following points are to be kept in view to effect economy in the cost of formwork:

  • 1. The plan of the building should imply minimum number of variations in the size of rooms, floor area etc. so as to permit reuse of the formwork repeatedly.

  • 2. Design should be perfect to use slender sections only in a most economical way.

  • 3. Minimum sawing and cutting of wooden pieces should be made to enable reuse of the material a number of times. The quantity of surface finish depends on the quality of the formwork.

Formwork can be made out of timber, plywood, steel, precast concrete or fiberglass used separately or in combination. Steel forms are used in situation where large numbers of re-use of the same forms are necessary. For small works, timber formwork proves useful. Fibre glass made of precast concrete and aluminium are used in cast-in-situ construction such as slabs or members involving curved surfaces.

Types of Formwork (Shuttering) for Concrete Construction:

Timber Formwork:

Timber for formwork should satisfy the following requirement:

It should be

  • 1. well seasoned

  • 2. light in weight

  • 3. easily workable with nails without splitting

  • 4. free from loose knots

Timber used for shuttering for exposed concrete work should have smooth and even surface on all faces which come in contact with concrete.

Normal sizes of members for timber formwork:

Sheeting for slabs, beam, column side and beam bottom 25 mm to 40mm thick

Joints, ledges

50 x 70 mm to 50 x 150 mm

Posts

75 x 100mm to 100 x 100 mm

Plywood Formwork

Resin bonded plywood sheets are attached to timber frames to make up panels of required sizes. The cost of plywood formwork compares favourably with that of timber shuttering and it may even prove cheaper in certain cases in view of the following considerations:

  • 1. It is possible to have smooth finish in which case on cost in surface finishing is there.

  • 2. By use of large size panels it is possible to effect saving in the labour cost of fixing and dismantling.

  • 3. Number of reuses are more as compared with timber shuttering. For estimation purpose, number of reuses can be taken as 20 to 25.

Steel Formwork

This consist of panels fabricated out of thin steel plates stiffened along the edges by small steel angles. The panel units can be held together through the use of suitable clamps or bolts and nuts. The panels can be fabricated in large number in any desired modular shape or size. Steel forms are largely used in large projects or in situation where large number reuses of the shuttering is possible. This type of shuttering is considered most suitable for circular or curved structures.

Steel forms compared with timber formwork:

  • 1. Steel forms are stronger, durable and have longer life than timber formwork and their reuses are more in number.

  • 2. Steel forms can be installed and dismantled with greater ease and speed.

  • 3. The quality of exposed concrete surface by using steel forms is good and such surfaces need no further treatment.

  • 4. Steel formwork does not absorb moisture from concrete.

  • 5. Steel formwork does not shrink or warp.

Construction of Concrete formwork:

This normally involves the following operations:

  • 1. Propping and centring

2.

Shuttering

  • 3. Provision of camber

  • 4. Cleaning and surface treatment

Order and Method of Removing Formwork:

The sequence of orders and method of removal of formwork are as follows:

  • 1. Shuttering forming the vertical faces of walls, beams and column sides should be removed first as they bear no load but only retain the concrete.

  • 2. Shuttering forming soffit of slabs should be removed next.

  • 3. Shuttering forming soffit of beams, girders or other heavily loaded shuttering should be removed in the end.

Rapid hardening cement, warm weather and light loading conditions allow early removal of formwork. The formwork should under no circumstances be allowed to be removed until all the concrete reaches strength of atleast twice the stresses to which the concrete may be subjected at the time of removal of formwork. All formworks should be eased gradually and carefully in order to prevent the load being suddenly transferred to concrete.

Figure 1 to 6 shows formwork for different types of members in civil engineering construction.

