Form-A-Tube™ - Infrastructure Innovation by Prof. Mo Ehsani
Form-A-Tube™ is the latest product developed by Prof. Mo Ehsani that can greatly simplify some of the tasks regularly encountered in the construction industry. Unless conventional forms that are made with cardboard and must be discarded in landfills after one use, Form-A-Tube™ is made from recycled products and can be used many times — making it a green and sustainable product for the construction industry. The product has two distinct applications as described below.
Reusable Concrete Form
In this case the strips of Form-A-Tube™ are cut to the desired length and snapped together with the smooth surface facing inward to create a form for casting concrete columns, posts, etc. The form can be removed after the concrete hardens and it the PVC strips can be cleaned and stored for reuse in the future. The smooth surface of the panels prevents them from bonding to concrete while providing a very smooth finished concrete surface for the column. When it is necessary to repair a column or piling in an existing building or bridge, the panels can be wrapped around the existing column to create an annular space that can be filled with concrete or grout.
In this application, for example for repair of damaged submerged piles, the Form-A-Tube™ panels will be wrapped around the existing column with the protrusions facing towards the column. The last panel is snapped in place to create a tube around the pile or column. The annular space between Form-A-Tube™ and the pile is filled with grout or concrete. The protrusions will engage and lock into the freshly cast grout to form a unified structure. The Form-A-Tube™ shell provides a beautiful smooth exterior surface and the shell will prevent moisture intrusion, the leading cause of corrosion.
In both applications, zip-ties or ratchet straps can be wrapped at 2-ft intervals along the height of the shell for added safety; these can be removed once the grout or concrete hardens.