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What Are the Differences Between Steel Formwork and Aluminum Formwork?


Steel formwork and aluminum formwork are both considered general types of engineered formwork. Engineered formwork and conventional formwork are the two main categories of formwork.


Conventional formwork is typically made from timber, while engineered forms are made from steel, aluminum, or plastic. Timber formwork costs a bit less, but it’s not as durable and rigid. It also can’t be re-used and re-sold numerous times after its initial use, like engineered formwork.


Steel or Aluminum?


If you’ve determined engineered formwork is the right choice for your project, you may be wondering which type you should choose: steel or aluminum. Below is some information about the differences between the two formwork materials, in terms of things like strength, longevity, advantages, and disadvantages.


Steel Formworks


Steel Formworks are great for large concrete construction projects, where they can be used and reused over and over to create repetitive structures. Steel is the most common type of engineered formwork, and there’s a lot of it on the market, with many both new and used options. Since it can be re-used for thousands of cycles, steel retains its value exceptionally well.


In comparison to conventional formwork, steel does not absorb water, and therefore honeycombing occurs less often. Steel is more durable, rigid, and stronger than aluminum. It’s less likely to warp, and it’s also easier to customize it to a specific project’s needs in comparison to aluminum. If steel formwork needs to be adjusted, it’s usually a relatively easy process to secure components in place to connectors using a hammer.


Aluminum Formworks


Aluminum forms are also ideal for large concrete construction projects. Aluminum formworks are lighter in weight. This means they’re easier to transport and haul around project sites. A notable disadvantage of aluminum is that it’s very difficult to modify once it’s been fabricated. This makes it less versatile in the long run. Something else to consider is that aluminum materials are more likely to be stolen than steel materials because of the re-sale value of aluminum scraps. If you do opt for aluminum formwork, make sure it’s stored in a secure area when not in use.

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