Whether you are a contractor, a construction worker, looking forward to home renovation, or planning on renewing your workplace, you are going to need scaffolding to reach the heights. A ladder is an old-school option, and we do not need to mention why it is a bad one – safety, less efficiently and the list goes on. Scaffolding provides a safe platform, and the best part is that it is modifiable!
Scaffolding is a temporary platform, built with a framework. This framework is safe against all exterior and interior factors, making it a whole lot easier for workers to reach the desired heights without much hassle or fear of falling. Moreover, scaffolds provide with not only a platform to work freely at heights, but also with enough free space to keep the necessary tools. The ease and convenience of it make it a piece of essential equipment at construction sites.
ALUMINUM OR STEEL? THE ULTIMATE SCAFFOLDING DUEL
Now that we have gotten over what scaffolding is and what it does, it time to see how many kinds of it you can find in the market. If you go through the history of construction equipment, you will find that scaffoldings come in a variety of materials, such as wood, aluminum, bamboo, synthetic materials, and steel. However, nowadays, the only two options that most contractors and constructors consider are aluminum or steel. The reasons are obvious; scaffolding needs to be as strong enough as possible for safety purposes and of course, efficiency. The larger the framework, the more capacity it has for people to support.
Now, there is a battle between which scaffolding is best. Both steel and aluminum scaffolding have distinct features with respective pros and cons. But the debate continues, and answers are long overdue. Steel providers although advocate for the steel ones over the aluminum, whereas, aluminum providers sing the praise of their product which is quite natural. Hence, here is all you need to know about aluminum and steel scaffoldings, their properties and pros & cons, so you can decide for yourself which is better and serves best to your purpose.
Scaffolding made from steel frames comprises of tubular, gantry steel, cup lock steel, socket steel, etc. The type of material depends upon the purpose of the job. Here is a classification of steel scaffoldings.
1 – Single Specification Steel Pipe
The single specification steel pipe scaffolding makes use of steel pipes with specifications. For example, the fastener steep tubular scaffold employs approx. 48 – 3.5 welded pipes.
2 – Scaffolds Manufactured Using a Combination of Steels
Yup, you heard that right. There are scaffoldings manufactured by combining various types of steels with specifications, such as the gantry scaffolds.
3 – Pipe Based Scaffolding
The pipe-based scaffold is made with steel pipes. For support, several steel parts such as the base and handling are combined with plates of a similar material or internal frame with a channel backwater. The steel back scaffolding is when cup lock scaffolding uses rails of steel by its side, and tube-based scaffolding is the one that uses steel bars, available as a single steel pipe scaffold.
4 – The Manufacturing Style of the Steel Scaffolding
Did the thought come into your mind as well that why steel the alloy and why not iron? Well, you should know that in today’s world, anything that provides more convenience wins. Steel is lighter. The scaffolding might be amazing with its use in one place, but it still needs to be moved to work at different parts of buildings. Therefore, even in steel, the lightest of its kinds are used to manufacture scaffolding, but without compromising on the strength factor. The materials made from wood or bamboo of high strength is used to integrate the framework, reduced use of bolts is ensured in fastening and assembling of the frame.
If you have ever seen the word ‘vs.’ between aluminum and steel scaffolding, the last line must have been ‘go for aluminum’- well at least in the majority. Aluminum is given preference over steel for many advantages that it provides during construction. There is the convenience of its use, weight, and portability. Aside from that, it provides an easy, hassle-free setup. This kind of scaffolding is resistant to cracks and corrosion, hence more durable as compared to its counterpart.
1 – Light-Weight:
Aluminum scaffolding uses a special alloy of the metal that is 75% lighter than your traditional steel scaffolding frames.
2 – Strength and Support:
Components made from aluminum made use of cold expansion and internal expansion. It has great pull-off strength.
3 – Simple and Quick Installation
What makes aluminum scaffolding a favorite option is the fast and simple process of installation. It is quick, being ell equipped with casters of good strength which can be removed as per the requirements.
4 – A No-Brainer
As mentioned above, setting up scaffolding is a no brainer. The reason is that the entire structure makes use of building blocks. This eliminates the need to use tools and apparatus to set it up.
5 – Stability
Besides being lightweight, the aluminum alloy used to make aluminum scaffolds also add to its durability. They are highly stable, hence safe.
6 – Cost-Efficient
What adds more to its significance is its price. Aluminum scaffolding comes at a surprisingly low cost considering its features. It is the cheapest option out of all different types of scaffoldings. Due to this reason alone, construction sites and contractors use aluminum scaffolding, because it increases work-efficiency with its strength and durability, ensures safety to the maximum level and saves money.
THE FINAL VERDICT
Reading the overall discussion, it should be easy for you to reach a final decision now. Steel may be a hero with its strength and all; however, it does not hold a candle against aluminum. It is superior to steel in all working areas. Both the steel and aluminum can work well when installed at the working site, but aluminum does the job faster and is more versatile.
The construction industry takes the old saying ‘Time is Money’ very seriously. They would not give anything a single thought if it is doing their work 2x quicker. But here, they save both time and money by going for the aluminum scaffolding – the cherry on top, isn’t it?
However, it is still advised to think before jumping to the one with better features, for it is highly possible that the aluminum scaffolding might not serve the purpose of your kind of job the way you want it to. Choosing the right scaffolding is very much dependent on the safety of yours and your workers as well, so choose wisely.