Among the structural elements of buildings and elements of landscape design products made of concrete are most common. This includes wall blocks, columns, tiles, small architectural forms, and much more. Make them by pouring in the form of concrete solution. And they do it not only in industrial conditions.
Plastic molds for concrete products allow you to establish your own mini-production or cast piece products for personal use.
Today, you can find different versions of such forms, which differ in both shape and size, and the material from which they are made. Plastic products, perhaps the most popular. We will tell about their features and selection criteria.
Making concrete products using forms
Paving slabs and similar concrete products are made in two ways: by vibropressing and casting.
Vibropressing is used on fairly large flow productions using special equipment – vibropress. The solution is poured into the matrix and subjected to vibroplate. The pressing punch squeezes out a certain pattern on the front surface of the product. Forms for this method of production must be strong and rigid. As a rule, they are made of metal. The disadvantage of the method is a small variety of types of products produced.
The method of vibratory casting consists in the fact that plastic forms for concrete filled with mortar are placed on a vibrating table – a vibrating surface on which the compaction and tamping of raw materials take place. The type of finished products depends on the range of forms, and it is much more diverse than in the previous case. Such forms are made of different types of plastic, silicone, rubber, rubber.
The latter method does not require the use of complex equipment, it is often used to make decorative concrete elements with your own hands.
How to choose the right forms
If you are going to adjust your mini-production or make a large number of concrete products for personal purposes, you will have to choose the right shape from the large range offered today for sale. What to look for?
Type of products
With the help of forms you can make a variety of products for various purposes. For example, paving slabs, paving stones, curbs and curbs, drains, facade panels and tiles, fences, monuments, garden sculptures, etc.
From the proposed diversity, you need to choose the appropriate size and geometric configuration of the matrix.
Similar products differ in a method of use: they can be integral and folding.
Solid forms are made of elastic and semi-rigid materials, they are easily removed from the figured products, without violating their integrity.
Collapsible forms are used for the production of products of strict configuration and are made of rigid plastic.
Matrices for casting concrete, depending on the material of manufacture, have different properties and characteristics:
- Fiberglass forms for concrete due to the use of reinforcing fiberglass have high strength, especially at low temperatures. At the same time they are tough, not elastic.
- ABS plastic is a shock-resistant synthetic polymer, characterized by high heat resistance and a wide range of operating temperatures: from minus 40 to plus 90 degrees. Resistant to moisture, detergents, acids and alkalis.
- PVC plastic is a chemically resistant thermoplastic polymer. Compared with ABS plastic less heat-resistant and frost-resistant, less durable. But its price is much lower.
- Silicone, polyurethane – high-quality materials for the production of flexible matrices for the manufacture of decorative elements with a clearly defined texture. Removing products from elastic forms is quick and easy.
For reference. The holding time of the solution in flexible forms of polyurethane is less than in plastic.
What else to pay attention
Of course, the most basic selection criteria are the quality and cost of products. High quality can be achieved only in the manufacture of molds and good raw materials using modern technologies.
What are the requirements for these products? They can be divided into technical, decorative-aesthetic and economic.
Low weight. Unlike metal or wooden, all plastic forms have this advantage.
Low adhesion to concrete. In order not to wrestle with how to clean plastic molds from concrete or what to lubricate them before pouring the solution, you need to choose such products that do not “stick” to it.
Council Manufacturers usually recommend products for lubricating and cleaning plastic molds. But the drugs are expensive and increase the cost of the finished product. Therefore, instead of a special lubricant, you can use sunflower oil or soap solution, and the cleaning should be done with plain water immediately after stripping. If time is missed and the solution dried, before cleaning the plastic molds from concrete using brand-name means, try using a 5% hydrochloric solution or a 35% acetic acid solution.
Easy unwinding. Products must be removed from the form without vibrating and steaming.
Decorative and aesthetic requirements
Forms should have clear edges so that the quality of the geometric parameters of the finished products was at a height.
It is worth paying attention to the quality of transmission of the invoice. In this respect, soft and elastic forms are preferable to rigid or semi-rigid, but they are inferior in the preservation of geometrical parameters.
It is also better to give preference to products with low abrasive wear, due to which finished products will lose an attractive appearance over time.
The cost of plastic forms is a relative concept. When purchasing them, you need to take into account another parameter – the cost of one removal. What does this mean?
The instruction manual of any injection mold takes into account the resource of their work or the number of removals – filling and unfolding cycles with preservation of the operational characteristics of the product.
For example, the lifetime of PVC forms does not exceed 50 cycles. At a cost of 900 rubles and the price of one removal will be 18 rubles.
At the same time, the service life of ABS plastic forms is about 300 cycles. Despite the fact that they can cost twice as much, each meal will be much cheaper – from 5-6 rubles.
Note. This parameter is important only in the case of constant and regular use of matrices. For example, when organizing the production of concrete products for sale. If you need to make a limited number of items for personal use, without using the entire resource of plastic forms, look at their cost.
We told you about what plastic products are for casting concrete products and how to choose them.