1. Shuttering forming the vertical faces of walls, beams and column sides should be removed first

Figure 1(a): Details of timber formwork for RCC beam and slab floor

Figure 1(b): Details at section (A) shown in above figure

Figure 1(b): Details at section (A) shown in above figure

Figure 1(b): Details at section (A) shown in above figure

Figure 2(a): Elevation

Figure 2(a): Elevation Figure 2(b): Details of timber formwork for circular RCC column Figure 3(a): 150

Figure 2(b): Details of timber formwork for circular RCC column

Figure 2(a): Elevation Figure 2(b): Details of timber formwork for circular RCC column Figure 3(a): 150

Figure 3(a): 150 3D View

Figure 3(b): Details of timber formwork for square or rectangular RCC column Figure 4: Sectional plan

Figure 3(b): Details of timber formwork for square or rectangular RCC column

Figure 3(b): Details of timber formwork for square or rectangular RCC column Figure 4: Sectional plan

Figure 4: Sectional plan showing details of timber formwork for an octagonal column

Figure 5: Details of formwork for stair

Figure 5: Details of formwork for stair

Figure 6: Timber formwork for RCC wall Table: Period of Removal of Formwork S. No. Description

Figure 6: Timber formwork for RCC wall

Table: Period of Removal of Formwork

S. No.

Description of structural member

Time Period

1

Walls, columns and vertical sides of beams

1

to 2 days

2

Slabs (props left under)

3

days

3

Beam soffits (props left under)

7

days

 

Removal of props to slabs

4

  • (a) For slabs spanning upto 4.5 m

7

days

  • (b) For slabs spanning over 4.5 m

14 days

 

Removal of props to beams and arches

5

  • (a) Spanning upto 6 m

  • 14 days

  • (b) spanning over 6 m

  • 21 days

Use of plastic formworks for concrete construction has many advantages such as durability, cost and flexibility compared to other materials for concrete formworks.

Formworks are used to hold freshly placed concrete at its position until it attains enough strength and with the help of formworks concrete can be easily manipulated and various shapes and forms can be constructed.

There are different materials which may be used to manufacture formworks for example timber, steel, and aluminum in addition to plastic that offer number of advantages compared to other materials for example durability, cost effectiveness, and flexibility.

It is reported that, not only does the construction of formworks takes time but also spent about 20 to 25% of the total cost of the structure. It is one of the major factors that influence the success of construction of any structure in terms of safety, cost, quality and speed.

It is for these advantages and benefits of plastic forms that will be discussed in the following sections.

Fig.1: Plastic Formwork for Concrete Construction Table of Contents     Objectives of Plastic

Fig.1: Plastic Formwork for Concrete Construction

Table of Contents

    Objectives of Plastic Formworks in Concrete Construction Advantages of Plastic Formworks in
Objectives of Plastic Formworks in Concrete Construction
Advantages of Plastic Formworks in Concrete Construction
Plastic Formwork System
Different Types of Commercially Available Plastic Formworks
Siscon Plastic Formwork System
Plastic Formworks for Walls
Plastic Formworks for Floors
Plastic Formworks for Column
Nova Plastic Formwork System
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o
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Objectives of Plastic Formworks in Concrete Construction

Form work is not a permanent construction but it requires careful attention to avoid damages of permanent construction. The formwork design and construction are controlled by three principles:

Safety: It depends on the formwork strength substantially. Life of labors and public might be in danger if the formwork does not possess adequate strength.

 

Quality: Concrete shape accuracy and the quality of final finished surface of concrete element.

 

Economy: The structural frame, which is the most critical factor during construction, is most crucial cost component.

Advantages of Plastic Formworks in Concrete Construction

Formworks expend large labor force and total cost of the project that is why efforts have made to introducing a formwork system that is cost effective and can be assembled, dismantled and handled easily by labor.

There are several advantages provided by plastic formworks in concrete construction:

Cost effective

 

Labor friendly

Eco friendly Low maintenance

Versatile

Plastic Formwork System

It is manufactured from specific grade plastic that neither placed materials adhered to it nor chemical reactions occur between poured materials and the plastic form and consequently there will be no any patch on the surface of reinforced concrete element.

