A formwork system is defined as ‘‘the total system of support for freshly placed concrete including the mold or sheathing which contacts the concrete as well as supporting members, hardware, and necessary bracing.’’ Formwork system development has paralleled the growth of concrete construction throughout the twentieth century. As concrete has come of age and been assigned increasingly significant structural tasks, formwork builders have had to keep pace. Form designers and builders are becoming increasingly aware of the need to keep abreast of technological advancements in other materials fields in order to develop creative innovations that are required to maintain quality and economy in the face of new formwork challenges.
Formwork was once built in place, used once, and subsequently wrecked. The trend today, however, is toward increasing prefabrication, assembly in large units, erection by mechanical means, and continuing reuse of forms. These developments are in keeping with the increasing mechanization of production in construction sites and other fields.