What are Common Mistakes in Concrete Forming?
The use of concrete formwork is a fairly delicate process. When done well, concrete forming results in structurally reliable and attractive concrete structures. When done improperly, a lot can go wrong. Formwork fails are not uncommon, and most of them can be prevented by avoiding these ten frequent mistakes in concrete:
1. You’re using the wrong design. This is a big mistake that can cause serious issues. Formwork must be properly designed for the job. Its design must be strong enough to support concrete during pours and vibration and to produce the desired concrete shape. Keep in mind that sometimes the load bearing capacity of forms can decrease over time after several uses. Formwork should be carefully inspected before it is used to ensure its capabilities have not changed.
2. Forms are assembled or erected incorrectly. If formwork is assembled on-site, it should be done so according to pre-established specifications and protocol for the project. Pre-engineered forms should be thoroughly inspected to make sure they are assembled according to the recommendations of their manufacturer. Proper installation of formwork according to manufacturer recommendations as well as project requirements is also critical.
3. Components are damaged or defective. Form components should be damage and corrosion free before formwork is used, particularly if using them will result in insufficient connections. If they are not in the best shape, they should be swapped out with different components.
4. Forms are removed too early. Concrete must properly cure prior to the removal of forms. If they are removed too early, there is a significant risk that the structural integrity of the concrete will be negatively affected.
5. The foundation is weak. If a formwork foundation is weak, it may not be able to transfer the load to the ground. This may be the case if a foundation is on weak subsoil or if concrete pads or piles are not strong and supportive enough. A weak foundation may result in a collapse of formwork.
6. Shoring is done improperly. If this happens, impact loads from factors like concrete debris may result in a collapse of vertical shores during a concrete pour. Shoring should be done in a way that creates a continuous load path from forms to their foundation.
7. Formwork isn’t inspected before use. Formwork should be inspected before it’s assembled, after it’s assembled, after it’s installed, and right before a concrete pour begins to prevent any issues.
8. Forms aren’t properly oiled before and after use. A release agent should be applied to formwork before a concrete pour begins and after the concrete cures and the formwork is removed. Neglecting to use a release agent can damage formwork and negatively impact its ability to safely and effectively perform its job.
9. Formwork isn’t adequately monitored during a concrete pour. The unexpected can happen during a pour. And no matter how well formwork is inspected beforehand, something may still go wrong. It’s very important to keep a close eye on forms while they are being filled with concrete.
10. Formwork is overloaded during concrete pouring. This is another reason to closely monitor forms during a pour. If formwork is overloaded, a collapse is a definite possibility and could cause serious issues.
Get the most out of your formwork by avoiding the mistakes above, and be sure to take good care of your forms with proper, regular maintenance!
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