Scaffolding is a temporary and sometimes movable fabrication used by workers throughout the construction and related industries. Often referred to as a stage, the platform is usually constructed of wooden planks and metal poles and is used to lift and support machinery, materials and workers.
Once consisting mainly of timber structures, modern construction scaffolding utilises a variety of materials such as high quality timber planks, aluminium and steel, as well as advanced designs such as tubes, clamps and cup locks, to achieve its purpose.
Planking is essential for safe conditions on scaffolds to properly support workers and their equipment. Wood, such as fir or pine, is the most common material used. High-quality boards, such as Kennison Forest Products solid sawn scaffold boards or Sure-lam LVL (laminated veneer lumber) scaffold boards, provide a durable and safe decking solution.
Aluminium is a soft, ductile and corrosion resistant metal and its properties make it suitable for scaffolding applications. Aluminium scaffolding is stable and safe, lightweight and requires minimal maintenance.
Steel scaffolding offers excellent strength and durability, while maintaining a degree of flexibility that helps prevent cracking. Steel can support extremely heavy loads and is a necessity for high structures where the weight of the scaffold itself requires structural strength.
Tubes and clamps are a popular scaffolding design due to the ease of assembly and disassembly. To build this type of scaffold, tubes are joined into long tubes and then the horizontal and vertical tubes are clamped together with specially designed clamps.
Cuplock is a multi-purpose scaffolding system for general access and supporting vertical loads. The system uses a circular node to secure up to four components together.
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.
The single scaffold or bricklayer's scaffold, as it is usually used in this practice, is placed parallel to the wall at a distance of approximately 1.2 m. The standards are placed about 2 to 2.5 m apart, while the ledgers are connected to the standards at vertical intervals of 1.2 to 1.5 m. Finally, putlogs emanating from a hole in the wall are brought to one end of the ledger. putlogs are placed at intervals of 1.2 to 1.5 m.
The double scaffold or mason's scaffold, as it is usually used for stone masonry, consists of two rows of scaffolding to add strength and thus support the dense stone. The first row is about 20 to 30 cm from the wall, while the second row is 1 m from the wall. putlogs are then set, supported by two frames. Strong rakes and cross braces provide additional strength.
Cantilever scaffolding, also known as pin scaffolding, uses pins made of timber which protrude or cantilever from holes in the walls of the building. These pins then support the entire scaffolding structure. Cantilever scaffolding is used when the ground cannot support conventional scaffolding, when footpaths or roads cannot be blocked or when work or maintenance needs to be carried out at height.
Suspended scaffolding uses a system of ropes or other types of rigging to suspend the scaffold platform from an overhead structure. The rigging system allows workers to raise or lower the platform as required to achieve the required working level, for example in a high-rise environment.
Trestle scaffolding is a versatile system, ideal for maintenance projects and simple jobs. Trestle scaffolding is designed to be easy to move and is often used by painters and builders when a flexible and safe platform is required.
Steel scaffolding is a highly durable scaffolding system consisting of steel tubes and fittings that are easy to assemble and disassemble. It is characterised by its strength, durability and fire resistance; it is widely used when the entire structure is being maintained.
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