Water or freshly placed concrete leakages from different parts of the form is avoided because of the perfect fitness of various parts of the system. Added to that, it is most labor friendly system because not only does it fit and plugged easily but also it is considerably light weight compare with other types of formwork systems.

Nailing and oiling plates are not required prior to concreting because of auto leveling of plugging system that make plates level automatically and consequently it takes about 30% lesser time during installing and dismantling compare with conventional form systems.

Additionally, after its utilization, the plastic forms can be cleaned with water easily and if it breaks due to bad handling, low voltage hot air gun is used to seal it.

Other formwork materials such as wood, steel, aluminum produce various disadvantages which might outweigh their benefits. For example, the application of wood is considerably costly and create substantial environmental impacts due to deforestation.

With regard to aluminum formworks, it can be employed many times but its high cost makes it as not very suitable option to use. In contrary, plastic forms can be recycled and it is environmentally friendly in addition to reduce handling time and great reusability index.

Table-1 provides a comparison between plastic forms and other form types.

Table-1: Comparison Between Plastic, Traditional, And Steel Formworks

Items

Plastic

Traditional

Steel

formwork

formwork

formwork

Recycled

40%

No

10%

Water resistant

Yes

No

No

Deformation

     

condition

No

Yes

Yes

Stripping process

Easy

Moderate

Difficult

Size

Any size can supply

Restricted

Restricted

Corrosion

     

resistant

Excellent

Bad

Bad

 

More than

   

Availability time

100 times

8 times

100 times

Different Types of Commercially Available Plastic Formworks

Siscon Plastic Formwork System

It is one type of commercially available plastic forms which can be used to construction various structural elements such as walls, columns, and slabs. It provides substantial precision.

Plastic Formworks for Walls

It is used for the construction of boundary walls, retaining walls, shear walls, rainwater drains, flood or storm drain walls, irrigation canals, and in concrete banking.

Fig.2: Wall Plastic Formwork Applications at Different Location of the Structure

Fig.2: Wall Plastic Formwork Applications at Different Location of the Structure

Fig.3: Plastic Formworks used for Wall Construction Plastic Formworks for Floors

Fig.3: Plastic Formworks used for Wall Construction

Plastic Formworks for Floors

Fig.3: Plastic Formworks used for Wall Construction Plastic Formworks for Floors

Fig.4: Plastic Formwork for Concrete Floor Concrete

Fig.4: Plastic Formwork for Concrete Floor Concrete Fig.5: Plastic Formwork for Slab Construction Plastic Formworks for

Fig.5: Plastic Formwork for Slab Construction

Plastic Formworks for Column

Fig.6: Installation of Plastic Formwork for Column

Nova Plastic Formwork System

It is produced from composite plastic material and it is the only plastic form that can be employed in both salt and fresh water without damage. Various application of NOVA plastic forms are shown in Figure-7, Figure-8, and Figure-9.

Fig.6: Installation of Plastic Formwork for Column Nova Plastic Formwork System It is produced from composite

Fig.7: Application of Nova Plastic Forms

Fig.8: Application of Nova Plastic Form in the Construction of Column Fig.9: Use of Nova Plastic

Fig.8: Application of Nova Plastic Form in the Construction of Column

Fig.8: Application of Nova Plastic Form in the Construction of Column Fig.9: Use of Nova Plastic

Fig.9: Use of Nova Plastic Form in Construction of Concrete Walls

Design and building concrete formwork effectively requires a basic understanding of how concrete behaves as it exerts pressure on formwork. Concrete exerts lateral pressure on the formwork. The formwork is designed based on these lateral forces.

Concrete Formwork Design Considerations

Lateral concrete pressure on formwork is affected by:

  • 1. Height of concrete pour

  • 2. Concrete pour rate

  • 3. Weight of concrete

  • 4. Temperature

 
  • 5. Type of cement

  • 6. Vibration

  • 7. Concrete slump (watercement ratio)

  • 8. Chemical additives

1) Height of concrete pour: Before concrete hardens, it acts like a liquid and pushes against the forms the way water presses against the walls of a storage tank. The amount of pressure at any point on the form is directly determined by the height and weight of concrete above it. Pressure is not affected by the thickness of the wall.

