Replacing Traditional Plywood with PP PVC Plastic Formwork: A Comparative Study

The construction industry is continuously evolving, with new materials and technologies constantly emerging to improve efficiency, durability, and sustainability. One such development is the shift from traditional plywood to PP (Polypropylene) PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) plastic formwork in concrete construction. This blog post will provide a comparative study between these two materials, highlighting the benefits of adopting PP PVC plastic formwork.

Understanding the Materials

Plywood: Traditionally, plywood has been the most commonly used material for formwork or shuttering boards in concrete construction. Plywood is a type of engineered wood made by gluing together thin layers of wood veneers.

PP PVC Plastic Formwork: This is a type of formwork made from a blend of polypropylene and polyvinyl chloride. It’s a relatively new product in the construction industry but is gaining popularity due to its numerous advantages over traditional materials.

Durability and Strength

While plywood has decent strength and can withstand the pressure of wet concrete, it tends to absorb water and can swell or warp over time. In contrast, PP PVC plastic formwork is highly robust and resistant to deformation, making it suitable for heavy-duty concrete construction.

Water and Moisture Resistance

Plywood, especially if not properly treated, is susceptible to water damage, leading to issues like rot and mold growth. On the other hand, PP PVC plastic formwork is inherently resistant to water and moisture, ensuring longevity and consistent performance, even in damp conditions.


Plywood formwork, due to its susceptibility to water damage and wear and tear, has a limited lifespan and often needs replacement after a few uses. Conversely, PP PVC plastic formwork is highly reusable, with some manufacturers claiming up to 100 uses. This reusability makes it a cost-effective alternative in the long run.

Environmental Impact

The production of plywood involves cutting down trees, contributing to deforestation. Additionally, the adhesives used in plywood can release harmful formaldehyde gases. PP PVC plastic formwork, when responsibly produced and recycled, has a lower environmental impact. It’s also free from harmful chemicals, making it a safer choice for both workers and the environment.

Ease of Installation

PP PVC plastic formwork is lightweight and easy to handle, leading to quicker installation and reduced labor costs compared to plywood. Moreover, it doesn’t require any additional treatments like sealing or painting, reducing prep time.


While plywood has been a go-to choice for many years, the emergence of materials like PP PVC plastic formwork challenges its dominance. With advantages such as increased durability, water resistance, reusability, and reduced environmental impact, it’s clear that PP PVC plastic formwork presents a compelling alternative. As the construction industry continues to embrace innovative solutions, the shift towards more sustainable and efficient materials is inevitable.

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