The Indian construction industry has been witnessing a constant influx of new technologies over the last two decades. Perhaps in no other field have we witnessed the entry of newer concepts and technologies than in the case of formwork and scaffolding systems. The constant evolution of the form work industry makes for interesting reading. The entry of new types of formwork is more often than not dictated by project design trends and contractors who need to respond quickly to the latest demands from project owners and developers. Manufacturers of formwork also need to keep an eye on other factors such as design flexibility of their systems so that the form work can be used in various combinations as well as safety. Aluminum form work, with its versatile performance attributes, fulfilling all these requirements has emerged as one of the top choices of contractors these days.
Evolution of Aluminum Formwork for Mass Housing &High Rise Construction
There is no denying the market potential of aluminum formwork in India. With the country in the midst of its biggest infrastructure building streak and its burgeoning real estate needs, this type of formwork has tremendous market potential in India. Aluminum formwork already enjoys good patronage in countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, China and the Middle East. As mentioned above, apart from the continuous thrust on infrastructure projects, good news in the form of mass housing projects encouraged by the government, ‘smart cities’ initiative and spurt in high-rise construction ( aluminum form work is ideally suited this type of construction) augur well for the manufacturers.
Another key factor that makes them better suited for high-rise construction is their ability to enable superior load bearing construction. The lightweight nature of the formwork assemblies, typically used in high-rise construction, can be shifted easily onto the next level with minimal labor and equipment requirement.
Another area wherein aluminum formwork scores high is the fact that it has lesser joints. Lesser joints ensure a smoother concrete surface. The smoother surface and higher degree of accuracy ensure significant cost savings in case of wall panels. The uniform surface of walls also eliminates the need for internal and external plastering, which once again adds to the savings. Since wall panels constitute a majority of work in mass housing as well as high-rise projects, this key factor makes aluminum form work a preferred choice for such projects.
Some of the top names in fray offering a variety of aluminum formwork systems include MFS Formwork Systems Pvt. Ltd, MFE Formwork, Morficon system, Ihita Engineering, Einstechnik Formwork.
– 90% of the aluminum formwork is driven by a Simple Pin and Wedge System which passes through holes in the outside rib of each panel and helps the panels fit in precisely.
– It requires no bracing and can be managed with only a hammer.
– When panels are numbered measuring is not required
– During the erection process manual tower cranes are freed up thereby saving time.
– Results are same as 3 to 4 day cycle for floor-to-floor construction
– Aluminum Formwork can be used to construct any architectural shape and for forming cast in place reinforced concrete structures.
– By using aluminum formwork all elements such as walls, floor slabs, columns, beams, balconies and doors can be cast in a single site based operation.
– Shorter construction time
– Tolerances value is uniform
Safety in Errection & Shuttering Operations
Providing working platforms along with safety accessories during Errection and Striking of eliminates the use unnecessary scaffolding used in traditional construction methods. Two levels of working platform and integrated brackets to support walkways on external surfaces can avoid separate scaffolding for safety during the shuttering operations too.
Challenges to Surmount
While there is no denying the growth potential of aluminum formwork industry, what is also true is that there are certain challenges that need to be surmounted for it to attain a faster growth rate. Increasing cost of raw material, sales tax and excise duty, for example, are key factors that have been known to a hindrance to the growth story of the Indian formwork industry. According to industry analysts, the least that the government can do is to help suppliers procure raw materials at reasonable rates that would go a long way in helping them keep their prices competitive.
The Indian formwork industry is en-tering a crucial phase. With the economy showing signals of reviving, demand is ex-pected to be consistent in the near future. The emergence of new markets in the form of the smaller cities and towns also augurs well for the industry. Specialized application areas such as high-rise construction and complex geometries that are involved in infrastructure and real estate projects are all adding to the demand. The mass housing revolution waiting to happen in India is another avenue that manufacturers are waiting to tap into. With almost every leading global player in the field in fray, as mentioned earlier, it could mark the beginning of an eventful period for the aluminum form work market segment.