What is Scaffolding and its Role in the Construction Industry

June 1, 2015


Scaffolding is relatively ancient structural support system, installed prior to any architectural endeavour. Originally made from various types of wood ranging from hardwoods and even bamboo, scaffolding not only acted as a means to help guarantee the safety of workers, as a structure or edifice was being built up, it also offered some degree of support for free-standing structures while a more stable structural support is built around it.

Scaffolding has been around since the time of the Ancient Egyptians, and may even date back to earlier times. In the olden days, scaffolding was almost exclusively made of well-crafted wood that was joined at the intersection of joints by means of knotted rope. These basic wooden skeletal supports were later improved upon and improved with the addition of mortise-and-tenon parts. This allowed for a better, more secure ‘fit’, which was once again fastened and made more sound through the use of rope.

Wood generally lost favour overtime, and was eventually replaced by far more ‘durable’ materials, generally of the metallic sort.

Metal Scaffolding and The Construction Industry Today

Metal scaffolding today are especially designed to allow for easy assembly and disassembly. While tying with rope no longer plays a major role in most modern scaffolds, thanks to other revolutionary solutions such as clamps and braces. Most metal-based scaffolding nowadays are made from an assortment of metals, mostly lightweight ones such as aluminum, or extremely tough ones like stainless steel, or industrial-grade steel.

Nearly all metallic scaffolding used in construction is galvanised, and these are usually tinted a flat black or painted with other darker colours in order to prevent accidents caused by glare. A far more revolutionary type of scaffolding, developed from tough, industrial-grade plastics or polymer / glass-fibre combinations do exist. These extremely durable, albeit very pricey, scaffolding materials are often erected in high-risk areas that pose the possibility for electric shock, or used in extremely dangerous building constructions where present overhead cables or an unusually ‘charged’ weather condition may prevent typical metal-based scaffolds from being employed safely.

Since the creation of scaffolding sometime during middle of the Paleolithic period, not much has changed with regards to its usage and purpose. It is still, to this day, an integral part in the construction process, as it provides a stable platform to transport building materials from the base to the topmost parts of structures with relative ease.

For more information on modern scaffolding choices, their additional uses and types, please visit: www.cnscaffoldinghire.com.au

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