Scaffolding materials include steel, timber, bamboo, and aluminum. Among them, steel scaffolding is more popular. What is steel scaffolding? What are the advantages and disadvantages of steel scaffolding? What are the types of steel scaffolding globally? Why use steel scaffolding? In this article, we talk about steel scaffolding and the thing you want to know about the steel scaffolding.
Steel scaffolding is scaffold products and accessories, materials that are made of steel structures, steel plates, steel pipes, and steel fittings. It is a type of scaffolding that sturdy with high load capacity, easy erection with standard sizes, and durable with long life. Steel scaffolding is used globally in all countries, especially for large and heavy-duty construction projects.
Advantages of steel scaffolding
Steel scaffolding has a high load capacity of up to 800 KN
Steel scaffolding includes light-duty scaffolds, medium-duty scaffolds, and heavy-duty scaffolds. Heavy-duty steel scaffolding load up to 800 KN. It can be used not only for normal building scaffolding but also for heavy-duty shoring and infrastructure and industrial construction.
Steel scaffolds are durable with up to 50 years of long life span
Steel scaffolding is not easy to crack and damage in construction. Hot dip galvanized steel scaffolding can last 20-50 years with proper maintenance.
Steel scaffolding is cheap in cost compared to Aluminium scaffolding
Steel scaffolding is made of carbon steel. The cost of steel is less than other metal scaffolding like aluminum. Thus steel scaffolding is cheaper in price than aluminium scaffolding.
Steel scaffold tubes are easy to cut to customized sizes and lengths
Steel scaffolding pipes are easy to cut to your required lengths to form different scaffold elements of standards, ledgers, transoms, braces, handrails, etc.
Modular steel scaffold parts are easily erected & dismantled with fabricated fixed linking points and connectors
Modular steel scaffold products are fabricated with fixed sizes, fixed linking points and connectors, wedges, and keys. They are easy to erect and dismantle.
With standard diameters OD48.3mm
Steel scaffolding’s standard diameter is mostly 48mm. There are also standard diameters of 60.3mm, 76mm, and 89mm for heavy-duty steel scaffolds. Light steel scaffolding diameter can be 42mm. Standard diameter makes scaffolding easy to fix with standard couplers and fittings.
Mature scaffolding standards of BS1139, EN74, etc for steel scaffolding
Steel scaffolding standards are mature globally. Include BS1139 standard, EN74, EN 39, EN 10219, EN 12810, AS1576, JIS 3444, etc. With the standards and regulations, steel scaffolding materials are easy to source
Steel scaffold products are Versatile for all types of construction
Steel scaffolds are used for all shapes of structure construction. They can be used for indoor scaffolding, outdoor scaffolding, mobile scaffold towers, etc.
Steel scaffolding platforms and decks are anti-slip, steady
Steel scaffolding platforms are with hooks and wind protection devices. Thus it is safer than timber planks. Metal decks without hooks are able to be fixed by board retaining fittings to ensure safety.
Steel scaffolding is non-combustible and safety
Steel scaffolding is safe from fires. Safe in building construction.
Steel scaffolding is designed with safe and convenient stairs and access ways
Steel scaffolding is used for high-construction
With high load, easy erection, and long life, steel scaffolding products are applied in high scaffolding construction.
Steel scaffolding is adjustable to different height
Steel scaffolding can be used in big jobs and projects
Because of the sturdy, high load and long life, steel scaffolding is always used in big jobs and projects
Steel scaffolding is environmentally friendly
Use steel scaffolding, no need to cut trees. They also can be used in the long term. Can be reclaimed. Thus, steel scaffolding materials are environmentally friendly.
Disadvantages of steel scaffolding
Compared to aluminum scaffolding, steel scaffolding is easy to rusty especially, especially, if you choose painted and E-galvanized (zinc-plated) steel scaffold products
The weight of steel scaffolding is heavier than aluminum scaffold materials. Harder to handle in construction.
Steel scaffolding is electrically conductive. Some construction projects may be not suitable for use.
What are Different Types of Steel Scaffolding in Construction
Steel scaffolding can be used for different types of construction.
- Single steel scaffolding with single rows of standard needs to be fixed to the wall
- Double steel scaffolding is independent with two or more rows of standards
- Cantilever scaffolds are used when obstacles prevent scaffolding erection from the ground
- Suspended Steel Scaffolding with Suspended Working platform above Ground
- Portable Trestle Steel Scaffolding (A-frame) with Ladder easy to set up for work platform
- Rolling and Mobile Steel Scaffolding Tower with scaffold wheels
- Staircase Steel Scaffolding with access way to each work platform
- Shoring Steel scaffolding holds the load during formwork concrete
What are the Different Types of Steel Scaffolding Material
When you want to choose steel scaffolding material for your construction, building, or shoring. You can choose the following different types and systems of steel scaffolding.
