Formwork Solutions

Concrete is one of the most versatile and widely used building materials in the world. It is used to build a variety of structures, from skyscrapers and bridges to monuments and dams. However, concrete cannot stand alone. It must be poured into a specific type of mold. This is where templates come in.

What is formwork?

Formwork is a mold for pouring and shaping fresh concrete. Formwork, which can be permanent or temporary, holds poured concrete and shapes it until it sets and becomes strong enough to support itself and other loads.

Formwork is also called "shuttering". However, in some parts of the world, formwork refers to the use of plywood or wood to create molds.

Formwork systems can be classified based on the following parameters:

Type of material used to make the mold (plastic, steel, wood, aluminum)

Types of concrete structures it supports (slabs, columns, walls)



If you desire a formwork frame that matches the strength, durability, and reliability of steel but without the weight, aluminum emerges as an excellent choice. Its lightweight nature and non-hygroscopic properties prevent warping or shrinking. Moreover, its reusability factor allows for multiple applications, enabling you to curtail construction expenses while optimizing cost-effectiveness.

Beyond these core benefits, employing aluminum formwork frames yields additional advantages:

Accelerated Construction: Aluminum's lightweight composition, coupled with minimal crane dependency, expedites construction projects. This acceleration translates to time and labor savings, ultimately reducing overall costs.

Enhanced Surface Protection: Aluminum formwork frames can be powder-coated, creating a surface that is resistant to impacts and scratches. This feature ensures durability and facilitates easy cleaning.

Cost-Effective for Symmetrical Structures: Particularly advantageous for projects involving numerous symmetrical structures, aluminum formwork provides a cost-effective solution.

Facilitates Quick Assembly: The inclusion of welding nuts allows for the swift and straightforward assembly of accessories such as brackets and guardrails.

Reusability and Maintenance: Aluminum formwork can be repaired and refurbished multiple times, contributing to its longevity and cost-effectiveness. Its low adhesion to concrete compared to other materials further enhances its usability.


Steel formwork comprises panels crafted from thin steel sheets with hollow profiles, typically connected by assembly locks, bolts, and nuts. Despite an initial higher cost that may impact the project budget, the long-term savings afforded by steel formwork, owing to its reusability, make it a cost-effective choice. Alongside this, steel formwork offers several noteworthy advantages:

Strength and Durability: Steel formwork is inherently stronger and more durable compared to alternative formwork types, ensuring stability and longevity.

Corrosion Resistance: Through powder coating and hot-dip galvanization, steel formwork is shielded from corrosion and rapid wear and tear, enhancing its resilience.

Efficient Installation and Disassembly: Quick installation and disassembly, facilitated by the use of a crane, contribute to time and labor savings during construction.

Dimensional Stability: Steel formwork does not succumb to shrinkage or warping, maintaining its structural integrity over time.

Longevity: With a prolonged lifespan, steel formwork provides enduring support for multiple construction cycles.

Cost Reduction for Symmetrical Structures: Particularly advantageous for projects involving multiple symmetrical structures, steel formwork aids in reducing overall costs.

Facilitated Assembly: Similar to aluminum formwork, the inclusion of welded nuts eases the assembly of accessories such as brackets and guardrails.

High Fresh Concrete Pressure Tolerance: Utilizing wall formwork, steel formwork allows for a maximum allowable fresh concrete pressure of up to 100 kN/m².

Reduced Adhesion to Concrete: Steel formwork exhibits less adhesion to concrete, simplifying the demolding process.

Repair and Refurbishment: Capable of being repaired and refurbished multiple times, steel formwork contributes to sustainable and cost-effective construction practices.

While acknowledging the initial expense and the need for appropriate lifting equipment, the long-term benefits of steel formwork make it a reliable and enduring solution for various construction projects.

3. Plastic

Plastic formwork stands out as an innovative solution, assembled from interlocking lightweight yet robust plastic panels or modular systems. Designed for concrete pouring applications ranging from foundations and small walls to columns and pillars, plastic formwork shares similarities with aluminum formwork, particularly in its lightweight nature, eliminating the need for a crane. Moreover, plastic formwork often features a plastic finish. Despite its lower allowable fresh concrete pressure compared to metal formwork, plastic formwork offers distinct advantages:

Versatility in Applications: Plastic formwork is suitable for a variety of concrete pouring needs, including foundations, small walls, columns, and pillars.

Lightweight Construction: Similar to aluminum formwork, the lightweight nature of plastic formwork obviates the need for a crane during assembly and disassembly.

Attractive Plastic Finish: Many plastic formwork systems come with a plastic finish, adding an aesthetic dimension to the constructed elements.

Low Fresh Concrete Pressure: While the allowable fresh concrete pressure is relatively lower compared to metal formwork, plastic formwork remains effective for various construction scenarios.

Ease of Connection: Although not as stable and torsionally stiff as metal formwork, plastic formwork compensates by requiring more parts for secure connection and alignment, ensuring structural integrity.

