Only certified formwork systems are allowed to bear the quality seal "GSV geprüft"


“GSV geprüft” quality seal guarantees product quality and safety at work

Güteschutzverband Betonschalungen e.V. promotes independent certification at BAUMA 2013

Among the greatest successes of Güteschutzverband Betonschalungen e.V. has been the “GSV geprüft” (GSV-tested) quality seal, which was introduced in 1995. It has established itself on the market as a symbol for high-quality and safe formwork products. At this year's BAUMA, the association strove once more to draw the attention of national and international manufacturers and users in particular to the need for this type of seal and campaigned for independent certification.

“The challenges facing our association as an authority seeking to inform and promote quality are more important today than ever before,” maintains the association's chairman, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christoph Motzko (TU Darmstadt). “Formwork manufacturers from various regions are an increasing threat with their inferior-quality formwork and copied products on the formwork market.” This product piracy damages not only the reputation of respectable manufacturers. Worse still: on construction sites, the use of inferior formwork products also leads to flagrant safety risks and quality issues.

The “GSV geprüft Güteschutzverband Betonschalungen” quality seal, which enjoys international trade mark protection as an EU collective mark, can be of help here. Compliance with the GSV guideline “Guideline for granting the GSV quality seal for frame formwork for vertical components” is an essential step in obtaining the GSV quality seal. The award is granted on a product-by-product and system basis after the successful completion of an application procedure and testing in accordance with consistent guidelines by an independent expert. Construction drawings, material composition and structural calculations must be submitted for examination. The quality seal gives the user the assurance that the use of the certified formwork will result in compliance with the required dimensional tolerances in building construction.

Independent testing process

The requirement criteria of the certification tests specified by GSV are appropriately high. In a “performance datasheet”, the manufacturer must first collate the geometric and quality information as well as structural data for the key elements of the formwork system to be tested. After this follow verifications of load capacities and serviceability in accordance with DIN standards. These involve a close examination of all the factors that affect the formwork system: fresh concrete pressure, strength of the steel or aluminium frame and facing.

The performance datasheet, structural calculations and the assembly and operating manual are then checked by an external independent structural engineering consultant nominated by GSV. Even the supervision of any testing forms part of the GSV examination, which is contained in a final test report including fully dimensioned profile drawings, material properties and guide values for material strength. Production tests are carried out by a test engineer, who selects a frame formwork panel at random from at least 100 formwork units. The panel is inspected according to the following criteria:

  • Geometry of the frame formwork panel
  • Geometry of the cross section
  • Determination of the mechanical and chemical material properties of the metals used
  • Inspection of the weld quality

As soon as the independent expert confirms compliance with all the theoretical and practical test criteria, the Extended Board of the GSV examines and checks the submitted test report and certifies the product with the “GSV geprüft” quality seal.

Safety for the user

The advantages for the user are plain to see: if the formwork being used has the GSV quality seal, the user can be sure it is a high-quality product that fulfils all currently applicable product and safety regulations. Furthermore, certified formwork used in accordance with recommended good practice provides the best conditions for the production of high-quality concrete surfaces.

“Our quality seal creates transparency and gives the user safety in a wide range of respects,” confirms Martin Hemberger, the Deputy Chairman of GSV. He adds: “All GSV members are obliged to fulfil the quality requirements set out by the association and their continued compliance is continuously monitored. This creates the basis for a safe and sound relationship between supplier and user. Product piracy, inferior-quality copies and safety critical plagiarism are given no chance by these measures.”

GSV: for high quality and safety in formwork technology

Renowned international formwork manufacturers and European formwork users decided in 1992 to form Güteschutzverband Betonschalungen e.V. (GSV) with the aim taking the development of formwork technology forward in a dialogue of partnership. The association is considered an authority committed to promoting quality and prepares and prescribes vendor-independent standards for formwork practice. Objectively verifiable and consistent criteria allow the formwork user to work safely with proven high-quality products and obtain reproducible, qualitatively first-class results.

Over more than twenty years, the association has produced numerous practical rules, guidelines and informational booklets developed for the construction, design and use of formwork for concrete. One of the greatest successes is the “GSV geprüft” (GSV-tested) quality seal, which was introduced in 1995 and has established itself on the market as a symbol for high-quality and safe formwork products. “GSV” and “GSV geprüft” are figurative and collective marks and enjoy international trade mark protection. In addition, the GSV regularly publishes its points of view of current events, issues and the needs of the market, and is involved in interesting projects in research and development. The association continues to be involved in national and international standardisation, committed with its GSV Academy to education and training, and offers a platform for the professional exchange of information through various events at all levels.