When talking about concrete structures, a formwork represents almost half the price. It’s a good thing that a concrete formwork is durable and can be used several times, given proper upkeep and maintenance. Here are some of the ways that you can do in order to lengthen the life, as well as the practicality of your formwork.
Carefully Strip the Form
Pry bars or metal bars need not to be utilized on plywood as they can damage the edge and panel surface. Instead, you can opt to use wood wedges- tapping them gradually when needed.
Clean and Apply some Release Agents
After the removal, plywood forms need to be checked for wear, should be repaired and cleaned. It should also be spot-primed, re-finished, and slightly treated using a form release agent before you use it again. Make use of a stiff fiber-brush and hardwood wedge for cleaning. Do not use a metal brush as this can cause the wood fibers to wool.
Apply Release Agents and Sealants as Directed
Release agents and sealant coatings for plywood can increase the life of the form and help in stripping. There are some panels that need just a light coating. Apply the form release agent days before you use the plywood.
Identify the Difference between Coatings and Release Agents
Coatings and release agents could affect the concrete and forms differently. Thus, make sure that you choose a release agent while keeping in mind its effects on the surface of the finished concrete. For instance, there are some types of release agents like silicones or waxes that should not be used where the concrete is to be painted.
Patch and Repair the Forms
For prefabricated forms, the plywood panel can be upturned if its gets damaged. Make sure that the tie holes are patched with plugs, metal plates, or plastic materials. The nails need to be detached and fill the holes with plastic wood, patching plaster, or other materials.
Handle and Keep the Forms Properly
Be very careful so you can prevent denting, panel chipping, and corner damage during the time of handling. Most importantly, you should never drop the panels. The forms need to be piled flat, back to back, and face to face. They should also be cleaned directly after stripping and should be solid stacked.
Take into Consideration the Effects of Chemicals and Admixtures
Many pozzolans and admixtures increase the alkalinity and abrasiveness of the concrete. While phenolic overlays and wood resist abrasion and alkaline solutions, some of the admixtures can greatly reduce the lifespan of the concrete formwork panel.
There are so many things that need to be considered as far as maintenance and proper upkeep is concerned. Following these tips would ensure the best life span and usage of the forms.