What Are Gang Forms? How They Work and How to Use Them
Traditional construction methods can be very labor-intensive and even result in delays. Choosing to use gang forms can help streamline the process, reduce demand for labor, and offer high-quality work. When you see various construction projects going on around the city, you may spot tall cranes at worksites. Gang form construction utilizes these powerful tower cranes to bring in a pre-set formwork system that will create the concrete exterior of the building. This type of gang form system is known as a climbing formwork system. Gang forms can work within two to four floors of the building under construction. Innovation in methods of construction allows for gang forms to offer a faster, more cost-effective option than traditional methods while still providing strong and durable results.
What Are Gang Forms & How to Use Them in Construction
Gang form construction is becoming increasingly popular with contractors, especially with large building specs and accelerated projects. Gang forms include several forms pre-joined together that are set by a crane because they are often too large and heavy to be handled manually. This allows for increased options in length, weight, and other factors. Gang form systems include sheathing, studs, wales, stiff backs, angle braces, ties, and safety equipment. Larger gang form sections may also require a spreader beam for better distribution of lifting forces.
Gang forms involve creating concrete walls by combining large steel form places and the working deck system into monolithic arrays. These gang forms create a mold for the concrete pours that can function with greater versatility and capacity and result in a better appearance of the finished work. Pieces of formwork are designed and pre-set before arriving for construction. The gang forms are equipped with appropriate scaffolding and dangle from a crane cable. The tower crane operators partner with workers on the ground to guide the form sections into proper positioning.
Different Types of Gang Form in Construction
Concrete forming with gang forms creates a solid barrier used to encase wet concrete that will cure and then become firm. Different types of gang form concrete will depend on a number of factors, including durability, strength, and application. Various types of gang forms will contain concrete effectively while it cures, though the best type of systems for your application may differ in materials and process. The oldest and most common method in construction is using wood to form concrete. Manufactured forms are increasingly used for walls and large structures, typically involving engineered wood or metal sheets in between metal framing. Concrete gang form systems offer the most heavy-duty option with plywood faces and steel or aluminum frames. However, regardless of what type of gang form is used in construction, proper installation plays a significant role in the appearance and strength of the final product.
What Is the Difference Between Panel Formwork and Gang Formwork?
When forming concrete in construction, you can use either panel formwork or gang formwork. Panel formwork typically works best for projects designed on a smaller scale where panels can be easily formed and placed on site. Panel formwork involves individual panels that you put together manually, whereas a gang of panels is already assembled into a group. Gang forms are pre-assembled into a certain shape to fit the desired specs and application, so you do not have to form them individually to get the desired shape. Individual panels for panel framework will need to be locked together to reach the necessary angle. Gang forms can be joined together at the ground level, and a tower crane can fly them into place already set in sections. Sections of gang form systems can also be kept together and re-used, which allows for increased productivity and a reduction of labor demands on the project.
Advantages & Limitations of Gang Forms
There are many advantages to gang wall forms on a construction site. When individual panels or forms are grouped together into sections ahead of time, they are easier to move and handle. Some of the easiest applications for gang forms include long low walls because gangs can be pre-set with long lengths and without pressure or demand on manual labor. Cranes, rollers, dollies, trailers, or other mechanical means can move gang sections at the site. Here are five advantages to gang forms when used in construction.
Reduce demand and cost of labor by using gang forms because the process involves pre-set formwork and mechanical means to move these larger forms into place.
Traditional methods of formwork do not have any safety components and thus require scaffolding systems that increase labor demand and use up time. Gang form systems do not require scaffolding or additional safety measures due to the type of process it requires.
Traditional wooden formwork gets discarded after the concrete has cured and formed. Reduce construction waste and time with gang forms because they can be re-used over and over again.
Gang forms are also cheaper than traditional construction methods because of the cost of labor, materials, and reusability. You also don’t have to spend money on warehouse space and storage for additional materials like scaffolding.
Gang forms also allow for more versatile designs when builders are looking to complete projects faster and more efficiently. Gang forms can also be designed at a larger size and then reduced if necessary.
Is Using Gang Forms Worth It?
Using gang forms as a method of construction will help builders complete projects faster and more efficiently than with traditional building practices. At Forming America, we offer three gang form systems, including LOGIK, Rapid Clamp (Alisply), and Horizontal Steel-Ply Gangs. Call or visit us online to learn more about our products and determine which products will work best for your needs and applications. Get all your forming, shoring, and scaffolding equipment needs from Forming America, the most reliable source to help you get the job done.