Plywood Formwork- the Advantages, Types and Applications

Plywood formwork is an integral part of the formwork construction that is similar to timber formwork. This choice of formwork is peculiar because of its lightweight, durability and eco-friendliness, unlike the other forms such as plastic and metal formworks. In addition, formwork made of wood also provides a high quality of concrete cast on the surface. At the same time, the structure comprises three different layers of support right on top of each other. Click here to know more details about Types of Formowrk.

Furthermore, plywood formwork is applicable when you need to coat a large surface with the durable and light material. At the same time, builders prefer the formwork as the official moulds inside which they can pour concrete during the construction process. To produce the plywood boards, you will need poplar, birch, spruce or pine. However, modern times have seen plywood manufacturers from all over the world use different materials in plywood. 

On the one hand, it is vital to choose the right type of plywood for formwork production. However, the core difference between an effective plywood formwork and an ineffective coating is used. What kind of film is applied on the surface of the plywood to serve its purpose as formwork effectively well?

What are the Advantages of Plywood Formwork?

One of the most crucial factors to be considered when choosing plywood formwork is its ability to absorb moisture from the environment. When it absorbs the water, it results in a sponge effect in the structure. Consequently, this effect may affect the material’s weight and other mechanical properties and cause a movement of the already rigid panels. All these processes can influence the life cycle of the formwork itself as a component of the entire construction structure.

However, below are some crucial advantages that are worth mentioning.

  • Plywood formwork is essential in providing a high-quality concrete cast surface due to an enhanced smoothness
  • It favours the weight to strength ratio as compared with the other formwork materials that can be used
  • It may also have a minimal deflection due to the inherent stiffness of the material
  • Plywood formwork has a high level of durability in use
  • It can be reused if you choose to reuse it. And when reused, it saves cost for the new project and still has a great shape. 
  • Plywood formwork often has a panel shear of plywood that almost doubles that of solid timber due to the cross-laminated structure it possesses. 
  • In construction, it is easy to work machines on playwork formwork than many other materials. You may also find the fastening methods exceptionally more straightforward with the plywood formwork.
  • Treated plywood also has a reasonable level of chemical resistance
  • It is easy to handle plywood formwork on the site of construction
  • There is a wide variety of different overlays and sizes that you can use for the plywood formwork
  • The ecological importance of plywood is also of a high worth

The different types of Plywood Formwork panels in use

Plywood formwork has its own categorization that helps builders figure out its use as vital as it is. Meanwhile, this categorization is done in basically two ways. You can find different them but the forming panels or as the form liners. In terms of the forming panels of the plywood formwork, it imparts the desired texture and pattern of the eventual concrete surface. In addition, it can also provide the needed structural strength and firmness that can easily hold the concrete in its rightful place. 

On the other hand, using form liners does not impart just the surface but imports the desired texture and the exact pattern to the concrete. More so, below are the different types of plywood formwork available in the construction formwork industry.

  1. Film-faced formwork

As earlier stated, the material for the plywood formwork is one factor. The coating material is another one. Film-faced plywood is a commonly used type of panel in constructing plywood formworks. The surface film for the coating is usually soaked in resin or glue. One outstanding feature of the film-faced plywood formwork is its enhanced resistance to all kinds of abrasion, chemicals, moisture penetration, and infestation from fungi and insects. It also has a smooth surface that is highly hygienic and easy to clean.

  1. Medium Density Overlay (MDO) Plywood Formwork

MDO or Medium density overlay is a much better surface film than the ordinary surface-facing plywood formwork structure. Consequently, it is more expensive than the latter. Also, it has high quality on the surface, producing the kind of concrete that can mask imperfections of any sort on the plywood. 

MDO also reduce all the wood grain transfers that leave a defect on the concrete surface. Also, using a medium density overlay leads to the consistent colour formation with a very smooth finish that is perfect for painting and coating the eventual concrete wall or floor. 

  1. High-Density Overlay (HDO) Plywood Formwork

The high-density overlay has a higher level of resin content in the overlay of the plywood. And the intention is to produce a much more rigid surface that can be more impervious to water soaking or staining. At the same time, it must also have a more significant impact than the MDO forming panels. One of the particular uses of this type of coating is that it can produce a smoother finish on the surface of the concrete than many other types. In addition, it provides a broader range of applications for the plywood formwork. 

  1. A Wood Veneer-faced Plywood

This type of plywood, the wood veneer-faced plywood, is the cheapest kind of formwork that you can find in the market. The idea that led to this type of wood coating is people’s ability to improvise whatever is needed as a coating for the plywood in use as formwork.  For instance, people print the glue or oil desired on both the face and back of ordinary wood to form a veneer faced formwork plywood during the creation. 

  1. Specialty Plywood 

You can also find the speciality plywood formwork panel in the construction formwork market as a proprietary overlay. Some of the appropriate materials that can serve as an overlay include laminated plastic, metal, epoxy resin, glass-fibre-reinforced plastic (fibreglass) and metal. The use of fibreglass or metal overlays may lead to enhanced strength and rigidity of the panel. Whereas the users, builders or stakeholders must verify the design specifications and treatment of the surface from the manufacturer before picking this choice. 

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