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A Novel Funicular Arched Steel Truss (FAST) False-work

Design of a Novel Funicular Arched Steel Truss (FAST) False-work that is expected to be widely used within the construction industry

Published: 26th February 2019
A Novel Funicular Arched Steel Truss (FAST) False-work
Please note, header image is purely illustrative. Source: dimitrisvetsikas1969, pixabay, CC0


Commercially available false-work systems used in construction projects that requires concrete pouring represent a considerable amount of construction budget. These systems are characterized by their heavy weight, long time needed for erection, high initial cost and short life cycle of the systems. In addition, these systems also require big trucks and large cranes to transport them from, to and within the site. Further, their manufacturing process is associated with intensive energy consumption. The design of these systems prevent the flow of workers, materials and equipment underneath the system.

The frequent use of the aforementioned systems forces the manufacturers to develop the techniques used in the installation of these systems. The development of these techniques includes adding more accessories to increase the control over the quality of the poured concrete members. However, the characteristics of these systems can be changed by developing the design of the false-work systems. The design should be changed in order to target some of these characteristics without affecting the structural integrity of the false-work system used to support the work on top of it. The developing of a new design shouldn’t target adding more accessories to the commercially available system, however, it should target the structural concept followed to develop the physical form of the system that will change the characteristics and their effect on the cost, time and the environmental impact of the system.

Technology Overview

The FAST system depends on developing a new false-work system depending on the concept of the funicular arch. It decreases the cost of the false-work as it uses less material and therefore needs lower initial cost than the commercially available systems. Further, the new system is environmentally friendly as it achieves a range between 45% and 51% saving in the amount of CO2 emitted to air due to the use of less material. The savings in the material used in the FAST system ranges between 45% to 51% depending on the covered area and it also provides more space in the construction site for the materials, equipment and workers to move underneath the system. The system also decreases the time needed for erection by range between 67% and 80% depending on the area and consequently helps in saving time and cost. To prove all of these advantages, experimental work is conducted on full scale models to study the structural characteristics and constructability of the system.

Stage of Development

Structural testing under primary loads.

Figure 1


The lightweight of the new FAST system is very advantageous from the following perspectives:

  • The lighter weight is reflected in lower material costs of the steel used in the fabrication.
  • As most workmanship in the steel manufacturing industry is paid per unit weight of the steel structure, the labor cost will also be reduced due to the reduction in the total weight.
  • The lightweight system makes it easier to transport the system to and within the site because more units can be transported by the same cars used to transport the older systems.
  • The erection time of the FAST system is significantly less than that of commercially available false-work systems.
  • FAST eliminates the need for wooden stringers as the joists are directly supported on the FAST false-work system. Hence, further reducing erection time and reducing cost of a major part of wooden formwork.
  • FAST creates greater and safer paths for the workers who will have enough space to pass under the system.
  • FAST allows for storage of a considerable number units in space that is less than space needed for the commercially available systems.
  • Significantly reduces the amount of steel used. Hence, less energy will be used to produce the steel and fewer CO2 emissions will be emitted.


Design of a Novel Funicular Arched Steel Truss (FAST) False-work that is expected to be widely used within the different levels and sectors of the construction industry.


  • Available for exclusive and non-exclusive licensing
  • Exclusive/non-exclusive evaluation for defined period (set up for options).
  • Collaborative/supportive research
  • Non-Provisional application filed on 08/12/2019. Application number: 16/620520
IP Status
  • Patent application submitted
  • Development partner
  • Commercial partner
  • Licensing
  • University spin out
  • Seeking investment