Scaffolding and Formwork – ( Types, Function, and Difference)

Difference between Scaffolding and Formwork

Scaffolding and formwork are both temporary structure made during the time of construction of the different structure like building, bridge, culvert etc. Let us see both of them one by one.

Scaffolding and Formwork - ( Types, Function, and Difference)
Materials usedThey can be made from timber, steel, and aluminum.They can be made from wood, plywood, steel, combined wood-steel, reinforced concrete, and plain concrete.
UsageAround the building or structure to perform various works like painting, whitewashing, plastering, and so on.Used as a mould to construct concrete columns, beams, slabs, and so on.
RemovalThey can be removed as soon as the work is completed.They should be removed after 36 hours or 6 days or 28 days depending upon the type of formwork.

Details of Scaffolding and Formwork

What is Scaffolding?

Scaffolding and Formwork - ( Types, Function, and Difference)

Scaffolding is a type of temporary construction that is used for access around the building when the height of the building exceeds about 1.5 m.

These temporary structures are very close to the walls of the building. They should be strong enough to hold workmen and other materials placed on it.

Functions of scaffolding

  • These are needed to support the platform over which the workmen can sit and carry the construction.
  • These are also needed when a building needs repairing or a building should be demolished.

Components of Scaffolding

  1. Standards: They are the vertical members resting on the ground.
  2. Ledgers: They are horizontal members running parallel to the walls.
  3. Braces: They are diagonal members fixed on the standards to make scaffolding stable.
  4. Putlogs: These are transverse member perpendicular to the wall surface with one end on the ledger and other on the wall.
  5. Transoms: These are transverse member perpendicular to the wall whose both end is on the ledger.
  6. Bridle: A member used to bridge a wall opening that supports one end of the putlog at the opening.
  7. Boarding: This is a horizontal member that rests on putlogs to support the workers and materials.
  8. Guard rail: This is a rail parallel to the ledgers at the working level.
  9. Toeboard: This is a board parallel to the ledgers which are supported on putlogs for protection.
  10. Rope-lashings, nails, bolts, and so on are used to secure the various components.

Building regulation

  • Operational work should follow safety regulations.
  • Materials used for scaffolding should be inspected before use.
  • Materials such as timber, steel and aluminium can be used to construct a scaffolding.
  • Guard Rail should be of more than 2 metres height.

Read Also, Scaffolding meaning | Types of Scaffolding | Scaffolding material

Types of Scaffolding

Scaffolding is of following types:

  • Single scaffolding or brick-layers scaffolding

It consists of a single framework of different scaffolding components. It is built parallel to the wall at a distance of 1.2 meters. This type of scaffolding is also used for bricklaying and called putlog scaffolding.

  • Double scaffolding or masons scaffolding

This type of scaffolding consists of two rows of scaffolding. It is used in places where cheap single scaffolding cannot be used. It is also called an independent scaffolding.

  • Cantilever or needle scaffolding

When the ground is weak to support standards and construction is to be carried out in the upper part of the building near the wall, cantilever scaffolding comes to use.

  • Suspended scaffolding

This type of scaffolding is very light and used for light works such as painting, pointing, whitewashing, distempering and many others.

  • Trestle scaffolding

Trestle scaffolding is used for painting and repair works. They are normally used up to a height of 5 metres.

  • Steel scaffolding

This type of scaffolding is similar to timber scaffolding. Steel and rope-lashings are used in place of timber this type of scaffolding can be used to any height.

Among scaffolding and formwork, we have completed Scaffolding. Now, let us discuss formwork.


Scaffolding and Formwork - ( Types, Function, and Difference)

Formwork, also known as shuttering is a temporary construction which is used as a mould for different structures like column, beam, slab, stairs and so on, in which concrete is placed and hardened and matured.

Formwork is too much money expending and time-consuming phase in construction. It’s expenses increase more in a huge structure like a dam, reservoir, and bridge.

Function of formwork

There is a huge difference between the function of scaffolding and formwork. The formwork work as a mould to concrete and helps to provide shape size and strength to the freshly made viscous concrete.

