Frequently Asked Questions
What are the advantages
of Smurfit Concrete Column Forms over other types of concrete forms?
They are economical to use. Minimum bracing is required. They are lightweight
and easy to handle. Can be cut on the job with a handsaw or circular saw.
Single use form eliminates cleaning, re-oiling and storage. Jobs progress
quickly since forms do not have to be reused.
What are the disadvantages
of metal and fiberglass forms?
They are more difficult to use and more expensive. Steel forms are heavier
and require unnecessary man-hours in assembling and setting up. Fiberglass
forms easily lose their round shape. The cost of both requires reuse and
extensive cleaning and re-oiling. Fewer forms may delay progress of the
When are steel and fiberglass
forms more economical to use?
When large quantities of the same diameter columns are to be formed and
the timing of the job allows for the delays necessary to clean and re-oil
When are Smurfit Concrete
Column Forms more economical to use?
When different diameters are to be poured. When the job calls for just
a few columns. When it is important to get the job done quickly and efficiently.
Why are round columns preferred over other shapes of columns?
No sharp corners to chip or break. Less obstruction of view. Easily
Storage and handling
should Smurfit Concrete Column Forms be protected when stored on
the job site?
They should be stored on a platform or supports at least 4" off of
the ground. They should be covered with plastic or a tarp, allowing for
Will an out of round Smurfit
Concrete Column Form "round out" when filled with concrete?
Sometimes, but it cannot be guaranteed.
If a Smurfit Concrete Column
Form is out of round, can it be used?
Yes--for below grade piers or if the user wishes to build bracing in which
the form may be strapped to pull the form into round.
If the Smurfit Concrete
Column Form has a fairly large dent, will the dent straighten out
when filled with concrete?
No. The dent should be removed before the concrete is placed.
What is the length limit
for Light Wall and Medium Wall Smurfit Concrete Column Forms?
Twelve feet is the limit for Light Wall. Eighteen feet is the limit for
Why are Smurfit Concrete
Column Forms and Smurfit Smooth Forms longer than the length
We intentionally make the forms longer than what is specified to compensate
for changes in ambient conditions that may allow the forms to shrink slightly.
If need be, the forms are easily trimmed to the necessary length.
What are the most popular
diameters of Smurfit Concrete Column Forms and Smurfit Smooth Forms?
12", 18" and 24".
Will you furnish custom
lengths of Smurfit Concrete Column Forms and Smurfit Smooth Forms?
Custom lengths are available by special order. Please contact your
dealer for minimum quantities and other restrictions that may apply.
Can Smurfit Concrete Column
Forms be used in water?
What are the basic requirements
for bracing Smurfit Concrete Column Forms?
The form must be securely braced to hold it into position, top and bottom,
as well as making sure it will not bend or break in the middle.
What precautions should
be taken when placing Smurfit Concrete Column Forms several days
prior to use?
The forms must be covered at night and during any rain or snow. The base
of the form should be blocked up to provide drainage at the base so any
accumulation of water will not wick up into the form.
Should the contractor apply
a release agent to the inside surface of Smurfit Concrete Column Forms
or Smurfit Smooth Forms before pouring?
A release agent is not necessary for either product.
What precautions should
be taken when pouring concrete from the top of a very long Smurfit Concrete
It is very important to provide bracing to hold the form in place. When
necessary, elephant trunk should be used in pouring.
What is the minimum stripping
time generally allowed by most architects and engineers?
Typically 24 hours. Unusual ambient conditions may dictate a variance.
What is the easiest method
for stripping a Smurfit Concrete Column Form?
Set a circular saw slightly less than the wall thickness. Cut the form
vertically. Use a knife to cut the inner layer to allow the form to be
If a contractor wishes to
leave the Smurfit Concrete Column Form on the column for an indefinite
time, what should he do?
The form should be stripped in halves and repositioned. Hold the halves
in place with strapping or tie wire.
What method is recommended
to finish concrete columns?
"Rubbing and patching" is the most common method used to remove
the spiral lines and fill in bugholes. The column is first rubbed with
a stone or electric grinder. Then a mixture of cement and water is applied.
Also available are a number of commercial grouts and textures that can
be applied to the column.
How should a concrete column
formed with a Smurfit Concrete Column Form or Smurfit Smooth Form
be prepared for painting?
Some paints may require the concrete column to be etched with an acid
wash prior to painting. Generally this is unnecessary.
What changes to the concrete
mix will minimize the occurrence of bugholes and honeycomb on a concrete
A slightly sandier mix should be used, with a minimum of air-entrainment.
Plasticising additives are also available that will minimize surface defects.
The concrete should be adequately vibrated through out the pouring. Extra
attention should be given to vibrating the concrete at the base of the
Smurfit Smooth Forms
difference between Smurfit Concrete Column Forms and Smurfit Smooth
Smurfit Concrete Column Forms have a thin layer of polyethylene
laminated to the inside ply. This layer is specially formulated to aid
in stripping the form. Smurfit Smooth Forms have a unique coating
applied to the inner ply designed to eliminate the appearance of any spiral
lines in the finished column.
Why are Smurfit Smooth Forms superior to steel and fiberglass
Both steel and fiberglass forms will leave mold marks or seams in
the finished column. Smurfit Smooth Forms will not. Also, fiberglass
forms typically leave a flat spot along the height of the column where
it is joined together.
Does Smurfit Smooth Forms
give a perfectly smooth concrete surface requiring no finish or touch
Smurfit Smooth Forms are designed to eliminate the spiral lines
commonly associated with fiber column forms and imparts an extremely smooth
surface on the finished column. Depending upon the concrete mix and quality
of vibration used in the pouring, common defects, such as bugholes and
honeycomb, may still occur.
What is the easiest method
for stripping a Smurfit Smooth Form?
Set a circular saw to cut down to the blue inner ply. Cut the form vertically.
Use a knife to score the plastic inner ply. Using a pry bar to separate
the inner ply at the score, carefully peel off the form. Be careful not
to gouge the surface of the finished column.
Can the contractor cut a Smurfit Smooth Form to length?
Yes. Unlike other products on the market, Smurfit Smooth Forms are
designed to be recut without cracking or crazing the inner surface. Also
the inconvenience of refitting a plastic liner is eliminated since the
inner surface is firmly adhered to the column form.
When an architect calls
for a concrete column to have a sandblasted finish, why is Smurfit Smooth
When the usual fiber column form is used, spiral ridges are formed in
the concrete column. The added sandblasting needed to remove these ridges
leaves a valley in the surface of the column. Extensive and careful sandblasting
over the remainder of the column is necessary to create a level surface.
Since Smurfit Smooth Forms eliminate the spiral ridges, only a light
sandblasting is needed to create the desired finish.