Metals Used in Scaffolding
What is Metal Scaffolding?
Scaffolding has been used for thousands of years to allow the construction of tall buildings. Actually, people often speculate that the pyramids in Egypt were built using timber scaffolding. Until 1922, wooden scaffolding was mostly used. Around this time, wooden poles were replaced slowly by metal tubes. Currently, metal scaffolding with tube fitting services is the one in use.
Since the 1950s, metal tube scaffolding has become the industry standard. It is very lightweight without any compromise on strength. Tube scaffolding is easy and quick to assemble without requiring bolts and nuts. Most of the metals commonly used for scaffolding are made out of aluminium and steel. Note that, steel scaffolding is very strong and durable.
Also, it has a certain elasticity feature that prevents cracks. It can be used to support heavy loads. Even better, workers can use it to transport heavy equipment as well as supplies. If you are building a tall structure, steel is integral because the scaffolding requires structural strength that can only be necessitated by steel. However, if the conditions are less demanding, aluminium scaffolding is also a great alternative.
When using metal scaffolding, construction workers should be able to safely access remote and high locations effortlessly. With diagonal bracing, it’s easy enough to build stable structures. Metal scaffolding structures have three basic elements as summarised below.
These are the vertical tubes that run throughout the whole structure and maintain the upright position. They transfer the weight of the structure to the ground through the square base plate that spreads the load.
These are the horizontal tubes that connect the standards. They are used to keep the structure in place and ensure stability.
These are the horizontal tubes that are usually placed across and perpendicular to the ledgers. They are used to give the scaffolding structure enough strength to guarantee support for the platforms on every level of the scaffold.
What are the Applications of Metal Scaffolding?
It is often used during repair, maintenance or construction projects. With metal scaffolding, workers can access high and remote locations of any building effortlessly. Note that, metal scaffolding comes in different forms depending on the type of project. These include the following.
1. Supported Scaffolding
It is the most common type of scaffolding. It is usually built from the ground up and often found at construction sites. Supported scaffolding is easy, convenient, safe and cost-effective. You can add extra support if you are working on an extremely high building or are transporting heavy loads.
2. Suspended Scaffolding
It is suspended from the roof of any structure. It’s mostly used where you can’t construct a base or if the access requirements are only limited to the upper levels and the building the scaffolding structure from the ground up would be highly impractical.
3. Rolling Scaffolding
It is similar to supported scaffolding. However, instead of a stable base, it comes with castor wheels that allow mobility. It’s the best type of scaffolding if you need to handle work across the length of the building. The wheels should be locked when there are workers on the scaffolding or materials to guarantee safety.
Metal Scaffolding Materials
These include couplers, tubes and boards/decking. The tubes are made out of aluminium and steel (usually hot-rolled steel). If there is a risk of electrocution from live overhead cables, filament wound tubes made of glass fibre in nylon or a polyester matrix can be used.