Design and building concrete formwork effectively requires a basic understanding of how concrete behaves as it

Fig: Lateral concrete pressure on formwork

2) Concrete pour rate: Concrete pressure at any point on the form is directly proportional to the height of liquid concrete above it. If concrete begins to harden before the pour is complete, the full liquid head will not develop and the pressure against the forms will be less than if the pour were completed before any of concrete hardened.

Once concrete hardens it cannot exert more pressure on the forms even though liquid concrete continues to be placed above it. The following diagrams illustrates how form pressure varies when the pour rate is increased from one level to another level. For ease of explanation, it is assumed that concrete hardens in one hour (typically) at 21°C.

Once concrete hardens it cannot exert more pressure on the forms even though liquid concrete continues

Fig: Concrete pressure on formwork during hardening

When the pour rate is increased the pressure also increases as shown below:

Once concrete hardens it cannot exert more pressure on the forms even though liquid concrete continues

Fig: Concrete pressure on formwork due to higher pour rate

3) Weight of Concrete: Pressure exerted against the forms is directly proportional to the unit weight of concrete. Lightweight concrete will exert less pressure than normal weight concrete as shown below:

Once concrete hardens it cannot exert more pressure on the forms even though liquid concrete continues

Fig: Pressure on formwork due to normal and lightweight concretes

4) Temperature: The time it takes concrete to harden is influenced greatly by its temperature. The higher the temperature of the concrete, the quicker it will harden. Most formwork designs are based on an assumed average air and concrete temperature of 21°C.

At low air temperatures, the hardening of concrete is delayed and you need to decrease your pour rate or heat your concrete to keep the pressure against the formwork from increasing.

Ideally, concrete should be poured at temperatures between 16°C and 38°C. Outside this temperature range there is often insufficient moisture available for curing. If adequate water for curing is not available or freezes, the strength of the concrete will suffer.

5) Type of Cement: The cement type will influence the rate at which concrete hardens. A high early strength concrete will harden faster than normal concrete and will allow a faster pour rate. When using a cement which alters the normal set and hardening time, be sure to adjust the pour rate accordingly.

6) Vibration: Internal vibration consolidates concrete and causes it to behave like the pure liquid. If concrete is not vibrated, it will exert less pressure on the forms. ACI recommended formulas for form pressures may be reduced 10% if the concrete is spaded rather than internally vibrated. Re-vibration and external vibration result in higher form loads than internal vibration. These types of vibration require specially designed forms.

7) Concrete Slump: When concrete has very low slump, it acts less like a liquid and will transmit less pressure. When using concrete with a slump greater than 100 mm, the formwork should be designed to resist full liquid head.

8) Chemical additives: When using chemical additives i.e. retarders, plasticizers, etc. make sure to refer to the vendor’s application data.

Measurements of formwork (shuttering) is required for payment to the contractor for the concrete work completed. The payment to contractor depends on whether the cost is included with the concrete construction per unit quantity or formwork is paid separately, as mentioned in the conditions of contract.

The formwork is measured in terms of area that is in contact with the concrete surface.

Measurements of formwork (shuttering) is required for payment to the contractor for the concrete work completed.

Fig: Parts of Formworks for Beams and Slabs

For example, the formwork for concrete footing will be calculated as the surface area of four sides of foundation only. Bottom of the footing is resting on earth, there is no need of any formwork and top of footing is open.

Fig: Pan and Elevation of RCC Footing

From the above footing plan and elevation, it can be seen that formwork area required will be

2 x (2 + 3) x 0.6 = 6 m 2

Similarly, for a reinforced concrete beam, the measurement of formwork will be taken as the combined surface area of two sides and bottom of the beam.

