The Difference between a Scaffolding and Formwork

March 13, 2020

Scaffolding and framework are terms commonly used in the construction industry. However, their usage and application in the industry vary vastly.  Although they are both temporary structures arranged on site for specific purposes, one must be able to differentiate these specific uses in order to effectively complete a construction project. Below are the differences between a scaffolding and formwork.

Description and Usage

Scaffolding is a temporary structure to provide a platform at different levels of a building for workers and materials. It is used across and around the building to be able to carry weight and move. It is also used to provide access in inaccessible places like high rise structures or excavated deep trench. Scaffolding system provides full access to ensure full safety of person working in those inaccessible places.

Formwork, on the other hand, is a temporary structure which is used as a mould to pour the concrete. It is a vertical or horizontal arrangement made to keep concrete in position until it gains strength and shape. It is a kind of sheeting system provided for structures such as columns, walls and concrete slabs.


Scaffolding has six types namely – single, double, ladder, cantilever, suspended and steel. Below are their material compositions.

Single Scaffolds - Single scaffolds consist of standards, putlogs, ledgers, wooden boards, and braces. They are used for ordinary buildings.

Double Scaffolds - It consists of two rows of standards at 15 cm and1.5 m. Shores are provided and are also used for superior works.

Ladder Scaffolds - It consists of brackets for plate form.

Cantilever Scaffolds - It consists of cantilever, struts, standards, putlogs and plate forms. It is used above ground level.

Suspended Scaffolds - It consists of ropes, and working platforms, Ropes can be raised manually or mechanically. They are often used for light construction and finishing works of multi-storey buildings.

Steel or Tubular Scaffolds - It consists of steel tubes (1-1/2” –2-1/2” diameter), coupler or clamps to hold pipes in different positions, prop nuts to hold single pipes,  bolts, nuts and washers, and wedge and clip.

Formwork has only two types namely steel and wooden. A steel formwork is made up of steel sheets, angle iron and tee iron while a wooden formwork is made up of props, planks battens, ledgers and sheeting.

Consult C&N Scaffolding Hire Pty Ltd for your scaffolding and formwork needs for your construction project. We focus on ensuring that you receive the best service at the best price without safety being compromised. Our employees are qualified and experience and our scaffold designs will suit the simplest of house wraps to the most difficult. We can help you plan your next scaffolding or formwork project with the most cost-efficient and time-saving solution.

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