Structural behaviour and design of load-bearing falsework

  • D. Hindson

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Tne object of this research was to investigate the behaviour of birdcage scaffolding as used in falsework structures, assess the suitability of existing design methods and make recommendations for a set of design rules. Since excessive deflection is as undesirable in a structure as total collapse, the project was divided into two sections. These were to determine the ultimate vertical and
horizontal load-carrying capacity and also the deflection characteristics of any falsework. So theoretical analyses were developed to ascertain the ability of both the individual standards to resist vertical load, and of the bracing to resist horizontal load.Furthermore a model was evolved which would predict the horizontal deflection of a scaffold under load using strain energy methods. These models were checked by three series of experiments. The first was on individual standards under vertical load only. The second series was carried out on full scale falsework structures loading vertically and horizontally to failure. Finally experiments were conducted on scaffold couplers to provide additional verification of the method of predicting deflections.
This thesis gives the history of the project and an introduction into the field of scaffolding. It details both the experiments conducted and the theories developed and the correlation between theory and experiment. Finally it makes recommendations for a design method to be employed by scaffolding designers.
Date of AwardJul 1978
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorM. Holmes (Supervisor), C.F. Turner (Supervisor) & Mike Hussey (Supervisor)


  • falsework
  • scaffolding
  • buckling
  • deflection

Cite this