Since the beginning of civilisation, humans have always used scaffolding to help them to build tall buildings. It is believed that timber scaffolding was used in Egypt for the building of the pyramids.

Until 1922, this practice of using timber for scaffolding continued. This is the time when steel metal tubes began to replace the wooden poles.

Metal scaffolding has now become the norm. Since 1950, tube scaffolding has become the industry standard. This is because its light weight does not compromise on strength. Tube scaffolding does not require nuts and bolts for its assembly. Steel and aluminium are the metals used for scaffolding.

Strength and durability are what you get when you use steel scaffolding. Steel also has elasticity that can prevent it from cracking. It can be used for the support of heavy loads, while it can also help workers to transport supplies and heavy equipment. When you are building tall structures, steel becomes a necessity, as the scaffolding itself will have a lot of weight for which steel can provide the needed structural strength.

When conditions are less demanding, mobile aluminium tower scaffold can be used as an alternative.

When workers use metal scaffolding they will find it safe to access all remote and high locations. These structures get greater stability when diagonal bracing is used.

There are three basic elements in metal scaffolding structures:

  1. Standards
  2. Ledgers
  3. Transoms

Standards are vertical tubes that keep it upright and will run throughout the entire scaffolding structure. They help to transfer the weight of the structure and the loads imposed on it to the ground, through the use of a square plate that helps in spreading the load.

Ledgers are horizontal tubes that connect all the standards to form a structure that ensures stability and keeps the structure in place.

Transoms are the horizontal tubes that are placed perpendicular to the ledgers and provide support to platforms at every level where work is to be carried out, and also give the structure more strength.

Applications of Metal Scaffolding

The use is made of metal scaffolding not only for construction, but also for maintenance and repair. Workers can access remote and high locations of any building by using metal scaffolding.

The forms in which metal scaffolding is erected can be varied, but it is determined by the project that is on hand.

The most common type of scaffolding is the one that is supported. You will find that this scaffolding is built up from the ground and you will see it on most construction sites. It makes for the most cost-effective scaffolding that is also easy and convenient to erect and safe to use. If the structure is very high, it needs extra support, often by tying to the building itself. Heavy loads on the scaffolding also call for such added support.

Suspended scaffolding can be suspended from roofs of buildings. This is the correct option when it is not possible to construct a base, or in situations where the scaffolding is only required at certain upper levels, and it is not practical to build it from the ground up.

Rolling scaffolding has a great similarity to supported scaffolding. The difference between the two is that it does not have a stable base, but has castor wheels at the base that allow it to be moved. This becomes a practical application in long buildings where work has to be carried out across the full length of any building. When work is to be carried out at any location, it is important to lock the wheels so that the scaffold remains at one place and becomes safe for the workers and materials on the scaffolding.

Materials of Metal Scaffolding

These include:

  • Tubes
  • Couplers
  • Boards or Decking

Steel or aluminium is used for making the tubes. Hot rolled steel is normally used for the steel tubes. Where there is any risk form overhead cables that can be live, use is made of glass fibre or a nylon polyester matrix.