Larger hollow slabs, such as garage floors or house foundations, may require the use of an electric concrete trowel.
The concreting process requires certain steps to ensure that the concrete does not lose its shape during curing. Aluminum formwork is a type of material used to help concrete hold the form until it is solid and can hold the form on its own. The term “formwork” refers to panels that can be arranged to form a mold; “falsework” refers to posts, connectors, and other hardware that hold forms together. The aluminum formwork is made of light metal and is easy to transport, assemble, disassemble and clean.
There are also other types of formwork; Steel and plywood are the most commonly used types of shapes. Aluminum formwork is advantageous, however, because it is durable yet lightweight and easy to assemble. Plywood can, however, be susceptible to water damage and can also warp; steel can be heavy, difficult to position and difficult to store and transport. Aluminum formwork avoids these pitfalls, although it has its own drawbacks. Aluminum is a very rigid and brittle metal that has a tendency to crack when bent. Steel is more resistant to these types of damage, but tends to be more expensive than steel.
To ensure structural rigidity, the aluminum formwork will be built in pieces. Modular panels can be connected to each other to create various concrete shapes. The panels need to be fixed together to prevent concrete from getting between them; this is done using falsework. In some cases, aluminum formwork can be used in conjunction with other types of formwork materials, most notably certain types of plywood that are resistant to water damage. Steel components are sometimes used in conjunction with aluminum shapes for durability and stability. Jacks are often made of steel as well, because these units withstand a significant amount of stress during use.
Like other types of formwork, aluminum formwork can be purchased or rented. You can rent forms for small and medium-sized projects; if the user will carry out concrete projects frequently, it is better to buy forms that can be reused. Aluminum is a good choice because it is generally cheaper than other types of formwork, is easily stored and transported, and can be easily cleaned between uses to ensure the panels can be used in future projects. The thickness of the aluminum will usually dictate which projects the shapes will be best suited for.