Concrete constructions are aided by the use of temporary moulds called formwork. This is essentially the underlying framework that makes the final building a strong and sturdy structure. It is, therefore, one of the most crucial components of any construction project.
Formwork can be made out of different types of material as seen over the years. Based on the construction type, the material chosen needs to suit various aspects such as financial capabilities and load-bearing capacity. Some of the materials that have been successfully used in making formwork include steel, aluminum, timber, plywood, and plastics.
In recent years, plywood and plastics have become one of the more prominently used formworks in the construction world. There are several advantages and disadvantages of plywood and plastic formwork that make them suited for different building works. One of the most discussed comparisons while planning construction is plywood vs. plastic formwork. Some structures are better built with plywood formworks, while others need a more flexible plastic approach.
Let’s discuss the differences between these two formworks and see how they fare against each other.
Plywood Formwork and its features
Plywood is an artificially manufactured formwork that is flexible enough for a certain number of sizes and thicknesses as needed. Some builders also use a combination of plywood with timber for extra stability and versatility. Some areas where plywood is a preferred material is in construction components such as form linings, decking, and sheathing.
Plastic Formwork and its features
Recent years have seen a huge influx in the use of plastic formworks. It is made out of toughened plastics combined together with fiberglass. This makes the material light- weight and flexible, allowing easy use, transportation, and storage. Even unskilled labor is capable of handling and assembling plastic formworks with ease. Plastic formworks are a modular system that comes with pre-fitted interlocking grooves.
One of the biggest benefits of using plastic formworks though is its reusability. It is durable, easy to clean, and hence can be reused over 100 times more than other materials.
A comparison of Plywood vs. Plastic Formwork
Comparing plywood vs. plastic formwork is done most easily when we list out the advantages of both formworks. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of plywood and plastic formworks will give you the clarity needed to make the choice. What this comparison also does is answer important questions that are part of the planning process in construction projects. Here are some of the questions this discussion can help resolve.
- Which formwork is best capable of handling large projects?
- What formwork gives the best budgetary advantages?
- 1s plywood cheaper to use than plastic formworks?
- What are the main differences between plywood and plastic formworks?
- And finally, the bottom line, which one is better?
We have the questions, now let’s get some answers! Read on for our comparison of plywood vs. plastic formworks to choose the right one for your construction.
Advantages of plastic formworks over plywood
- Easy on the workforce — plastic formworks are the easiest to handle, capable of being done by an unskilled workforce as Assembling, moving, and handling them on the construction site is very easy owing to the lightweight of the plastic components. Moreover, since the plastic doesn’t stick to concrete, it can be cleaned after use very easily with just some water. Plywood is more difficult to assemble and clean post usage.
- Transfer and storing — plywood requires a large storage area as compared to plastic formwork Plastic is more flexible and can be fit into smaller spaces.
- Versatility — plastic formworks beat plywood any day when it comes to flexibility and Plastics can be molded into almost any shape, size, and thickness as desired, which is not the case with plywood.
- Reusability — a major difference between plywood and plastic formwork is the reusability rate. Plastic formwork can be used almost 100 times more than At a construction site, the use of plywood formwork has a short lifespan, with most construction works using it only once.
- Faster completion rate — when it comes to plywood plastic formwork in terms of assembly and usage, plastics are surely the faster option. Plywood formwork is mostly made after the material reaches the construction site. This takes time to process, which adds to the overall project completion time. Plastic formworks arrive at the site in pre-made components that simply need to be assembled. This not only saves time but is an easier option for most construction sites.
Advantages of plywood formworks over plastic
- Resistance to heat — plastic formworks have a very low threshold when it comes to heat Plastic as a material itself is susceptible to melting due to heat. Even though it is combined with fiberglass, the heat resistance is not as high as plywood. Therefore, in high temperatures, plywood formwork is certainly a better option.
- Load-bearing capacity — the question of plywood plastic formwork in terms of their load-bearing capacity is a no-brainer. Plywood is any day a sturdier option for constructions that involve high load-bearing structures.
- Cost-savings — the expenses incurred in sourcing plastic material and making formwork is significantly higher than that of Smaller constructions in particular benefit from using plywood over plastic formwork. Plywood can be sourced locally to make formwork at a much lower rate than plastics.
Plywood vs. Plastic formworks — our conclusion
There are quite a few differences between plywood and plastic formworks as we’ve detailed above. Considering that the advantages of plastic formworks are more than plywood, it’s natural to conclude that plastics are a better choice. It is also good to remember that plywood does have some very important advantages over plastics.
The bottom line is that a comparison of plywood vs plastic formwork yields plastic as a clear winner. However, depending on the type of construction work your company is handling, plywood could be a viable option too. At the end of the day, the choice rests with you, the construction business owner or the client. Use our comparison points to gain clarity in making the right choices!