The Eight Types of Scaffolding

Jun. 06, 2022

Ringlock scaffolding

Ringlock scaffolding

Here are the eight types of scaffolding most commonly used throughout the world.


1. Aerial Lifts

Aerial lifts are commonly used for construction projects that require workers to access a variety of different levels in a single day or work cycle.

An aerial lift can be used not only to move people, but also to provide an easier and safer way to lift large amounts of materials up or down to those doing the work.


2. Cantilever Scaffolding

Cantilever scaffolding (also called needle scaffolding) is made to come out from a building at an angle using a separate scaffold.

This type of scaffold can get rid of the need for unsightly frames or poles to be used on the fronts of buildings, and is often constructed near balconies to give workers an easy way to access it.


3. Double Scaffolding

Double scaffolding is a type of readymade scaffolding that is commonly used for stonemasonry. The stone surface makes it hard to install scaffolding directly into the wall, so double scaffolding gives workers a way to work at height without having to create a structure that is attached to the stones.

Double scaffolding uses a two-tier support to ensure stability, with additional support provided by cross braces and rakers.


4. Patented Scaffolding

Patented scaffolds are readymade and have special couplings and frames attached, coming with brackets that support the working platform. In some types, the brackets can be adjusted to different levels to support work at various heights.


5. Single Scaffolding

Single scaffolding is one of the oldest construction methods, and it's commonly used for work on brick masonry. Though relatively simple, this approach creates a sturdy and reliable structure for work at height.


6. Suspended Scaffolds

Suspended scaffolds are another type of readymade scaffolding. It's lightweight and commonly used for repair work, including painting.

The name comes from the fact that they are suspended from the roof of a building by wire, ropes, or chains. The platform supported by suspended scaffolding can be raised or lowered as needed.


7. Supported Scaffolds

Supported scaffolds are most commonly used in construction, and they're one of the go-to options when it comes to building temporary structures for work at height. This kind of scaffolding is simple, cost-effective, and built from the base upwards.

A supported scaffold can have many forms, each of which serves a specific purpose. If the scaffolding is long or needs to support a lot of weight, workers may need to add additional support to its base.


8. Trestle Scaffolding

In trestle scaffolding, a tripod or portable scaffold board provides a platform for laborers to work from.

Trestle scaffolding is usually used in small spaces for painting or minor repairs. There are no standards or putlogs, only working platforms supported by movable ladders. The platform can be moved easily from one place to another.


Scaffolding Materials

Scaffolding can be made out of a variety of materials—here are three of the most common:

Aluminum scaffolding. Aluminum is widely used for scaffolding due to being lightweight, durable, and highly resistant to corrosion.

Bamboo scaffolding. Bamboo presents a great alternative to steel since it is quite strong, flexible, lightweight, easy to work with, and abundant in certain parts of the world. In Hong Kong, for instance, bamboo is the most common material used for scaffolding, and is often upcycled from other uses to avoid unnecessary waste.

Steel scaffolding. Steel scaffolding is one of the most popular materials for scaffolding. Although it is more expensive than bamboo or aluminum, it is quite strong and durable, and presents an ideal option for work in dense urban areas.


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