What Is Scaffolding Used For?

Scaffolding is rarely used on its own as an independent framework. Rather, framework ties are used to fix the scaffold to adjacent structures such as steelwork, fabric, or the features of a building.

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Generally, it is accepted practice in traditional scaffolding to attach a framework tie on alternate lifts 4 metres apart. A prefabricated system scaffold requires structural connections to all frames, usually at every 2 – 3 metre centres. Tie patterns are normally provided by prefabricated system manufacturers in their user guides. Ties should be coupled as close as possible at the junction of a standard and node point/ledger. Recent regulation changes require that scaffolding ties must be capable of supporting +/- tie/but loads as well as lateral/shear loads.

Due to the nature of different structures, there is a wide variety of different types of ties available:

• Through Ties are secured to structure openings such as through windows. A vertical tube crossing the inside opening is attached to the scaffold by a transom and has a horizontal crossing tube on the outside (bridle tube).
Box Ties normally secure the scaffold to building structures such as pillars or other useful features on a building. 2 additional transoms are needed on both sides of the building feature across from the lift and then joined with shorter tie tubes on each side.
• When not possible to make use of the complete box tie to secure a scaffold to a building structure, a Lip Tie (I-shaped) can be used instead An additional butt transom placed hard against the face of the structure is required to prevent inward movement.
• Anchor Ties or Bolt Ties are sometimes used to secure scaffolding. These fit into holes drilled into the structure. One common type of anchor tie is a Ring Bolt that has an expanding wedge tied to a node point.
• Reveal Ties are the least invasive as they make use of an existing opening in a structure but uses a horizontally wedged reveal tube in the opening. The tube is held in place by an adjustable threaded bar (a reveal screw pin) with protective packing at both ends. A transom tie is used to link the reveal tube to the scaffolding. As reveal ties rely solely on friction and need to be checked regularly, they are not well regarded and it is therefore recommended that no more than half of all ties used are revealed ties.
• Raker Ties are single tubes that attach to the ledge of a structure. It is impossible to exceed a safe number of tie rakers to be used. The ledge should be securely founded and extend from the scaffold at an angle of no less than 75°. A transom tie at the base completes a triangle leading back to the base of the scaffold.

Reasons for the Use of Scaffolding

Scaffolding is a temporary platform that provides support for workers and materials during a construction project, for cleaning, or repairs to a structure. Scaffold safety needs to be a priority to ensure that workers are not exposed to the hazards of falling. When properly used scaffolds can save both time and money and are crucial in the construction industry. Scaffolding is usually constructed from metal poles and wooden planks to provide a balanced platform for workers to operate from in relative safety.