Shuttering or formwork is the term used for temporary timber, plywood, metal, or other material used to provide support to wet concrete mix till it gets strength for self-support. It provides support to horizontal, vertical, and inclined surfaces or also provides support to cast concrete according to the required shape and size. The formwork also produces a desired finish concrete surface.
Shuttering or formwork should be strong enough to support the weight of wet concrete mix and the pressure for placing and compacting concrete inside or on the top of formwork/shuttering. It should be rigid to prevent any deflection on the surface after laying cement concrete and be also sufficient tight to prevent loss of water and mortar from cement concrete.
Shuttering carpenter is responsible for making shutters and assembling system form-work for structures such as columns, beams, slabs, walls, foundations and other similar structures. The candidate should have good knowledge of safe working practices. The main duties of a shuttering carpenter are: Setting out the work area, following engineering plans. Using hand and power tools to cut plywood, wood and assemble shutters/boxes and panels using screws.
Generally, there are three types of shuttering.
* Steel Shuttering
* Wooden Planks Shuttering
* Temporary Brick Masonry Shuttering
Steel shuttering plate is the best type of shuttering because this is watertight shuttering which can bear the load of cement concrete placed on it. This shuttering can be used for horizontal, vertical, or any other shape required for the work. It gives a leveled surface that has a good appearance.
This shuttering gives a good appearance and the pattern works according to architectural drawings. If the plaster is required, the thickness of the plaster will be less. Being water-tight shuttering, the strength of concrete with steel shuttering is comparatively higher.
Wooden Plank Shuttering
Generally, wooden plank shuttering is used by contractors because this shuttering is cheap and easily available. But this type of shuttering affects the strength of concrete and has some disadvantages which are given below.
Disadvantages of Wooden Plank Shuttering
* This is not water-tight shuttering as the size and thickness of planks differ and are not of the same size. Due to this difference the water and cement flow to the ground from joints and reduce the strength of concrete.
* The bottom level of the RCC slab is not in a straight line and the surface is uneven, the thickness of plaster is more which remains weak.
* Due to leakage of cement slurry through joints, earthwork below ’’Ballies’ may settle and create problems.
* In some cases, wooden planks cannot bear the weight of concrete. Due to low strength, there is bending or deflection in wooden planks. Sometimes the planks may break.
Temporary Brick Masonry Shuttering
In some cases, labor contractor uses Temporary Brick Masonry in mud for vertical support of sides of beams, fascia etc.
This shuttering should be avoided. This type of shuttering reduces the strength of cement concrete by soaking cement slurry.
Also, no proper compaction is made as this shuttering does not bear the pressure of the vibrator.
The surface of cement concrete given by this type of shuttering is uneven and the thickness of plaster is increased.
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