When forming bulkheads, footings, foundation walls and other concrete elements having surfaces that will not be exposed to view, expanded metal stiffened by integrally formed ribs is an effective sheathing material. It remains in place, saving the labor of form stripping, and the rough surface bonds well to any concrete cast against it.
Made of galvanized sheet steel, lanced and expanded to form an expanded mesh, the flexible metal panels can be curved by hand and shaped to form keyways at construction joints. For forming footings and walls, installing the expanded-metal panels is similar to installing plywood. Either wood members or rebar can provide support, depending on the application, and the panels are fastened to the supports by nails or tie wire. The leave-in-place forms also work as blind-sided forms in situations where walls must be built very close to existing structures, since there may not be enough clearance for setting and removing conventional formwork.