Spec Formliners, Inc. News

One of Spec Formliners’ specialties lies in the art of custom sign and letter making.

Letters and signs are a common artistic flare on many DOT, local, and even commercial projects. One of the main benefits to using form liner to create this look is that it allows us to detail the tool so that it can be easily dropped into and cast in a form. No dealing with numerous Styrofoam pieces, no aligning and centering in the form, and if you want, no dealing with individual letters.

Additionally, like the Lake Elsinore sign below, one of the advantages of making a sign as a liner is that the lettering can be cut through a texture pattern. Using this technique, letter panels can blend in with the wall pattern texture which gives the sign the striking look of a watermark in concrete.

Spec Formliners, Inc., likes to make sign-making easy.

Recently, we were asked to create a custom palm tree design for the Palmetto Expressway in Florida. The project awarded us the opportunity to implement some new tool making strategies that will increase our range of production capabilities for future projects.

We were able to use our CNC machine to rapidly create templates from customer drawings. Further, because the liner needed to match up to an existing wall, we were able to expertly match photos from the customer and tool our piece to be a direct match to the pre-existing architecture.

Because the extra large panel was designed to minimize seams in the wall, we had to get innovative with our shipping methods as well. To save the customer costly oversized permit fees on a flatbed, our production staff created a triangular brace that allowed us to tilt the panel onto a standard 8′ wide truck. This oversized 120″ x 112″ panel was a challenge from start to finish that allowed both our engineers and production crew to push boundaries and think on their feet!

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The engineers at Spec Formliners, Inc., love when they get the opportunity to work on new ways to apply form liner on a project. So when we received the request to quote concrete fraises to simulate the wooden ones used to protect fortresses, our engineers were instantly intrigued and began working up plans.

This innovative tool (pictured on right) is packaged as a set that is pieced together to make the fraises. The 3 fraise tool allows the contractors to easily cast a manageable amount of fraises at once. Once completed, the concrete fraises will bridge the gap between aesthetics and practicality and will truly illustrate the vast breadth of form liner application. To make inquires about custom tools and applications, click here

Most of Spec Formliners’ plastic liners are shipped in 4’x10′ sheets. Because plastic contracts and expands with heat, it is often necessary for the material to be trimmed. The easiest way to trim the plastic liner is with a circular hand saw (skill saw) with a fine tooth, plywood blade. If the liner is going to be butted up against a rustication strip or a reveal, the blade should be set so it is cutting the liner at a complimentary angle to the reveal.

Temperatures of 140 degrees or higher will cause permanent damage to the elasticity of the liner. The size of the liner can grow or contract 1/16″ in 10′ with every 10 degree change from thermal expansion. Because of the temperature changes, form liners should be applied at the same ambient temperature expected during the placement of the concrete.

For more information on the application process:
Plastic (PDF)
Urethane (PDF)

Spec Formliners, Inc., not only manufacturers a plethora of formliner patterns, but we also specialize in the production of reveals and chamfers.

Our reveals and chamfers are available in both urethane and HDPE. The urethane reveals are perfect for projects that require extra wide reveals or reveals that need to bend.
HDPE produces reveals that are rigid and strong and will produce nice crisp lines.

Reveals are the perfect addition to projects that require a fluted or fractured fin texture, but want to avoid horizontal lines. When applied at the seams in the joints of the form, reveals are the finishing look to a project that maintain the artistic integrity.

Spec Formliners, Inc., like many other companies, has a growing concern for the environment and its resources. To do our part, we re-grind all unused plastic at our factory and send it back to the plastic manufacturer to be recycled into new sheets. In turn, the plastic sheets that we purchase from our supplier are composed of the recycled and re-ground plastic that we’ve kept out of our nation’s landfills. There’s a good chance that the material in the form liner you’re using on your projects has been around the block a few times before!

For a printable version of this information to use for Leed and Green submittals, Click Here

At Spec Formliners, our engineers are constantly being challenged with the task of designing very custom, and some times, very unusual pieces. One of our most recent custom projects was The Pedestal, also affectionately referred to as “that HUGE part!”

When asked to build a giant pedestal for light posts in San Diego County, our engineers boldly stepped up to the challenge. This 6.5′ long, 3.5′ tall, and 4′ wide part required our engineers and production manager to collaborate in order to determine the most cost effective and efficient way to produce the product. The end result, was a functional piece of art.

 

New to the Spec Formliners’ line up is Semi-Elastomeric material, or ElastoSpec Lite. This innovative material bridges the gap between plastic and solid urethane. Meeting state DOT specifications for Elastomeric material, ElastoSpec Lite is a cost effective alternative for solid urethane.

Weighing in on the scales much less than solid urethane, this revolutionary material will save on both production costs as well as freight; the end product is light enough to be lifted by a single person.

This universally utilitarian liner is perfect for both custom sized panels, standard sized panels, and projects that require up to 40-50 re-uses.

nullSpec form liners are designed to work with nearly every forming system and for a variety of applications. Our material options make it easy for Spec’s liners to be adapted to every project.

Deciding on a Material

The form liner application is most important in determining which material will work best for you. Of our two plastic liner options, the multi-use material is best for Cast-In-Place projects, or projects where the liner can be reused multiple times with little cutting, whereas the single-use plastic is best for Tilt-up projects or projects that require no re-use and a lot of cutting. Our urethane is ideal for precast projects, heavy highway projects, and projects that require custom sized or large panels. Additionally, we are now featuring our Semi-Elastomeric material which is perfect for custom shapes and sizes that need fewer re-uses than the urethane would provide.

For more information on the application process:
Plastic (PDF)
Urethane (PDF)

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