Formwork and scaffolding are widely used in the construction industry and are designed to perform very specific functions. It is therefore important to have a good understanding of their different uses.
When construction crews have to mould wet concrete or hold it in place until it hardens into the desired shape, formwork must be used. These systems can be defined as permanent or temporary envelopes; or also as concrete forms that support and provide security until the concrete hardens sufficiently to support its own weight.
A scaffolding system is configured as temporary structures used as working platforms to support people during construction, maintenance or repair work. With these tools, workers are able to reach heights that would otherwise be difficult to access.
Scaffolding is a modular system composed of plates, couplers and tubes made of materials such as metal, wood or bamboo. Its design can be simple or complex, but in all cases, its construction must be carried out with great care, as it will support groups of people who must also move around its surfaces. Of course, it is absolutely necessary for scaffolding to be safe and strong, as it is used for a variety of purposes, such as a platform for painting the exteriors of structures, acting as a temporary bridge or walkway, and for general maintenance work on houses and large buildings. In these scaffolding systems, safety is ensured by guardrails or by certain mechanisms that act as a ramp, or as a stabilising or supporting structure for a building.
As for the formwork, these systems must have full strength and be able to support the weight of the concrete that is shaping the construction. Wet concrete is applied to the formwork with a lot of pressure, in fact, more pressure must be exerted at the bottom than at the top. If the formwork can support the required weights, it means that the system is well configured, bearing in mind that in many cases it can bend or break while the concrete is being applied.
It is important to recognise that formwork and scaffolding are indispensable tools in the construction industry, thanks to the multiple ways in which they can be used, facilitating the work on site and offering safety to the workers.