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Safety and reliability of bamboo scaffolding

Authors Wong, Ping Yiu
Issue Date 2002
Summary Bamboo scaffolding is a popular temporary structure for supporting working platforms in Hong Kong. It is used widely in building construction, building facade and wall repairs, decoration and sign erection, slope maintenance, etc. However, bamboo scaffolding does not come without disadvantages, some of which can be severe and result in potential hazards to the workers. Bamboo scaffolding has not been a popular subject for study in universities and not too many articles on systematic engineering studies of the bamboo scaffolding can be found in the literature. This research aims at conducting a systematic and detailed engineering analysis on the safety and reliability of the bamboo scaffolding using combination of laboratory tests and computer calculations. The material properties of commonly used bamboos, including BP, PP and Fir, exhibit large variations. The standard deviation is about 30 % of the mean values for the Young’s modulus and about 20 % of the mean values for the compressive strength. A typical bamboo scaffolding was built and two types of tests, including uniform distributed load test and drop test, were carried out on it. A finite element model based on this bamboo scaffolding was developed. The bamboo scaffolding was used as a test bed to verify the analysis results obtained from the FEM model. There are some differences between the experimental results and the FEM results. However, the differences in the major components that carry most of the loads are within 30 %. So even though the FEM model cannot estimate accurately all the forces in the scaffolding, it can be used as a preliminary tool for analyzing the behavior and the safety of the scaffold. It is commonly known that bamboo scaffoldings can be damaged under strong wind condition. This phenomenon was not studied in this research. To ensure the safety and the reliability of scaffoldings under strong wind condition, it is necessary to have a further detailed study that requires the use of wind tunnel tests for validation.
Note Thesis (M.Phil.)--Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 2002
Language English
Format Thesis
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