Reduced Labor Time: The need for additional connecting parts, while addressing stability concerns, does increase labor time. However, the lightweight and modular nature of plastic formwork often makes up for this by simplifying the overall construction process.


1. Plywood

Plywood formwork veneer is often used with wood and comes in different thicknesses and sizes. It is generally less expensive than steel veneer. It is also lightweight and can be reused multiple times.

To create a plywood formwork finish, glue resin-bonded plywood to any formwork panel. However, while plywood veneer is strong and generally reliable, it is not as durable as steel veneer. Since it's made of wood, it absorbs moisture and is prone to swelling and warping.

2. Steel

Steel formwork veneer is ideal for round or curved structures. Additionally, it is often used on large projects and when builders want to reuse the formwork multiple times. If applied properly and with the right release agent, steel formwork veneer can produce an excellent exposed concrete surface.

3. Plastic

Some of the most notable qualities of plastic faced formwork are their durability and high load-bearing capacity. It's also lightweight and sustainable since it can be repaired and reused.

Types of formwork used in concrete structures

1. Column Formwork

Column formwork is an essential component in the construction industry, facilitating the creation of both circular and rectangular columns with precision and efficiency. Unlike conventional methods, our approach to column formwork transcends the basic understanding of the process, ensuring a comprehensive and insightful perspective.

Circular columns, for instance, are typically constructed using formwork sections designed with a "closed load transmission" mechanism. This innovative feature relies on the formwork's design and guaranteed tensile strength rather than traditional ties, enhancing stability and structural integrity. Steel formwork emerges as a preferred material for circular columns due to its economic viability and availability in incremental dimensions. Alternatively, for single-use scenarios, disposable forms can be employed, though caution is advised when constructing multiple circular columns to optimize cost-effectiveness.

Rectangular columns present a diverse set of specifications, prompting the utilization of three distinct systems based on project requirements. Classic timber girders with steel walers and a plywood facing become the method of choice for constructing numerous columns with unique dimensions. The windmill system, composed of columns or multipurpose panels from frame formwork systems, proves ideal for single columns with standard dimensions. For columns with significant heights, a foldable column formwork emerges as a highly efficient solution. This type integrates essential components such as panels, connecting devices, ladders, and access platforms, streamlining the construction process and ultimately reducing both time and costs for builders.

2. Wall Formwork

Wall formwork is a crucial element in the realm of construction, providing the necessary framework for the creation of vertical structures such as walls with precision and efficiency. Our comprehensive understanding and utilization of wall formwork transcend the basics, ensuring an insightful and advanced approach to this integral construction process.

Wall formwork is primarily employed to mold and shape concrete walls, offering versatility in accommodating various wall dimensions, shapes, and structural requirements. It plays a pivotal role in ensuring the stability and uniformity of the concrete structure, contributing to the overall strength and durability of the finished building.

One of the key features of our wall formwork is its adaptability to different types of walls, including straight walls, curved walls, or walls with complex geometries. This adaptability is achieved through a modular design that allows for easy assembly and disassembly, ensuring flexibility in meeting diverse project specifications.

Materials used in wall formwork are carefully selected to meet the demands of construction projects. Common materials include plywood, steel, aluminum, and composite materials. The choice of material depends on factors such as the required surface finish, load-bearing capacity, and the number of times the formwork will be reused.

3. Slab Formwork

Slab formwork refers to the temporary structure or mold used to support and shape concrete slabs during the construction process. This formwork system is crucial for creating a solid and even surface for the slab. The slab formwork typically consists of a framework of horizontal and vertical supports, often made of wood, steel, or aluminum, along with formwork panels that contain the poured concrete.

4. Climbing Formwork

Climbing formwork is a construction technique used to build vertical structures like walls, cores, or columns, typically in high-rise buildings. This method involves a formwork system that is designed to climb vertically along with the structure as the construction progresses. Climbing formwork allows for efficient and safe construction of tall structures by eliminating the need to dismantle and reassemble formwork for each level.

5. Customized Formwork

Custom formwork systems are designed and manufactured specifically to meet the individual requirements of a project. Typically used on concrete structures with complex construction requirements that cannot be accomplished using standard formwork systems alone. A combination of the following factors can help builders determine whether special forms are needed to complete a project:

Building shape and size

Location coordinates

The carrying capacity of the template

concrete surface quality

On-site infrastructure/logistics

Construction Schedule

On-site weather conditions

Formwork plays a vital role in the construction of concrete buildings. Because they help ensure the stability and reliability of a project, it makes sense to choose a formwork system made from quality materials and designed for maximum efficiency and reliability.

At Zolo, our goal is to provide our customers with formwork that is safe, efficient and easy to use. Whether you need formwork for a small residential project or a large-scale commercial development, we are here to help. If you would like more information about our products and services, please fill out the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.