Karlson Forming Specialties, Amery, Wis., sells and rents a range of forming products, including form liners and rustication (recess) strips of polystyrene, polyurethane and polyethylene. Having a strong sense of forming know-how, owner Larry Karlson goes beyond just supplying forming products; he also helps contractors learn how to use these products properly and cost-effectively. He even works with architects during the design phase to show how the form liner products can contribute to project aesthetics.

On bridges for 7-1/2 miles of freeway bypassing downtown Milwaukee, Karlson has supplied a variety of multiuse polyurethane and single-use expanded polystyrene foam liners. Both types of liners are being used to produce rock texture on various parts of the bridges.

The polystyrene liners, which can produce ribs or rocks with 1-1/2-inch reveal, are used to form ribbed parapets and retaining walls. The single-use expanded polystyrene liners are applied to large heavy-duty gang forms for each pour to provide the ribbed texture. Able to produce deeper textures (up to 4-1/2 inches reveal), the polyurethane liners are used to create deeper reveals and authentic rock simulations.