Types of scaffolding

What Is Scaffolding?

Construction work is involved a huge amount of material resources. Scaffolding is one such resource without which construction is not possible. There are various types of scaffolding system is used over the period of time. 

Types of Scaffolding

Scaffolding is generally a temporary structure to provide platforms to the construction worker to move materials & tools and to provide safe and easy access to the work. 

Types of Scaffolding System And Procedure

There are various types of scaffolding systems are used in a construction project and the erection of scaffolding is an old practice in construction that has evolved over the period of time.  The material used in scaffolding works has also evolved during the course hence scaffolding types can be broadly categorized. 

In this article, we will discuss each type of scaffolding that is used in a construction project. The system of scaffolding can be categorized from two different perspectives. 

  • Based on Material Used.
  • Based on Purpose of Use.
  • Scaffolding Types Based on Material Used 
  1. Bamboo Scaffolding
  2. Steel Pipe & Clamp System
  3. Cup Lock System 
  • Scaffolding types Based on the purpose of Use 
  1. Single Scaffolding System 
  2. Double Scaffolding System 
  3. Cantilever Scaffolding System 
  4. Patented Scaffolding System 
  5. Suspended Scaffolding System 
  6. Kiwkstage Scaffolding System 

Got an overview about the various category of scaffolding, now will discuss each of the categories in a detailed manner.

Scaffolding Type Based on Material Used with Their Components

Scaffolding Types

#1. Bamboo Scaffolding 

Bamboo & timbers are the oldest material that is being used as a scaffolding material in construction work, still, it is used in small and local construction works but also, in some developed country like Honk Kong.

Bamboo scaffolding is not considered a safe scaffolding material but, it is still used in Highrise construction.

#2. Steel Pipe & Clamp System  

Pipe Clamp scaffolding is a system where steel pipe/tube is used. Full length (6m) pipes are used as scaffolding vertical pipes and horizontal bracings and short pipes (of different sizes) are used as transoms. These pipes are joined with each other using Clamps and joint pins. See the below picture, where all components are shown.

Componentes of Pipe Clamp Scaffolding System
  • Scaffolding Steel Pipe / Tube– 40 NB, 6 m long hollow steel pipes are used in the scaffolding system as vertical and horizontal members. These pipes are cut into required lengths to use as transverse members.
  • Scaffolding Clamps– Clamps are used to couple the pipes in any direction. There are two types of scaffolding clamps are used in the system. 
    • #1. Fixed Clamps – These clamps are used only to make 900 angels between the scaffolding pipes.
    • #2. Swivel Clamps – Swivel clamps can be used to obtain any angular direction, between pipes, these are used to join the angular cross bracings.
  • Scaffolding Joint Pin– Joint pins are used to join vertical or horizontal pipe face to face which mean, it is used to join 1800 angle between pipes.
  • Base Plate– These are 150 x 150 mm square MS plates are inserted below the vertical pipe to support the base (as the name suggests) and to transmit a load of the scaffolding pipe to the ground.

These are comparatively low-cost scaffolding systems but not the safest ones. The load of the scaffold structure is depending on the strength of the clamps.

#3. Cup Lock Scaffolding system

This is the widely used scaffolding type. This is a safe most scaffolding system as compared to the other scaffolding type. Cup lock scaffolding system consists of various components.

Componentes of Cup Lock Scaffolding System
  • Base Jack / Levelling Jack– Base jacks are used to adjust the vertical posts at the required height and the same plate as in the base plate, present in it, to bear the scaffolding load. The length of the jack is available in different sizes, from 1200 mm to 500 mm and 38 mm in diameter.
  • Vertical Post– Vertical posts are the main component of a scaffolding system, these posts are circular in section made up of steel of 48 mm in diameter and 3 mm in thickness. Rosette or cups are present in this section at every 500mm interval, these are subjected to join with the horizontal member.
  • Horizontal Bearer– Horizontal bearers are the joining element between the two vertical posts, they are also made of steel tubes of the same section as vertical posts available in different sizes. There are different types of wedged-headed bars are present at both ends of the tube, these are used to join with the rosette of the vertical members.
  • Shoring Brace – Shore braces are made to support the double layer scaffolding system; these members are provided transversely between the double scaffolding layer to resist lateral forces. These bars are made of different sizes ranging from 2.25m to 3.75 m in section.
  • Access Deck with Ladder– These members are provided to have safe working access to the workers, basically it a platform made up of profiled steel sections of variable length 2m to 3m and standard 600mm in width.
  • Board Bracket– Board brackets are used to access additional working places for workers, these are made of steel tubes and MS angles.
  • Toe Guard– These are made of using MS flats to provide safety against falling of tools and materials from the access deck, it is installed just above the access deck.
  • Wall Mount Bracket– These elements are used to create anchorage between the wall of the building to the scaffolding by making a putlog hole. They are made up of the same steel tube as used in vertical pipes but attached with a clamp at its end. These members are inserted into the putlog hole and removed during the removal of scaffolding.

