Climbing formwork is a special type of formwork for large vertical concrete structures. Climbing formworks will represent an effective solution for structures that require seamless walls, or their form is very repetitive.
Types of Climbing Forms
There are several types of climbing formwork, depending on the type of building being built. They can move on their own, using hydraulic or electric jacks, commonly known as ‘self –climbing formwork’, or they can be relocated with cranes and other equipments. There is also a gliding formwork,called Slipform, that is similar to self-climbing formwork, but it is moving continuously (when pouring is being made) instead of periodically like the self-climbing formwork, that it is static when pouring is in process.
Crane picked-up jump forms are typically used on buildings of five stories or more; fully self-climbing jump form systems are generally used on structures with more than 20 floor levels.
Components of Climbing Forms
Normally, this type of formwork is constructed from steel members. Concrete form panels are attached to this frame; some of them supported on rollers. After the concrete walls are poured, the formwork is released and moved away from the wall. Then, if self climbing formwork is being used, jacks lift the frame up to the next level or to the next area where it will be used. This is normally a relatively fast procedure. This video will explain in details the process used in the construction using climbing forms.
Once the climbing formwork is in position, the formwork panels are closed, and the next concrete wall is poured. The cycle continues, which is normally three to five days. Faster times have been achieved. However, the limiting factor to faster times is usually the construction of the floor slabs, which are done as a separate process.
Where to Use Climbing Forms
This type of formwork is recommended in large structures like:
Airport Control Towers
High Rise Buildings
Benefits of Using Climbing Formworks
- They usually do not require a crane to move them.
- Increase construction speed is obtained by allowing the vertical and horizontal parts of a building to be built concurrently.
- It minimizes labor time and has a better productivity rate (these systems are designed for repetitive use off the critical path).
- It does not need additional supports to the formwork (it is supported by the walls just poured).
- Normally, they provide an area for use as a scaffold.
- High quality surface finishes can be achieved.
- Can sustain high winds(better productivity on windy days).
- The formwork system is easy to clean and reuse with little formwork waste generated compared to traditional formwork.
- Other protection systems (Screens) can be hung off a big Jump Form and climbed with the system.
- Long lengths can be obtained combining different section for each particular project.
- Some formwork systems can be used at an inclined angle.
- Once the learning curve has passed, performance will be optimized.
- The reduced use of scaffolding and temporary work platforms results in less congestion on site.