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Your Concrete Form Removal Guide

25 Oct 2017, Posted by F.A. in Concrete Facts
concrete forms for sale | Forming America

Searching for extra concrete forms for sale, thinking they will increase your project turnover rate, is a common misconception. However, a great way to reduce costs is by quickly cycling the forms you already own. There are risks to removing the forms too fast, but by taking the necessary precautions, you can effectively balance these risks with reduced expenses. 

Here are some tips on the time required for strength, the testing process, and a removal method that will help increase your formwork turnover rate without compromising the strength of your concrete. 

Removal at the Right Time 

The most important factor in formwork removal is ensuring the concrete is given the proper amount of time to reach the necessary load strength. Size, grade, and temperature all play a pivotal role in determining how early it can be removed. 

Large concrete sections usually strengthen more quickly than smaller ones, but the load bearing needs should also be considered. For example, columns and walls can strengthen in as little as twenty-four hours, while broad, spanning beams can take over three weeks. 

The grade of concrete is also important. The higher the grade, the quicker it will achieve the desired strength. Finally, varying temperatures result in different strengthening time periods. The higher the temperature, the faster it hardens, but an overly fast cure can compromise the long-term durability of your project. Consult an engineer to find the correct temperature for balancing speed and endurance. 

Test, Test, and Test Again 

When you have calculated the appropriate time of removal, it is imperative to administer certain tests to stop any loss of structural integrity. An efficient method for testing your structural member is using a separate concrete cube or cylinder. Cure the test structure and the larger form at the same temperature and moisture.
You can also perform nondestructive tests on the main project to determine its strength. However you choose to test, it is crucial that your concrete can support its own weight and the weight of any loads that it may bear. 

How to Remove 

Now that you have taken the necessary steps to confirm safe formwork removal, it is time to begin the process. First, you should gain the approval on the sequencing and pattern of removal from an engineer if one is available. 

Next, avoid damaging hardened concrete by using wooden wedges instead of crowbars to separate the formwork. Finally, be aware of any honeycombing or shape defects during removal. Catching these issues early can be the difference between a repair and a complete rebuild. 

Efficiently using your formwork can lead to a significant reduction in the amount you need to purchase. Follow this guide to determine you concrete form necessities and begin saving on your next project. For your next concrete project, contact Forming America or call 1-888-933-1304 today.