Scaffolding is a temporary structure, stage or elevated platform used to help with construction and maintenance projects at height. With the advancement of the construction industry and the many different styles of building, various types of scaffolding systems are in use.
Modular means that one or more different modules or individual units are used to form a base. That foundation is then used to build something larger and more complex.
Modular scaffolding is very effective in situations where the structure's facade is complex and does not allow it to be used with conventional scaffolding. Such scaffolding can be set on both sides of the building and offers a great deal of flexibility.
According to the US Department of Labour, a system scaffold is a scaffold consisting of columns with fixed connection points that accept runners, bearers and diagonals that can be connected to each other at a predetermined level.
In short, system scaffolding uses vertical, horizontal and diagonal posts and tubes. Fixed connection points are distributed on vertical posts to which horizontal or diagonal tubes can be easily attached. In contrast to tubular scaffolds, system scaffolds use a latching mechanism which makes them quicker to erect.
What is the difference between modular and system scaffolding?
Modular and Systematic Scaffolding are the same, they just have different names. They are also known as prefabricated scaffolds. This is because the components are already manufactured and designed exactly for their intended purpose. Systematic, modular or prefabricated scaffolding lacks the loose components that make it ideal. It has proved to be cost and time effective, which is why it is now so popular.
Tubular scaffolding is also known as steel scaffolding, pipe clamp scaffolding, tube scaffolding or tubular scaffolding. It is a traditional scaffolding system and is still used by many due to the overall flexibility it offers.
Whereas a modular scaffolding system consists of components designed and adapted solely for their intended purpose, tubular scaffolding allows for unlimited variations in standard positions. It can therefore be fully adapted to the environment.
Tubes and fittings are connected to each other with the help of clamps and couplers. Compared to modern scaffolding, tube clamp scaffolding requires more time and is more labour-intensive.
As is obvious from the name, suspended scaffolding is scaffolding that is suspended or hung from an overhead structure (e.g. a ceiling). It is ideal where very high structures are involved and where erecting conventional scaffolding systems requires unnecessary time, money and effort.
Suspended scaffolding is usually powered and supported by ropes. There are eight types of suspended scaffolding, including chain scaffolding, floating scaffolding, multi-level scaffolding, Botswyn chair scaffolding and swing scaffolding, which are the most popular.
Single scaffolding includes the putlog scaffolding system, which is mostly used for brickwork. It is a scaffolding system that uses the structure being built as a support.
Cantilever scaffolding is ideal in situations where the ground does not allow for a conventional scaffolding system. It is also known as pin scaffolding because the pins provide the base for the scaffolding. The pins protrude from the walls of the building where the working platform is set.
Mobile or rolling scaffolding provides a portable working platform that can be easily moved to the location where the work is required. Mobile scaffolding is mounted on castors to allow workers to perform tasks that require frequent changes of position. Some of these include mobile towers, genie lifts and square towers.
Trestle scaffolds are used for light work. They have adjustable legs so that their height can be modified to suit the situation.
Aerial lifts are ideal for covering small areas for short projects. These are driven by the structure below or manually driven to the required height. They are mainly used for refurbishment and maintenance projects. However, some construction projects also use aerial lifts if the task can be completed in a short time. Some examples include scissor lifts, bucket trucks and boom lifts.
The differences between the different types of scaffolding systems are mainly due to the way the components are joined together. With changing shapes and structures, scaffolding is modified to suit.
Sometimes, determining which type of scaffolding to use becomes so confusing that even engineers have difficulty deciding. The best approach is to assess the problematic structure and then select the most appropriate scaffold for it.
Modular scaffolding is also referred to as system scaffolding, and is highly efficient because of its flexibility. It can be set up on the outside or inside of a building to allow for work on both sides. This makes a system scaffold extremely versatile, and a favorite in the construction industry.
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