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Difference between Formwork and Falsework in Construction

Formwork and falsework are supports that helps in concrete pouring and the formation of the concrete to the desired shape. Both the words are used around the site throughout the time. But, both formwork and false work differ extensively in terms of their roles and process. 

Figure-1. Formwork for Column Construction
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Formwork consists of moulds that are temporarily located to facilitate concrete pouring and give it a desired shape, until it sets and hardens.

Falsework in construction are temporary supports that support the structural unit until it sets and is able to support themselves. Props and scaffoldings are examples of Falsework.


Formwork can be made out of different materials like timber, plywood, steel, aluminium and plastics.

Falsework can be made of any range of materials given that it stays strong enough for a longer period. Aluminium or steel systems are nowadays used. Timber is the traditional material for Falsework.


The main objective of formwork is to facilitate proper concrete casting, its setting process.

Falsework serve the objective to take the loads and the stresses safely so that the structure remain supported, even when the structure can’t stay by its own.

Figure-2: Falsework in Bridge Construction 
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Formwork and falsework together act as a system to create straight or curve concrete structures. Falsework are used to support the formwork in the construction of new structures or for the renovation of structures to support the existing structure.

Both formwork and falsework play an important role in construction to ensure the structural integrity and desired architectural design of the finished product.

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