What is the difference between steel and timber scaffolding

Since the beginning of human civilization, scaffolding has been used to provide support for builders on all kinds of projects. Over time, scaffolding has continued to evolve greatly.

Steel scaffolding is a scaffolding that is made by joining steel parts together to get a final structure that can support workers working from heights. It is the preferred option for most contractors due to the many advantages it has over timber scaffolding.

The main difference between steel and timber scaffolding is the material used for the scaffold, steel, and timber.

scaffold erected using steel

Timber scaffolding was the original method used but after the discovery of steel, it is slowly fading away. Although there are some trees such as bamboo which provide durable scaffolding material, they can’t be compared to steel which is still able to remain usable even after years of continued use.

Advantages of steel over timber scaffolding

The main advantage steel has over timber is the durability factor. A steel scaffold is much more durable than a timber scaffold. It takes much more time before steel can be declared unfit for use. Steel also has a much greater weight capacity compared to timber scaffolding.

The process of putting together and dismantling steel scaffolding is also much easier compared to timber scaffolding since it involves putting the steel parts together. Timber scaffolding on the other hand has to be tied together making the whole process quite time-consuming.

With the obvious advantages steel has over timber scaffolding, it is no wonder why it continues to become the popular option for most scaffolders. However, steel also comes with its drawbacks such as being bulky and parts rusting when exposed to some weather conditions.

Steel vs. timber scaffolding

Steel scaffoldingTimber scaffolding
Made by joining steel parts together to get the final structureThe material used is timber
More durableLess durable than steel
Has a larger weight capacity due to its sturdinessIt has a lower weight capacity
The process of erecting is easier and less time-consuming More time-consuming because the different components have to be tied together
It is bulky and rusts easily in adverse weather conditionsIt isn’t susceptible to rust

To be able to choose the scaffolding option, you should carry out appropriate research first and then you can come to a more informed conclusion.