- Ringlock scaffolding
- Cuplock scaffolding
- Kwikstage scaffolding(quick stage)
- Quick lock scaffolding
- Quick erect scaffolding
- Tube lock Scaffolding (steel tube with fittings)
- Speedshore scaffolding
- Crab 60 shoring system
- 60mm Heavy-duty ring lock system
- OD48.3×4.0mm Type 4 Scaffold Tube + Drop Forged Scaffolding Couplers
- OD48.3×3.2mm Type 3 Scaffold tube + Forged & pressed scaffold clamps BS1139
- OD48.6×2.4mm JIS /KS Standard Scaffolding Pipes + JIS and Korean Scaffolding Clamps
- Walk Through Frame Scaffold
- Ladder Frame Scaffolding
- H Frame Scaffolding
- Shoring Frame Scaffolding
- V Shore Scaffolding
- Column Frame Scaffolding
- Steel battens or metal decks without hooks to fixed by board clamps
- Steel planks with hooks and sit on horizontal parts
- Steel stairs form access ways
What type of steel is used in steel scaffolding?
Steel type of the steel scaffolding is carbon steel. The carbon steel material makes steel scaffolding steady, and firm, and takes a high load. The grades of the carbon steel scaffolding are S235, S355, STK 400, STK 500.
The carbon steel scaffolds are mostly hot-rolled. For anti-corrosion purposes, the steel scaffolding is always with surface treatment of galvanizing, painting, powder coated, zinc-plated, etc.
What size is scaffolding steel?
Standard scaffolding steel size is 48.3mm (1-1/2”) in diameter. 3.2mm and 4.0mm in wall thickness.
There are also other sizes for scaffolding steel.
- OD38mm for adjustable base plates
- 7mm for frame scaffolding
- OD56/57mm for high-load scaffolding frames
- OD27/25/21 mm for diagonal braces
- OD60mm for hi-load shore scaffold and props
- OD89mm for bridge legs and posts
- OD72mm and OD76mm for heavy-duty scaffold prop outer
Plank steel sizes
- Width: 210mm, 225mm, 240mm, 250mm, 230mm, 400mm, 420mm, 450mm, 480mm, 500mm
- Thickness: 38mm, 40mm, 45mm, 50mm, 63mm, 67mm, 76mm
- Steel wall thickness: 1.0mm to 2.0mm
13 Major Steel Scaffolding Components
- Fixed and Adjustable steel base plates (Foot of the scaffolding)
- Steel scaffold standards (Vertical support for scaffolding)
- Steel scaffold ledgers (horizontal parts connect between two standards)
- Steel transoms (horizontal support for boards, between scaffold ledgers)
- Diagonal Braces ( vertical diagonal to make construction scaffold stable)
- Horizontal Braces (horizontal diagonal to make scaffold tower more stable)
- Steel boards and metal decks (forming work platforms of the scaffold tower)
- Steel Toe Boards ( side protection surround work platform)
- Steel Ladders ( Simple parts for access and climbing)
- Steel Stairs ( form stable access way with board steps)
- Steel Brackets and Cantilever Frames ( Components form cantilevers when scaffolding can not be erected from the ground)
- Steel Tie Bars ( Fixing parts between scaffold brackets and support boards on brackets)
- Steel Guard Rail ( Protect safety in climbing and working)
What are the alternatives to steel scaffolding?
Steel scaffolding alternatives are aluminum, timber, and bamboo scaffolding. Bamboo scaffolding is a very old scaffold used a lot in China. Now few companies use bamboo scaffolding.
Steel Scaffolding vs. Timber Scaffolding
Steel scaffolding is better than timber scaffolding. Because steel scaffolding can be fabricated with customized sizes, in different types, systems, and modules. Using steel scaffolding components and parts makes erection easy and convenient by connecting and fixing standard or modular fittings and connectors.
Timber scaffolding can be some parts of scaffolding. Like timber boards, timber pole ladders, etc. But can not be fabricated as versatile as steel scaffolding
Steel Scaffolding vs. Aluminum Scaffolding
Steel scaffolding is cheaper than aluminum scaffolding and can take a higher bearing. Aluminum scaffolding is lightweight but expensive in raw material. The same sizes of aluminum scaffolding can bear less weight than steel scaffolding. So steel scaffolding is used for big construction projects.
How long does steel scaffolding last?
Steel scaffolding is strong and durable and can be used for many years without break. If steel scaffolding is protected by galvanizing, it can last up to 50 years. Normal steel scaffolding can be used for at least 4- 20 years.
How do you erect steel scaffolding?
- Place steel base plate and confirm scaffold position
- Put steel scaffold verticals/scaffolding frames on base plates
- Fix steel scaffold ledgers between scaffold verticals or fix cross braces between two frames
- Adjust the scaffold base plate to make all sides of the scaffolding ledgers at the same horizontal
- Set up the scaffold braces
- Place scaffold boards and decks
- Place stairs and ladders
- Keep erect 2ndand next tiers to the needed height
- Set guard rails