Urethane vs Plastic Considerations for Formliner Projects

formliner stoneOne of the most common questions asked surrounding formliners is one about the designing with formliner. The first consideration in any construction project is the utilization of formliner to create your unique design.

Concrete formliner is a way to create a natural looking structure that can allow your project to stand out.

There are two types of formliners to consider, in this case urethane or plastic formliner. Each can create a textured surface. The difference however is in the way the finished texture appears.

Urethane created structures using formliners will mimic that of a real stone texture while plastic formliners will have a slightly lesser look, however does still maintain a level of realism.

This is due to the properties used in building the formliner and the way the actual finished products are processed. Stone fixtures that use urethane formliners are created from the application of liquid urethane. This allows the liquid to contour every line of the stone’s texture.

Stone fixtures that use plastic however start off with a hard plastic that is heated in order to create flexibility first. Once the plastic is soft, it can then be vacu-formed on the stone to create its textured molding. The details of the plastic mold however are only evident from the most basic textures of the stone itself. Therefore, a urethan based mold can look extremely different from a plastic based mold.

Therefore the most cost effective route for a basic formliner project would be to utilize a plastic mold, while more details would require a urethane mold.

Another major distinguishment between a plastic and urethane formliner mold is that plastic molds only come in rectangular sheets, while the urethane mold can be formed in different sizes to reduce the visibility of seam when placing two formliners together.

This allows a urethane formliner to be more flexible when applying to a project versus that of plastic which becomes more of a predictable pattern type.

The final comparison piece is that plastic over time is a weaker material and will not last as long as the urethane based surface.

Uerthane on the other hand is a much more durable material and thus doesn’t weaken as easily under the wear of the concrete and surrounding conditions over time.

So be aware of the difference between a plastic and urethrane materials when considering a formliner project.

For more details on concrete formliners, visit Custom Rock today!

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