Wood Shuttering Panels: Plywood Or Timbers Best For Formwork?


With the aid of formworks, freshly poured concrete can be easily molded into the shape required until it reaches sufficient strength. Most prefabricated forms are available in the market for easy construction and these are made up of wood, aluminum, or steel. This blog will focus on the pros and cons of wooden shuttering options.

Shuttering Made Of Wood

This is a common term in the construction industry that refers to the construction of shuttering to be used for construction projects using shuttering/scaffolding materials such as timber, steel shuttering, plywood, aluminum and plastic, and fabrics. However, wood is the most common shuttering material, and its cost will be determined by the quality of the wood or timber. As well as being aesthetically pleasing, wooden formwork is one of the most popular architectural methods. Timber formwork can be extended in life by painting it and treating it with oil or epoxy.

Timber and plywood are two forms of wood. There are some advantages and disadvantages to both types of wood. As a starting point, let’s examine timber’s advantages and disadvantages:

Timber Shuttering:

Timber offers the following advantages:

  • The material can be cut according to the size required in a timely manner.
  • Lightweight makes it easy to handle.
  • Due to its thermal resistance, it prevents concrete structures from being damaged.
  • The replacement of damaged timber is a simple process.
  • Formwork made of timber can be easily dismantled.

Timber has the following disadvantages:

  • It cannot be avoided in the subject of civil engineering that timber shuttering has some demerits, despite being so advantageous and popular all over the world.
  • Timber that is dry is a good water absorbent. Water from the concrete is absorbed and dries quickly. As a result, the internal bond between concrete materials is weakened.
  • In the case of wet timber absorbing too much water, the concrete structure becomes compressed, and excess water shrinks out of joints, causing grout leaks and crakes.
  • Due to its short lifespan, timber shutters are not suitable for frequent use. If you use timber shutters for five to ten times, they become useless.

Plywood Shuttering:

As a synthetic form of wood, plywood differs from timber in that it is a form of timber that has been artificially processed. Ply layers are sandwiched between veneer sheets. Due to its smooth finish, Shuttering ply is now commonly used in formworks to reduce the cost of completing concrete structures. The thickness of plywood boards ranges from 7 mm to 32 mm. In general, boards with a thickness of 18 mm are used. For almost all types of formwork, a board with a width of 1220 mm, a length of 2440 mm, and a thickness of 18 mm are suitable.

Formwork with plywood boards has the following advantages:

  • The size of plywood boards can also be adjusted, just as with timber.
  • Plywood can be used more than ten times as often as timber and is more durable than timber.
  • In addition to being lightweight, plywood is also easy to handle.
  • Water cannot be absorbed by concrete the way it does by timber.
  • In addition to giving the concrete a smooth finish, plywood reduces the cost of finishing.
  • Curved formworks can also be made from plywood.
  • Plywood comes in unusually large sizes, making construction work faster and easier.
  • Comparatively, it can be reused more frequently than timber.

Formwork using plywood has the following disadvantages:

  • Plywood is much more expensive than timber.
  • Concrete mass is often bent due to thin plywood sheets not being able to sustain the burden.
  • As compared to timber, plywood sheets have a greater degree of elasticity. Molds can be deformed by plywood’s elastic properties.

Shuttering Made From Different Types Of Wood

In different parts of the world, wooden shuttering materials are known by different names. However, most shuttering materials are universally common, with some small differences. The common ones worldwide include:

Scaffold Boards

There are two types of wooden scaffold boards: timber and plywood. Temporary walls are used to protect the concrete structure. Concrete cannot flow down because of it. This board is dismantled after a few days when the concrete has dried.

Wooden Logs:

Shuttering boards are supported by wooden logs, long round logs that look like poles. Shuttering boards are installed on wooden logs to create molds. A few feet to 18 feet is the range of length for these logs.

Support Boards:

In order to sustain the concrete structure, wooden support boards are used under it. Under concrete roofs, support boards are generally used. As opposed to scaffolding boards, they are wider and shorter. Wooden panels are also known as these.

Petty Scaffolding

The bamboo trunks that make up petty scaffolding are usually longer than a typical wooden log. In order to construct a skeleton, petty scaffolds are tied together with ropes. Afterward, wooden boards are attached to the skeleton. Petty scaffolding and other shuttering items are dismantled after concrete structures are dried and hardened.

Nails in Wooden Shuttering:

Steel and iron make up nails. As well as joining shuttering boards to wooden logs and scaffolding boards, nails serve another purpose in shuttering.

In order to dismantle the shuttering, the nails must be unplugged after the concrete has dried and hardened.

Shuttering Oil:

Regular used engine oil – the black, viscous, lubricating material, used in automobile engines, is poured over the shuttering material to prevent it from sticking to the concrete. Material for shuttering can be easily dismantled with the help of greasy oil.

Cost of Wooden Shuttering:

Due to its availability and lower production costs, wood shuttering and scaffolding is generally recommended as an alternative to steel formworks because of their lower starting costs. Timber costs will vary based on their quality. As well as offering a pleasing aesthetic, wooden formwork is an effective architectural method. A timber formwork can last longer if it is painted and treated with oil or epoxy.

A natural resource such as wood always costs less than a synthetic product. Timber may be more expensive in areas with fewer forests. In spite of this, fast and advanced transportation methods made it possible to supply timber all over the country and the world.

Shuttering panels in civil engineering and managing timber formwork on a construction site. formwork systems come in different approaches. Shuttering wood or plank, shuttering plywood, ply, etc – all wall shuttering plywood Shuttering

Concrete formwork is a temporary molding that forms part of the structure and its components. It represents a crucial aspect of concrete construction due to its close link with casting concrete.

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