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Concrete Forms Tips

How To Use Symons Forms

As a pre-engineered concrete forming system, Symons Forms have been used in some of the most iconic buildings around the world. These systems are factory built with impressive reusability, making it an ideal choice for the construction of a variety of structures. Symons forming systems have a highly-regarded reputation around the globe for productive and versatile concrete form structures around the world.

As a complete solution for all your projects, the Symons Forming system can be used to quickly build concrete walls, haunches, stoops, and even pedestals. Available in a wide range of sizes, it can be combined to form a number of structures in any dimensions.

Here are some of the most outstanding qualities of Symons Forms:

  • The allowed pressure can exceed up to 1000 psf (per square foot)
  • The ½ inch HDO plywood structure provides a smooth finish to the concrete
  • There is no need for complex construction tools; a simple hammer can be used to set up the system
  • This forming system can be easily connected with bolts
  • It’s 80% faster to build than custom built plywood forming systems
  • Workers only require simple training to work with this system

Symons Steel Ply forms are of superior quality; the reinforced high-carbon steel frames ensure that the edges stay upright, while corners retain a square shape. This allows the panels to be stacked quickly and with minimum effort.

The plywood has heavy duty overlay with aluminum filled polyurethane edge sealers to ensure durability. The polyurethane sealer also keeps out moisture, which is necessary for avoiding delamination and swelling in the structure.

How It Works

Concrete begins as a semi-solid before manipulation into any shape where it hardens and becomes a solid. Concrete forms like Symons Form Systems are designed to support the drying and curing process as the concrete assumes its necessary shape. These concrete forms create a solid structure that holds the concrete in place while it cures and functions as a barrier against temperature fluctuations, evaporation, and other impacts to concrete as it solidifies. Symons Steel Ply system uses a combination of cross-members and robust steel rails. With its superior ½ inch HDO plywood, Symons Forms Systems has an impressive pressure rating of 1000 psf (per square foot), and a safety ratio of 2:1.

The Steel Ply system can form walls of any shape, or size, for unique and customizable structures. Comprising of over 80 filler sizes and standard panels, Symons Steel Ply trumps custom built plywood formworks in terms of both, productivity and efficiency. Concrete depends on a strong forming system that allows the concrete to cure and manage the pressure or weight it will bear during the construction process and beyond. With larger projects, a massive amount of pressure gets exerted against these concrete forms and rely on a strong and effective forming system to uphold the integrity of the project at hand.

The components below work in sync to create a versatile and durable forming system.

Panels and Fillers

With over 80 panel sizes to choose from, construction workers can build virtually any type of structure easily. The forming system does not have a top or bottom, and can be set up horizontally or vertically. Furthermore, since the dado slots are placed 12 inches towards the center, and 6 inches apart from each end for tie insertion, the need for measuring or drilling for ties is effectively eliminated.


The handles are designed to make transportation, or positioning of individual modular panels, fairly easy. However, these steel ply handles should not be used as attachments or for any purpose besides their designated use.


Wedge Bolts

Wedge bolts connect panels and ties together, eliminating the need for special tools or equipment in the set up process. Two identical wedge bolts work as a single lock-bolt set, connecting and clamping together. However, additional bolts may be needed for walker attachments, scaffold brackets, etc.

Long Bolts

Similar to a wedge bolt, these long bolts connect the 1, 1 ½, and 2-inch steel fillers, and are punched with two ¼ inch holes to make room for 16, or 20, D nails.

Short Bolts

Short Bolts are used to attach the pilaster form to a steel ply form. They eliminate the need for short stop wedge bolts and, upon proper installation, make stripping much easier.

Safety Eyes

Safety eyes can be used to attach safety belts when working on the forming system, and are the perfect replacement for work platforms. While this meets OSHA’s requirements, safety eyes shouldn’t be used as lifting brackets, or attached to single horizontal side rails.

Why Opt for Symons Steel Forms

With exclusively rolled side rails that provide a minimum yield stress of 55,000 psi, Symons Steel formwork is built to last. Symons Steel Forms allow for maximum versatility to form virtually any structure and is the most widely-accepted framework in the industry. Experience the positive benefits of Symons Concrete Forms system across a variety of projects, including industrial work, commercial and residential building, and heavy, non-building structures. Here are a few benefits of using Symons Steel Forms in all your construction projects.

Durable and Reusable

Concrete forming systems are designed with durability and reusability at the forefront. Concrete forms made of steel can be reused at a much higher rate with more durability than its traditional timber formwork counterparts. Reusable forms also help to reduce time and cost on a project. High-reuse systems like steel forms offer a heavy-duty forming system well-suited for heavy lifting capabilities. Symons Forming system can be used up to 200 times, before needing any plywood replacements. It is also available in metric and imperial sizes – with panels and fillers ranging from 60 cm to 300 cm in height, and 10 cm to 55 cm in width.

Time and Cost Savings

Save on time and costs when you invest in a strong and durable system like Symons Concrete Forms. Larger projects with complex requirements depend on a concrete forming system that can handle both complicated layouts and repetitive structural features. Symons Concrete Forms feature a manageable initial cost and are easy to modify and adapt to a variety of projects and structural demands. It is an easy system to set up or strip, and does not require extensive planning or training to deploy. Additionally, fewer ties allows for less labor than other job built frameworks to help cut down on parts and hours. What’s more, with proper care, these steel frames can last up to 20 years or more. These factors make Symons Forms one of the most efficient and economical forming systems in the industry.

Increase in Productivity

Steel frame forming systems have dramatically enhanced productivity in concrete forming since 1955 when Symons Corporation introduced the Steel-Ply System. The entire system is built to be strong and durable. As the same basic components are used to construct different structures, workers can quickly become familiar with the forming system, thereby increasing productivity. Concrete forming technology was designed to enhance overall productivity on the jobsite, and the innovative approach with Symons forms allows for a modular design with a steel frame that are factory-built for high productivity. This highly versatile concrete forming system averages two to three times faster than other application types in the industry. As a pre-built formwork system, Symons Steel-ply forms present a comprehensive solution to all your formwork needs, regardless of the type of construction project you have at hand.  At Forming America, we aim to provide you with quality, effective solutions for projects both large and small. Learn more about how you can experience savings on time and costs while increasing productivity with our durable and reusable Symons concrete forms. Whether you are looking at concrete forms for sale or rent, Forming America has the products you need for a successful project. For any questions regarding formwork usage, application, equipment rentals, or purchase, contact Forming America now!

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