Table of Contents

Issues in Formwork Measurements:

 

Normally, the forms are used more than once in concrete construction. But the payment is calculated based on the total contact area of the formwork with concrete and reuse of the forms is not taken into account. Thus, the price per unit area of formwork can be reduced for reuse of the forms. Aluminium and steel forms are reused for many number of times than wooden forms.

 

Complicated shape of concrete makes the formwork installation costlier than the simple formwork installation because of labor cost and inability to reuse these forms.

 

A construction plan is required to reuse the forms maximum number of times to make the construction cost effective.

Deduction of formwork area should not be taken for:

Intersection of beams

Intersection of beams and columns and walls

Any openings or cutouts in slabs

 

Unit of Formwork Measurement:

Formworks are measured in terms of area. So any unit such as square meter, square foot, square centimetre can be adopted. But generally, square meter and square foot of the contact area with concrete is taken as the unit of measurement. The dimensions of a formwork should be measure correct to the centimetre or inches whichever the case may be.

Formworks are measured as just contact area, not area of formwork, as shown below:

 Normally, the forms are used more than once in concrete construction. But the payment is

Contact Area = 2h(L+B)

The measurements of formwork are carried out separately for each type of concrete works such as following:

a) Foundations, footings, bases of columns etc. and for mass concrete and precast shelves.

  • b) Walls of any thickness including attached pilasters, buttresses, plinth and string courses etc.

  • c) Suspended floors, roofs, landings, shelves and their supports and balconies.

  • d) Lintels beams, girders and cantilevers

  • e) Columns, pillars, posts and struts.

  • f) Stairs (excluding landings) except Spiral Staircase

  • g) Spiral staircases (including landings)

h)

Arches

  • i) Domes, vaults, shells roofs, archribs and folded plates

  • j) Chimneys and shafts

  • k) Well steining

  • l) Vertical and horizontal fins individually or forming box, louvers and bands

  • m) Waffle or ribbed slabs

  • n) Edges of slabs and breaks in floors and walls

  • o) Cornices and mouldings

Concrete formworks (shutterings) are required for fresh concrete constructions such as walls, slabs, beams, columns, footings etc. Formworks requirements for different structural members are different and they are named based on type of structural member.

Formwork (shuttering) is a temporary mould to provide support to fresh concrete when placed in structural member until the concrete has set. This helps the structural member to gain sufficient strength to carry its self-load and load from other members.

There are many types of structural formwork or shuttering based on its material, their use and the type of structural members. They can be named based on that. However, core functioning of the formwork remains the same.

Table of Contents

Types of Formwork (Shuttering) Based on Structural Member:

Formworks are used in construction of reinforced concrete foundations, columns, slabs, walls etc., and these are named as follows:

Footing Forms Formworks for foundation Column Forms Formwork for RCC Column construction

Wall Forms Formwork for RCC wall construction

 

Floor Forms Formwork for construction of RCC Slabs

 

Footing Forms Formworks for Foundation

The first step for any concrete construction starts with the construction of foundation. Foundation can be for columns or walls. So, based on type of structural member, the shape and size of footing are designed. Thus formwork size and shape depends on the type and dimension of the footing.

Components of Footing Forms: Fig: Components of Footing Formwork – For Shallow Footing – Continuous Footing

Components of Footing Forms:

Components of Footing Forms: Fig: Components of Footing Formwork – For Shallow Footing – Continuous Footing

Fig: Components of Footing Formwork For Shallow Footing Continuous Footing Formwork

Column Forms Formwork for Concrete Column Construction

Reinforced concrete column forms are subjected to lateral pressure because of their small cross section, large heights and relatively high rates of concrete placement. Thus It is necessary to provide tight joints and strong tie support to the formwork.

As the sizes of concrete column increases, the stiffness of the formwork must be increased by either increasing thickness of sheathing or vertical stiffeners must be added to prevent sheathing deflection.

