The type of plywood formwork used on each construction project depends on the specifications and budget for the job. The type of formwork application determines which type of plywood panels should be used. Wall and slab formwork is different in the construction of commercial buildings, residential builds, and high-rise construction. Saving money on the plywood sheets might cost more in the long run because they don’t last for multiple cycles of reuse.
What is Plywood Formwork?
Plywood Formwork is a system that provides a concrete cast surface. This material needs to be durable, lightweight, and eco-friendly. Plywood formwork sheets are made by adhering three special layers to each other. This plywood formwork is called for when a large surface must be covered with a durable, yet light material. The plywood sheets used for formwork must be region specific, meant for the exact application, and meet architectural specifications for the project.
The range of formwork plywood sheets includes three-ply sheets, multi-ply sheets, film-faced plywood, and coated plywood. The coatings used for plywood formwork panels include a urea-melamine coating of resin, a plastic coating, a fiber-reinforced resin coating that is synthetic, or a film coating. The coating is used to limit the wood’s property of absorbing liquid, which causes the panels to move and their strength to be affected.
Formwork is the surface of the concrete pouring form and framing system and is used to shape and contain the wet concrete until it dries, cures, and is self-supporting. There is more to concrete forming systems than plywood panels. Other parts of the concrete forming system include frames, bracing, and formwork assembly materials.
The Formwork Application Determines the Choice of Plywood Formwork Sheets
The application of formwork in commercial, high-rise construction, or residential projects will determine what type of plywood panels should be used. Plywood that will be used for slab and wall formwork sees hard use and will last longer if the builder invests in panels that are more durable. More durable panels will hold up for more reuse cycles, increasing the ROI.
When projects are infrastructural like bridges or tunnels, the building process is different, and the plywood sheets used for formwork need to be different. The plywood panels will be used many times for a continuous flow and must hold up to that hard use. This is common for tunnels along with other unique conditions. The correct formwork plywood sheets are essential.
Bridges have their own unique set of construction challenges. They need strong reinforcement at different pouring stages and longer times between the pours. These conditions call for special plywood panels.
Choosing the Correct Plywood Panels for Formwork
There are numerous quality levels and types of formwork plywood panels available. This can account for almost half the cost of a concrete structure. Contractors and architects must choose the best plywood forming panels for each part of the construction project—not the cheapest panels, but the best panels to get the job done correctly. These panels must last through multiple uses.
The different manufacturers of plywood panels for forms have panels designed for general construction jobs using applications of concrete forming. They also offer special grades and types of plywood panels that have different features such as a release agent to help with stripping or with different overlays to add stability, provide smoother forming surfaces, or resist abrasions. All of these forming plywood panels are stronger than traditional panels used for sheathing. It is the responsibility of the person specifying the plywood formwork to order the best materials for each part of the concrete construction project.