Scaffolding Type Based on Purpose of Use

Under this section of the article, we will discuss the types of scaffolding work based on the purpose of using scaffolding under various circumstances. Different activates in construction demands different types of scaffolding systems.

The above-discussed type of scaffolding materials are the main using which all the below discussed 

Let’s discuss without dragging it any further.

 #1. Single Scaffolding System 

Single scaffolding is synonymous with bricklayers or masonry scaffolding which simply meant that this type of scaffolding is preferably used to carry out the brickwork activity. This scaffolding is generally a single-layer frame tied or anchored with the wall using a shoring brace or wall-mounted bracket.

Single Scaffolding Bamboo

 Image Credit @ Pixahive

These scaffoldings are erected generally 1.2 m away and parallel to the wall which makes it easier to carry out the brick masonry work. In a single scaffolding system, vertical standards are posted along and throughout the length of the wall at 2m to 2.5m intervals. Horizontal ledgers are provided at 1.2m to 1.5m intervals up to the required height. Then short pipes are inserted into the putlog holes at 1.2m intervals to take support from the wall. In cases of high scaffolding, some extra braces provide in the transverse direction.

#2. Double Scaffolding System 

Double scaffolding is generally a two-layer scaffolding system. It is also erected along the length of the wall, the first layer is kept at a 200mm to 300mm distance from the walls and the second layer is at 1m to 1.2m away from the first row of scaffolding. Both layers are tied with each other using short braces and cross braces are also provided to make it even stronger.

Double Scaffolding

This type of scaffolding system is more stable than single layer scaffolding, double layer scaffolding is used for heavy works like stone masonry, where putlogs cannot be provided by making holes in the stone. This type of scaffolding system can also be used in high structures where wind load is a prime factor. In such cases, double scaffolding ensures better stability.

#3. Cantilever Scaffolding System

A cantilever scaffolding system is an unconventional method of scaffolding it is only used when it is required. In a cantilever scaffolding system, the vertical standers are supported by a chain of needles, and these needles are fully stressed out using holes in the wall, this is known as a single frame scaffolding system.


There is another way where the needles are supported inside the floor opening 

#4. Trestle Scaffolding System

Trestle scaffolding consists of a working platform supported by two moveable ladders on either side of the platform, no vertical standards or putlogs are provided. Thus, it is flexible, can easily be moved from one place to another.

Terstle Scaffolding

 Image Credit @ Action Scaffold

This type of scaffold is used in minor works inside the room or where the height is a maximum of 5 m. Painting, plastering, or repairing works are generally done using trestle scaffolding.

#5.  Patented Scaffolding System

Patented scaffolding is a ready-made system of scaffolding that is available in the market, this type of scaffoldings are easily adjustable not erection needed at the site. 

Patented Scaffolding

            Image Credit @ Mad4tools

These are made up of steel members, they are arranged using a special ready-made coupling system. The working platforms are supported on a bracket and the height of patented scaffolding is adjusted at the site as per the requirement.

#6. Suspended Scaffolding System 

Suspended scaffolding is a type of scaffolding system where the working platform is suspended from the top of the building using a chain/ rope attached with a pulley system, the platform can be adjusted to its required level.

Suspended Scaffolding

  Image Credit @ Building Gift

Suspended scaffoldings are generally used for painting, repair & maintenance work. It is used instead of trestle scaffolding if the height of the building is greater and for external works. 

#7. Kwikstage Scaffolding System 

Kwikstage scaffolding is preferred by the builders,  it used in large highrise building projects. Kwikstage scaffolding is easy to assemble, it takes almost no time to cover the whole building with the scaffold.

Kwikstage Scaffolding

 Image Credit @ Indiamart

The members of kwikstage scaffolding are made of galvanized steel. It is very much stable that uses a strong interlocking system. 

To Conclude,

Scaffolding is a crucial temporary structure that is to be erected to carry out any construction activity above human height. The choice of the best type of scaffolding is depended upon many factors such as cost of material, time of erection, size of the project, and safety policies. All the above-discussed scaffolding types are not suitable for every project, the selection of scaffolding materials or method is dependent upon the Engineer-In-Charge.

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