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Factors To Consider When Choosing the Right Shuttering Board

Shuttering boards are often the overseen ‘silent heroes’ of the construction sector. Without them, buildings with wet concrete would be a mess. Considering the right options for shuttering boards is vital for architects, engineers and builders. Read on to learn more about shuttering board materials and how DesertBoard’s innovative PSB® Conform Shuttering is proving a popular and reliable alternative. 

Understanding Shuttering Boards and Formwork

Shuttering boards are temporary structures used to shape and support concrete until it hardens. While the terms “shuttering” and “formwork” are often used interchangeably, they have distinct meanings. Shuttering specifically refers to vertical molds used to retain concrete, whereas formwork includes both horizontal and vertical molds and the entire system of supports.

Key qualities  

High-quality shuttering boards must be strong, durable, easy to use, and reliable in retaining wet concrete and supporting the set load. Efficient assembly and dismantling are also crucial to ensure safety and productivity on the construction site.

Selecting the right materials at every phase of construction is essential to keep projects on time and within budget. Incorrect choices in shuttering boards can lead to critical delays and increased costs.

PSB® Conform Shuttering boards are high-quality boards that possess several key characteristics:

Strength: Capable of supporting the weight of wet concrete without deforming.

Durability: Able to withstand multiple uses and the harsh conditions of a construction site.

Usability: Easy to assemble and disassemble, ensuring efficient construction processes.

Reliability: Consistently perform their function without failure.



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Shuttering: options, benefits, and drawbacks 

The difficulty for construction managers is finding the right material that satisfies all the factors required for shuttering and formwork. The use and types of shuttering boards can come in small or large forms. All have different benefits and drawbacks.  

Timber formwork, for example, can be utilized for irregular frame structures. However, it can warp and break and be vulnerable to moisture. Due to these drawbacks, timber will have limited use. 

Plywood is a popular option. Bonded with strong adhesives, it can be watertight, resistant to moisture, and highly durable. It can often be a better alternative than wooden shuttering, but more expensive, and thin plywood can bow with the volume and weight of the concrete. 

Steel has to be fabricated and then panels are held in place with different clamps. However, it can be costly to manufacture, is heavy for large-scale construction projects, and necessitates an increased safety risk for workers on site and cost if cranes are needed. Its size and shape can be limited, and corrosion may occur when it constantly interacts with water. 

Aluminum has to be joined by pins but can be lightweight, easy to dismantle, and reused several times. However, due to its lightweight structure, sections may deflect when they reach their maximum retention strength. Also, they cannot be modified easily. 

Plastic is the lightest of the shuttering board materials and is cost-effective and easy to use. But it has weak retention strength, particularly in the heat, can be costly to make, and cannot take the high volume loads of concrete compared to other shuttering board profiles. 

A perfect alternative: Palm Strand Board 

DesertBoard’s Palm Strand Board (PSB®) may well be the newest innovation as a shuttering board, but it is already becoming the prime choice among savvy, trend-aware construction stakeholders conscious of environmental impact.   

Reusable Shuttering Board
Cost-effective & Reusable PSB® Shuttering Boards from DesertBoard

PSB® Conform Shuttering board is the world’s first shuttering board made from date palm biomass. A premium board laminated with a high-performance film face on both sides, it is specifically designed for concrete shuttering and formwork applications. PSB® Conform Shuttering board is ideal for various construction applications, including: 

  • Concrete Shuttering: PSB® Shuttering provides a smooth concrete cast finish, ensuring unmatched high-quality architectural outcomes;  
  • Formwork: Its minimal deflection, high strength-to-weight ratio, and rigidity make it ideal for all types of formworks; 
  • Infrastructural Projects: Its durability allows for repeated use, making it perfect for bridges, tunnels, power plants, and residential, commercial, and industrial projects; 
  • Versatile Applications: In supporting construction works, PSB® Shuttering offers cost-effective solutions for temporary constructions and site setups. 

Key advantages 

Desert Board’s PSB® Conform Shuttering board is a durable formwork designed to withstand multiple uses—potentially exceeding 40 uses under optimal conditions, outperforming traditional plywood. This results in significant cost savings, improved efficiency, and reduced environmental impact.

The film-laminated surface ensures flawless concrete casts, meeting high architectural standards and withstanding impacts and wear throughout the project. Additionally, these boards are moisture-resistant, formaldehyde-free, and locally manufactured, reducing transportation carbon footprints.  

In addition to being a high-strength board, moisture-resistant, and formaldehyde-free, PSB® Conform Shuttering board is locally made and sourced within the UAE, reducing the carbon footprint of transportation to sites. 

The board has been produced without cutting a single tree and, therefore, represents the sourcing of material that is positive for nature and biodiversity. It is also considered a carbon sink as the sequestered carbon exceeds the manufacturing footprint. 


PSB® Conform Shuttering board has already proven its worth on several high-profile projects across the UAE. These include Dubai Creek Beach for Vida Hotel & Residences, La Reserve Design and Build for 12-storey residential buildings, the Sea Gate project for Mina Rashid Properties, and Shams Townhouses. 

Desert Board’s PSB® Conform Shuttering offers exceptional performance compared to other options and is an ideal opportunity for the construction industry to grasp its commitment to the climate crises in a practical way. PSB® Conform Shuttering board leads the way in this area. 


Sustainable Construction materials
High Moisture Resistant & Robust PSB® Shuttering Boards for Sustainable Construction