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Injection Molded, Long-Glass Thermoplastic Concrete Forms

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WEB EXCLUSIVE: An unusual application for long-glass fiber reinforced thermoplastic is injection molded concrete forms measuring up to 3.7 x 2 ft. The forms were developed by SABIC Innovative Plastics, Pittsfield, Mass., and Meccano de Mexico, a top Mexican construction supply company, to replace heavy, multi-piece steel forms. The plastic forms use a 30% glass-filled LNP Verton compound (the customer did not wish to divulge the resin). They are up to 40% lighter than metal forms, which require assembly of up to 30 components, which can take up to 3 hr. One-piece plastic forms are molded in a few minutes on horizontal presses of 2000 and 2500 tons clamp force. They help to reduce overall construction costs for more affordable housing. Average height of the forms is 1100 mm (3.7 ft), and available widths are 200 mm (0.8 ft), 300 mm (1 ft), and 600 mm (2 ft).