Formwork supplies are used to create temporary or permanent structures that act as a mold in which concrete can be poured and secured as it sets. Different types of formwork supplies are used for different types of concrete projects, but in general, there are two major classifications of components: the forms themselves, and falsework. Falsework is any component that acts as a temporary support to hold up the forms, or panels, that give the concrete shape. The panels can be made from a variety of materials, the most common of which include steel, plywood, and plastic.
Plywood formwork supplies generally include only plywood components that are water resistant. The plywood panels may feature laminate faces that help prevent the concrete from adhering to the panels, or the plywood may otherwise be treated to resist water damage. Such panels are commonly used for smaller concrete pouring projects, as well as some moderately sized projects, though larger concrete structures will usually require the use of steel formwork supplies, both in terms of the panels and the falsework. Concrete can become exceptionally heavy, which means heavy-duty panels that will not yield to the weight must be used.
Falsework will generally include any support, brace, or coupler that helps give the formwork structure strength and stability. Some types of steel falsework are telescopic, which means the steel bars can be adjusted for length or height, and then fixed in place to adequately brace panels or other falsework. Other types of falsework components are fixed in size, but they can be moved easily and adjusted to conform to a specific design for a concrete structure. Couplers and rods are often used to connect formwork panels together, as well as various pieces of formwork to each other. The amount of formwork supplies necessary will depend on the size of the concrete structure being built as well as the type of formwork panels being used to create the molds.
Roadform is another type of formwork that is generally used to create slabs or other flat structures. These long, steel panels are connected with couplers that ensure the face of the forms are straight and flat at all times. Roadforms can be stacked vertically to a certain extent, but for taller concrete structures, larger steel or plywood panels are likely to be used. For extremely large projects, permanent forms may be used; these forms may be made from steel or even plastic composites.