What are scaffold tubes?

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Scaffold pipes are metal sections used to construct temporary support structures for workers to access upper levels of buildings. There are three types of tubing: standard, ledger, and stringer, held together by joints. Steel and aluminum are common materials, with steel often galvanized to prevent rust.

Scaffold pipes are metal sections of pipe used to construct a scaffold, which is a support system erected on the outside of buildings and structures under construction. Scaffolding allows workers to access upper levels of a building or structure safely by climbing these temporary structures and standing on platforms. Scaffold tubes are available in various lengths so that the scaffold structure can be customized to suit a particular job. They are held together by joints, which can also vary in size and function depending on the intended application.

There are three general types of scaffolding tubing: standard, ledger, and stringer. Standard are vertical scaffold tubes that will act as support for the entire structure. The logs run horizontally, usually between standards, to provide lateral support. Stringers are smaller support tubes that run perpendicular to the stringers and are used to add stability to the structure and to provide a surface on which to place platforms. All of these different types of scaffolding tubes are connected by joints which prevent excessive bending or movement when the structure is completed. The pipes and joints are modular, so it is possible to create structures of different shapes, heights, lengths and widths.

Steel and aluminum are usually used to make scaffolding tubes. Steel pipes tend to be heavier, but are also exceptionally strong. Aluminum pipes are much lighter, but cannot support as much weight as steel pipes. Composite pipes are sometimes used, although these tend to be quite expensive and are not used as often as steel pipes. Scaffolding pipes can be cut to size quite easily, and are usually sold to a specific length – usually around 20 feet (6.3 meters) – and then cut accordingly. The width is also usually a standard dimension, and the thickness of the walls can determine how much weight the finished structure will be able to support.

In most cases, steel pipes are galvanized. That means they’re coated with zinc, which helps prevent rust and corrosion from exposure to the elements. Aluminum pipes generally do not need to be galvanized, as aluminum is quite resistant to rust and corrosion. If the steel is not galvanized, it is usually painted or otherwise chemically treated to protect it from weather damage. Steel tends to bend when hit, but can be bent back into shape fairly easily; aluminum is more brittle and less likely to spring back to shape after an impact.

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