People who work with concrete know that creative forming is essential for a high-quality finished product. It can sometimes be the most arduous part of concrete work, especially when curves and circles are involved.
Now there's a totally new concept in radius concrete forming. It's called Xtra-Flex, and it will be introduced at the World of Concrete industry trade show in January 2007.
Created by Metal Forms Corp., the new system is designed to be extremely flexible so it can form extra-tight radii, returns and circles. A standard 10-foot length can easily form a circle 38 inches in diameter and can be further bent to achieve a radius as small as six inches. The standard 10-foot length will be available in both 4-inch and 6-inch heights.
Xtra-Flex is made out of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which does not absorb water and will not rot or splinter. That means there is no need to constantly replace materials that disintegrate with repeated nailing and exposure to harsh job site conditions. The stake pockets and end connections are made of special analysis steel, which means they will last virtually forever. Contractors traditionally use less durable and more labor-intensive materials such as Masonite, plywood, or "bender board."
There are several advantages to the new Xtra-Flex system. It is more durable — it can be used well over 100 times. It is easy to set and strip, it makes grade adjustment easy and quick, and its splice-type steel end connections make convenient and tight joints between forms, with no leakage. The Xtra-Flex system is also easily maintained — just spray form oil on it before use and hose it off afterwards.
The 10-foot-long forms are predrilled with holes on 1-foot centers for easy positioning of the bolt-on steel stake pockets required in various subgrade conditions. Each stake pocket has an easy-grip locking knob for securing the form to either a 3/4-inch or 7/8-inch diameter stake. There's no need for nailing to set forms or nail removal to strip forms. The stake pockets locking knobs also permit fast vertical adjustments of the form without tools.