Characteristics of a good formwork

  • It should be strong enough to withstand different forms of loads such as a dead load of concrete and live load during and after casting concrete.
  • It should be leakage proof.
  • It should be waterproof.
  • It should be rigid enough to avoid deflection.
  • It should be as light as possible.
  • The materials used for making formwork should resist warping, bulking, and weather.
  • The materials used for the construction of formwork should be easily available, cheap, and reusable.

Loads on formwork

  • The deadweight of green concrete (2300-2400 kg/m³).
  • The hydrostatic pressure of the green concrete.
  • Live load due to working labour (400 kg/m²).
  • Impact effect at the time of pouring concrete, compacting concrete by mechanical equipment (vibrator, needle vibrator, plate vibrator and so on.)

The material used for Formwork

They can be made of wood, plywood, steel, combined wood-steel, reinforced concrete and plain concrete.

Read Also, Types of formwork- (Shuttering) – Methods | Timber, Steel, Plywood

Types of formwork

Formwork is classified based on where they are used. Some of them are briefly described below:

  • Formworks for excavation and trenches

This type of formwork is used when the depth of trench is large or when the sub-soil is loose by a method called timbering of trenches. It helps to prevent the trench to cave in.

Methods of timbering

  • Stay Bracing

This method is used when excavation does not exceed 2 meters for supporting the sides or bench excavated in firmly firm soil. It consists of vertical sheets placed at the interval of 2 to 4 meters which extends to the full height of trench.

  • Box sheeting

This method is used when excavation does not exceed 4 meters in loose soil. It consists of vertical sheets placed very near to each other.

  • Vertical Sheeting

This method is used for deep trenches of around 10 meters in depth. It is similar to box sheeting. In this type, the excavation is carried out in stages and an offset is provided after the stages.

  • Runners

This method is used in emergency condition if the soil where excavation is going on has extremely loose and soft ground.

  • Sheet piling

This method is used when soil to be excavated is soft or loose where the depth and width of excavation is large and has sub-soil water.

  • Formworks for column footing

Formwork to be used for column footing depends upon the shape of footing. Usually, square and rectangular formwork is used accompanied by vertical sides or steps of sloping sides.

  • Formwork for columns

Formwork for columns includes four boxes prepared for four sides which are assembled and concrete is poured and cured and removed after maturing.

  • Formwork for floors

Formwork for floors consists of a skeleton to receive concrete usually made of small wooden beams at top and rows of vertical posts.

  • Formwork for beams

Formwork for the beam is a type of formwork similar as formwork for floors.

  • Formwork for stairs

Formwork for stairs consists of stringers, sheets, joists, bearers and vertical post.

Time for Removal of formwork

Vertical formwork (side of beam)36 hours
Slab soffit6 days
Removal of the prop of beam15 days
Total removal28 days

Important terms

Stripping: operation of removing formwork.

Panel forms: formwork whose can be used several times.

Stationary forms: formwork that is made for individual non-standard members and structures which have no repeatable elements and cannot be stripped.

Green concrete: concrete with water whose initial setting has not done.

Why we prefer steel formwork over timber formwork?

It is because there is less possibility of warping, swelling, and shrinkage of steel. Steel has a smooth surface and has greater rigidity than timber. Though steel formwork is costlier, it possesses greater advantages over timber formwork.

I hope this article on scaffolding and formwork remains helpful for you.

Happy Learning – Civil Concept

Contributed by,

Civil Engineer – Sushmita Niraula

Read Also,

What is grouting in construction | Purposes, and Application of grouting

Difference between Load bearing structure and Framed structure

5 Types of loads on structure to be considered – RCC

Statically determinate and indeterminate structures- Example Concept

Sharing Is Caring:

1 thought on “Scaffolding and Formwork – ( Types, Function, and Difference)”

  1. Admiring the hard work you put into your website and in depth information you
    offer. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a
    while that isn’t the same out of date rehashed material.
    Excellent read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

Your Comment