Timber formwork is the traditional option and it has been used for a long time. But steel formwork has gained popularity because it can be reused many times and it provides a smoother and more even surface to be in contact with the concrete so the final finish is smooth and perfect as well.
There are also other materials that are used for formwork and you can read about it in ssprimeform.com.au. When it comes to formwork, the material should be something that can be reused several times. But you can’t reuse timber formwork more than twice or thrice so you will need to keep buying formwork for construction. Also, when you use dry timber, the water in the concrete will be absorbed by the timber and this will affect the structural integrity of the concrete structure. You need to make sure that the formwork you use doesn’t affect the performance of the structure in any way. Timber is susceptible to high moisture and this can lead to the opening of joints and breaking. This is why steel formwork is preferred over timber as it provides a solution to problems that you will face with timber formwork.
When it comes to strength, steel definitely comes up as the winner over timber. So steel is a more resilient material and it will provide stability to the concrete. These formwork are very durable and you will be able to use them for decades without any issues. But you need to consider the weight of the steel formwork as well. Most timber formwork tend to be lightweight and they are easier to handle than steel formwork. However, when you consider the sustainability of the material, steel is very sustainable as it can be reused so many times and it can be recycled easily as well. You can’t always guarantee the timber comes sustainably sourced so it is best to use steel if this is your primary concern.
Buildings are constructed in a variety of environmental conditions and steel can withstand challenging environments better than timber formwork can. It is very hard to damage steel formwork. When there is heavy rain, the stability of timber formwork cannot be guaranteed. So if you are building in a challenging environment, it is best to consider steel to ensure the integrity of the structure. Steel also provides a uniform surface and you will be able to install them quite easily. Steel can also withstand a large amount of weight without taking damage. With timber formwork, there is the risk of cracking, splitting or total failure when you use it for large scaled projects. You will be able to use it for smaller projects without much issue, however. You can also be assured that the concrete will not adhere to it and therefore, the final finish of the concrete will be perfect. But because of the weight of steel, you will need equipment to put it into place and remove it. You also need to have a place to store steel formwork and it can be a bit difficult to transport because of the weight. But you will be able to clean the panels quite easily and preserve the uniform finish.