Scaffolding plays an essential role – whether it’s for building a structure, repairing a bridge, or another similar project. But there are guidelines which need to be followed if you are to use scaffolding. In the EU, companies need to follow the BS EN 12811-1 European Standard, which sets forth requirements for scaffold performance and the method of general and structural design, used for both working and access scaffolding. If you have need scaffolding, it has to be comprised of some very important components. Here’s a look at the most important components of proper scaffolding for your project.
The essential materials
The essential materials for any scaffold include the boards, couplers, and tubes. The most basic scaffold was a lightweight one developed in the 1950s, and it soon became the standard for scaffolding systems. Comprised of a single unit weighing 24 pounds, scaffolds with different heights and sizes could be built and assembled by workers without the need for bolts or nuts.
- The tubes
The tubes for scaffolding are made from either aluminium or steel, but there is a material called composite that makes use of glass fibres in a matrix made from polyester or nylon. Composite is quite expensive, however, so it’s generally only used if there is a danger from non-isolated electric cables. Aluminium is lighter than steel, and it also has less resistance to stress and is more flexible.
- The boards
The boards used for scaffolding provide workers with a safe and flat work surface. Often, the boards are made from wood which has been seasoned, and the wood also comes in three different thicknesses: 38 millimetres, which is the standard, 50 millimetres, and 63 millimetres. Boards also have a general width, which is 225 millimetres. The maximum length of boards used for scaffolding is 3.9 metres. The ends of the board are protected with nail plates or metal plates (also known as ‘hoop irons’). In the UK, a timber board should always comply with BS 2482 requirements, and this is a fact confirmed by professionals in scaffolding in East Sussex from Dynamic Scaffolding.
- The couplers
The couplers for scaffolding are basically the fittings used to hold the different tubes and attach them together. The most basic coupler types include right angle couplers, swivel scaffold couplers, and putlog scaffold couplers. There are also couplers which are used to join scaffold tubes from one end to another, and these are referred to as spigots or joint pins. Another type of coupler called a sleeve coupler can also be used.
When choosing scaffolding for your project, make sure the scaffolding company makes full use of all the necessary components – with the right components, scaffolding systems will be more stable, resulting in the safety and security of everyone on your site.
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