As the sizes of concrete column increases, the stiffness of the formwork must be increased by

Wall Forms Formwork for RCC Wall Construction

Formwork for wall construction are subjected to relatively lower lateral pressure than column forms due to their large cross-sectional area.

The components of wall forms are:

Panel sheathing It is used to shape the wall and retain the concrete until it sets.

 
 

Studs to support the sheathing or Wales by forming a framework to keep the forms aligned and support the studs.

Braces It is used to prevent deflection of forms under lateral pressure and keep the formwork erect. Ties and spreaders These are used to hold the sides of the forms at the correct spacing.

Fig: Components of a Wall Formwork Floor Forms – Formwork for construction of RCC Slabs Formwork

Fig: Components of a Wall Formwork

Floor Forms Formwork for construction of RCC Slabs

Formwork for reinforced concrete slabs depends on the type of slabs to be constructed. The floor slabs can be structural slabs supported on a steel or concrete structural frame, or slab-on-grade.

The design of formwork varies with the type of slab.

Structural Slab Formwork assembly is carried out as follows:

Positioning of the girder or beam form at the bottom.

 

Girder side forms overlaps the bottom form and rests on the shore heads and the sides of the column form.

 

Side forms is held in place by ledger strips nailed to the shore heads with double-headed nails.

Larger girders should have the side forms vertically stiffened to prevent buckling.

 

 

When constructing the girder and beam forms each part must be removed without disturbing the remainder of the form; strike-off formwork will commence with the beam and girder sides, followed later by the column forms, and finally by the beam and gird bottoms.

Fig: Structural Slab Formwork Components Slab-on-Grade Forms are forms for concrete slabs placed on grade. These

Fig: Structural Slab Formwork Components

Slab-on-Grade Forms are forms for concrete slabs placed on grade. These slab formworks are usually quite simple as concrete is placed on compacted earth or gravel leveled base. Thus no support is required for concrete at the bottom.

Fig: Structural Slab Formwork Components Slab-on-Grade Forms are forms for concrete slabs placed on grade. These

Fig: Components of a Slab-on-Grade Slab Formwork

Slab-on-Grade Formwork assembly is carried out as follows:

Plank, plywood, or steel forms are used for forming / supporting the open edges of concrete. These forms are held in place by supporting with wooden pegs.

 

The reinforcement in slab (if specified in the structural drawing) should be placed on its proper location according to the drawing on chairs, bolsters, and spacers made of either metal or concrete.

 

If the slab is to be casted in sections, construction joints must be provided between them, which will transmit shear from one to the other. The details of construction joints should be followed as per structural drawing.

A safe practice for formwork during construction at site is important for safety of workmen. Improper erection of formwork can cause damage to structural element as well as pose threat to the safety of workmen.

Following are the safe practices checklist for formwork:

Formwork Safety Checklist during Design:

  • 1. Formwork should be properly designed for the structural element considered and its working

drawing should be available at site.

  • 2. Design of formwork should consider all the loads it will experience during casting of concrete

structural members.

  • 3. Strength of materials used for formwork should be adequate to support structural load as well

as other loads imposed on it.

  • 4. Formwork design should indicate the rate of concrete pour, height of concrete pour,

temperature and sequence and schedule of concrete pours.

  • 5. Working drawing of formwork should have detailed dimensions including pouring pocket

size, compaction opening and cleanouts.

  • 6. Formwork design should consider the safe bearing capacity of soil.

Formwork Safety Checklist during Construction: Following inspection should be carried out before starting the concreting of

Formwork Safety Checklist during Construction:

Following inspection should be carried out before starting the concreting of structural member:

  • 1. Inspection of entire formwork system for details from bottom to top of formwork for proper

load transfer in safe manner.

  • 2. Inspection of working scaffolds, ladders, runways, ramps and crossings.

  • 3. Maintenance of good housekeeping around working area and passage.

  • 4. Guarding of peripheral edges and floor openings.

