Scaffolding has been used in almost all constructions in the world. Made from various materials, scaffolds can be used for many purposes. For example, they provide access to tall structures during construction to support workers and their tools and even at other times needed to support significant loads of building materials.
Depending on the specific needs of a construction project, each type of scaffolding often has unique qualities and benefits. Some of the most popular types of scaffolding around the world include:
- Single Scaffolding or Brick Layer Scaffolding
- Double scaffolding or Independent Scaffolding
- Cantilever Scaffolding
- Suspended Scaffolding
- Ladder or Trestle Scaffolding
- Mobile Scaffolding or Patented scaffolding
- Tube and clamp Scaffolding
- System Scaffolding (Cuplock, Kwikstage, Staircase Tower…Etc.)
- Cuplock scaffolding
- Kwikstage Scaffolding
- Staircase Tower
- Frame & Brace Scaffolding
- Mast Climbing scaffolding
- Other Equipment (Scissors Lift, Cradle Scaffold …etc.)
This great variety of types of scaffolding is due to both the specific needs of the construction project and compliance with local regulations and the characteristics and requirements of the geographical site in which they will be used. For example, in Scandinavia and northern Europe, labor is costly, so they opt for the use of aluminum scaffolding. This is because aluminum is lighter than steel, and most scaffolding must be manually lifted into place. More lightweight scaffolding means the scaffold can be built faster, reducing labor costs. In contrast, in some other countries, aluminum is expensive, and labor is much more affordable, so wooden poles and bamboo are pretty common. So, depending on where you work, different types of scaffolding systems will be more common.
Single Scaffolding or Brick Layer Scaffolding
Single scaffolding consists of a single framework of standards, ledgers, and putlogs connected and constructed parallel to the wall at a distance of about 1.20 meters. The most common use for single scaffolding is brick masonry. To better understand what we are talking about, it is worth describing some parts that make up this type of scaffolding. The name of the vertical membrane is “standard,” and the horizontal membrane is “ledger.” Well, now using the “ledgers,” we connect the “standards” at vertical intervals of about 1.2 to 1.5 meters. “Putlogs” attach the scaffolding to the wall through the hole made in the wall at an interval of between 1.2 and 1.5 meters. If the scaffolding is tall, we fix braces as additional support and for the stability of the scaffolding. We need to set the “braces” diagonally across “standards.”
Double scaffolding or Independent Scaffolding
Also called mason’s scaffolding, double scaffolding is generally used for stone masonry. This scaffolding is generally more robust than single scaffolding. A double row of scaffolding strengthens the entire support structure in this type of scaffolding. In this type of scaffolding, no need to make holes in the wall as in the case of single scaffolding. In this type of scaffolding, the first row is 20 – 30 cm away from the wall, and the other is 1 – 1.5 m away from the first row. Then putlog holes support the frames, and rakers and cross braces provide additional support to the scaffolding.
Cantilevered scaffolding is used in construction as per the specific requirements and is the best option in some situations, like:
– when the ground cannot support a scaffolding structure,
– when the upper part of the wall is under construction,
– if we face some obstacles preventing us from erecting the scaffolding from the ground. For example, we may need to make cantilever scaffolding in a busy street that required to keep the space near the wall, free for a walk and traffic, etc.
Another name for this type of scaffolding is “Needle scaffold” because the ‘needle’ supports the entire scaffold structure. The needle is a protrusion sticking out from a platform’s frame and is often made of timber. The needle is braced on all sides to prevent the scaffolding structure from falling over. However, this type of scaffolding is often more unsteady than other types, so taking extra precautions might be helpful while constructing it.
There are two types of cantilever scaffolding, 1) single-frame scaffolding Type and 2) double-frame scaffolding type or independent scaffolding type. In the case of “single-frame type,” the standards are supported on a series of needles, which are taken out through holes in the wall. In the double-frame scaffolding type, we support needles inside the floors via the openings.
Mobile suspended scaffolds, also known as swing stage scaffolds, are a cost-effective alternative to traditional scaffolding systems. This type of suspended scaffolding has numerous advantages, among which are:
– its ability to rotate horizontally and vertically on-stage lengths between 3′ and 60.’
– support loads between 750 lbs. at 1500 lbs, enough weight to support both workers and equipment
– provide access for mid-rise buildings up to skyscrapers
– They are light and easy to assemble and disassemble, which saves large amounts of material and labor for installation.
This type of scaffolding is usually suspended by ropes or cables connected to stirrups at each end of the platform. Another advantage of this type of scaffolding it is they are suspended, so it is possible to reliably access work areas that are difficult to access, such as uneven surfaces, traffic routes, or regions obstructed by various elements such as tanks, pipes, or machinery. Due to all these characteristics, it is common for suspended scaffolds to be used for jobs such as:
– glass cleaning in skyscrapers
– roof renovations
– renovation and maintenance of bridges and
– other infrastructure projects.
Ladder or Trestle Scaffolding
The Trestle Ladder, also known as a Double Front Ladder, is a scaffold with decking components supported at either end by trestle ladders that allow being climbed by two persons simultaneously, one on each side. Trestles can be fixed, foldable, or adjustable and are used by painters, signwriters, electricians, and similar for light-duty work such as using hand tools. Trestles are typically made of wood, metal, plastic, or aluminum, making them efficient equipment for various jobs. However, trestle scaffolds have a limited length of 20ft, and you can only stand at 18ft measured along the rails, and are light duty (max. 225kg). Anything above that is considered unstable and a safety hazard.
Mobile Scaffolding or Patented scaffolding
Also referred to as a mobile scaffold tower, portable scaffold, or rolling scaffold is a type of scaffolding with working platforms set on wheels or casters. According to the travel mode, it can be divided into an upward travel type movable scaffolding system and a downward travel type movable scaffolding system. Aluminium mobile scaffolds can come in sizes between 2 to 7 meters high. It’s suitable for tasks requiring frequent position changes, such as painting and plastering. It’s a safer and sturdier alternative to a ladder. However, the main disadvantage is their lesser stability and smaller safe working load compared to other scaffolding types.
The movable scaffolding system mainly consists of an outrigger mechanism, supporting truss beam, internal and external template, primary beam lifting mechanism, and so on. It is a construction equipment that integrates formwork, support system, and walking function. The patented scaffoldings, however, are fitted with special couplings, frames, etc.
As you can see, scaffolding types are used for different kinds of work; whatever the construction project is, it is essential to choose the perfect type of scaffolding as per your needs which can provide complete safety at the workplace.