Engineering Principles: Diagonal Tubes Within Scaffold Systems - FX Scaffolding Services Essex

As a continuation of the previous article "A Foundation In Safety", we shall be outlining the engineering principles of "diagonal scaffolding tubes"; a key component which determines the strength of a scaffold system to hold specific load classes. The European Standard (BS EN12811-1 - TG20:13), on the use and application of scaffolding structures, outlines that scaffolding structures must be designed, constructed and maintained in a way that prevents them from accidentally slipping or moving. | FX Scaffolding Services in Essex


Correct Use and Purpose

The most common measure, as a solution, is the use of diagonal tubes built into the scaffolding system. The purpose of which is to establish the appropriate elements for a correct bracing of the system formed by vertical and horizontal elements, whose main purpose is to enable very resistant assemblies, to avoid involuntary displacements caused by dynamic loads, to contribute to a better distribution of loads, as well as to mitigate the vibrations generated on the work surface and that so much sense of insecurity generate.

The maximum loads supported by the diagonals are specified in the above-mentioned standards, varying in magnitude according to the length of the tube and the type of stress to which they will be subjected either traction or compression. It is therefore imperative that site managers correctly interpret the values of "maximum permissible loads", as this results in a correct use and operation of the scaffold diagonals.

The data required to calculate the maximum permissible loads" corresponds to axial load values, that is, the maximum load that the "diagonal" tube is able to withstand, whether under tensile or compression stress. Thus, in order to determine the components of horizontal load (Adm. H) and / or vertical (Adm. V) that at most supports its diagonal, it is necessary to decompose the diagonal axle (max. N d ) according to the angle formed by the diagonal tube with respect to the horizontal or vertical plane.

For further clarification, an explanatory example of what is commented on in the previous paragraph is given below.


Example of load transfer to diagonals

The vertical and horizontal components of the load applied at point 1 generate a resultant transmitted to the diagonal. This resulting "Nd " must be less than the maximum allowable load tolerated by the diagonal.

The vertical component "F" represents the maximum permissible vertical load for each type of diagonal. The fact of applying the vertical load "F" in point 1 generates the appearance of an "H" component absorbed by the horizontal.


FX Scaffolding Services in Essex

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