  • 5. Adequate space for safe working.

  • 6. Safety training of workmen involved in formwork and concreting works.

  • 7. Use of all personal protective equipment (PPEs).

  • 8. Formwork, rigging inserts and connections checked for correct installation and periodically

checked for wear and correct position.

  • 9. Removal of all unused and hanging forms, loose materials etc. stored on exposed floors.

10. Inspection of all props and shores for adequacy to handle all the loads.

  • 11. Removal of defective props.

  • 12. Alignment of props such as verticality, height and spacing between props should be

inspected.

  • 13. All props should be rested on bearing plates.

  • 14. Props should be placed on hard bearing surface.

  • 15. Safe nailing and firm locking of clamps on adjustable props.

  • 16. Lateral stability of formwork and complete fixity at the joint between props when one prop is

placed on the top of the other.

  • 17. Proper bearing below the stringers and joists at points of supports.

  • 18. De-shuttering and removal of props below concrete slabs and beams after development of

adequate strength in concrete.

  • 19. Construction loads not placed on freshly cast slab or beams while removal of formwork or

before concrete attaining required strength.

There can be many more checklists for formwork which has not been written here. If you think any addition has to be made, please write those in comments.

You can also download this document for formwork safe practices

Compressive strength of concrete cube test provides an idea about all the characteristics of concrete. By this single test one judge that whether Concreting has been done properly or not. Concrete compressive strength for general construction varies from 15 MPa (2200 psi) to 30 MPa (4400 psi) and higher in commercial and industrial structures.

Compressive strength of concrete depends on many factors such as water-cement ratio, cement strength, quality of concrete material, quality control during production of concrete etc.

Test for compressive strength is carried out either on cube or cylinder. Various standard codes recommends concrete cylinder or concrete cube as the standard specimen for the test. American Society for Testing Materials ASTM C39/C39M provides Standard Test Method for Compressive Strength of Cylindrical Concrete Specimens.

Table of Contents

   Compressive Strength Definition Compressive Strength Formula Procedure: Compressive Strength Test of Concrete Cubes
Compressive Strength Definition
Compressive Strength Formula
Procedure: Compressive Strength Test of Concrete Cubes
Apparatus for Concrete Cube Test
Preparation of Concrete Cube Specimen
Mixing of Concrete for Cube Test
Sampling of Cubes for Test
Curing of Cubes
Precautions for Tests
Procedure for Concrete Cube Test
Calculations of Compressive Strength
Reports of Cube Test
Results of Concrete Cube Test
Compressive Strength of Concrete at Various Ages
Compressive Strength of Different Grades of Concrete at 7 and 28 Days
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Compressive Strength Definition

Compressive strength is the ability of material or structure to carry the loads on its surface without any crack or deflection. A material under compression tends to reduce the size, while in tension, size elongates.

Compressive Strength Formula

Compressive strength formula for any material is the load applied at the point of failure to the cross-section area of the face on which load was applied.

Compressive Strength = Load / Cross-sectional Area

Procedure: Compressive Strength Test of Concrete Cubes

For cube test two types of specimens either cubes of 15cm X 15cm X 15cm or 10cm X 10cm x 10cm depending upon the size of aggregate are used. For most of the works cubical moulds of size 15cm x 15cm x 15cm are commonly used.

Table of Contents    Compressive Strength Definition Compressive Strength Formula Procedure: Compressive Strength Test

This concrete is poured in the mould and tempered properly so as not to have any voids. After 24 hours these moulds are removed and test specimens are put in water for curing. The top surface of these specimen should be made even and smooth. This is done by putting cement paste and spreading smoothly on whole area of specimen.

These specimens are tested by compression testing machine after 7 days curing or 28 days curing. Load should be applied gradually at the rate of 140 kg/cm2 per minute till the Specimens fails. Load at the failure divided by area of specimen gives the compressive strength of concrete.

This concrete is poured in the mould and tempered properly so as not to have any

Following are the procedure for testing Compressive strength of Concrete Cubes

Apparatus for Concrete Cube Test

Compression testing machine

Preparation of Concrete Cube Specimen

The proportion and material for making these test specimens are from the same concrete used in the field.

Specimen

6 cubes of 15 cm size Mix. M15 or above

Mixing of Concrete for Cube Test

Mix the concrete either by hand or in a laboratory batch mixer

Hand Mixing

  • 1. Mix the cement and fine aggregate on a water tight none-absorbent platform until the mixture is thoroughly blended and is of uniform color

  • 2. Add the coarse aggregate and mix with cement and fine aggregate until the coarse aggregate is uniformly distributed throughout the batch

  • 3. Add water and mix it until the concrete appears to be homogeneous and of the desired consistency

Sampling of Cubes for Test

  • 1. Clean the mounds and apply oil

  • 2. Fill the concrete in the molds in layers approximately 5 cm thick

  • 3. Compact each layer with not less than 35 strokes per layer using a tamping rod (steel bar 16mm diameter and 60cm long, bullet pointed at lower end)

  • 4. Level the top surface and smoothen it with a trowel

Curing of Cubes

The test specimens are stored in moist air for 24 hours and after this period the specimens are marked and removed from the molds and kept submerged in clear fresh water until taken out prior to test.

Precautions for Tests

The water for curing should be tested every 7 days and the temperature of water must be at 27+-

2oC.

Procedure for Concrete Cube Test

  • 1. Remove the specimen from water after specified curing time and wipe out excess water from the surface.

  • 2. Take the dimension of the specimen to the nearest 0.2m

  • 3. Clean the bearing surface of the testing machine

  • 4. Place the specimen in the machine in such a manner that the load shall be applied to the opposite sides of the cube cast.

  • 5. Align the specimen centrally on the base plate of the machine.

  • 6. Rotate the movable portion gently by hand so that it touches the top surface of the specimen.

  • 7. Apply the load gradually without shock and continuously at the rate of 140 kg/cm 2 /minute till the specimen fails

  • 8. Record the maximum load and note any unusual features in the type of failure.

Note:

Minimum three specimens should be tested at each selected age. If strength of any specimen varies by more than 15 percent of average strength, results of such specimen should be rejected. Average of three specimens gives the crushing strength of concrete. The strength requirements of concrete.

Calculations of Compressive Strength

Size of the cube =15cmx15cmx15cm

Area of the specimen (calculated from the mean size of the specimen )=225 cm 2

Characteristic compressive strength(f ck)at 7 days =

Expected maximum load =fck x area x f.s

Range to be selected is ………………… ..

Similar calculation should be done for 28 day compressive strength

Maximum load applied =……….tones = ………….N

Compressive strength = (Load in N/ Area in mm 2) =……………N/mm 2

=……………………….N/mm 2

Reports of Cube Test

  • 1. Identification mark

  • 2. Date of test

  • 3. Age of specimen

  • 4. Curing conditions, including date of manufacture of specimen

  • 5. Appearance of fractured faces of concrete and the type of fracture if they are unusual

Results of Concrete Cube Test

Average compressive strength of the concrete cube = ………….N/ mm 2 (at 7 days)

Average compressive strength of the concrete cube =………. N/mm 2 (at 28 days)

Compressive Strength of Concrete at Various Ages

The strength of concrete increases with age. Table shows the strength of concrete at different ages in comparison with the strength at 28 days after casting.

Age

Strength percent

1

day

16%

3

days

40%

7

days

65%

14

days 90%

28

days 99%

Compressive Strength of Different Grades of Concrete at 7 and 28 Days

Grade of

Minimum compressive strength

Specified characteristic compressive

Concrete

N/mm 2 at 7 days

strength (N/mm 2 ) at 28 days

M15

10

15

M20

13.5

20

M25

17

25

M30

20

30

M35

23.5

35

M40

27

40

M45

30

45