# Scaffolding Load Capacity Calculator

The SkyCiv Scaffolding Load Calculator allows engineers to design scaffolding to AISC 360-16, BS EN 12811-1:2003, and AS/NZS 1576. The scaffolding capacity calculator provides multiple design capacities for both scaffolding members and couplers. The design tool provides scaffolding utilization results that are calculated and detailed in a professional report allowing engineers to verify each result and understand the calculation steps behind them. Using the Related button at the top left of the calculator versions of the scaffolding design calculator available for:

**United States**- AISC 360-16.**Australian Standards**- AS/NZS 1576**Europe/UK**- BS EN 12811-1:2003 Temporary Works Equipment - Scaffolds.

The scaffolding weight capacity calculator requires the geometry and material of the scaffolding member, the coupler data, the design loads (bending, shear, axial and torsion) as well as the effective length factors. The calculator will help engineers learn how to calculate scaffolding load capacity for results including axial compression, shear capacity and moment capacity. The calculator supports multiple types of couplers including right angle couplers, parallel couplers, swivel couplers and friction type sleeve couplers. For couplers the results are provided for bending, shear, slipping and torsion capacity.

## Designing scaffolding load and weight capacity

## What couplers are available in the scaffolding load capacity calculator?

In the scaffolding weight capacity calculator the following types of couplers are available to be used:

**Right angle coupler**

Right-angle couplers connect scaffolding members (generally tubes or pipes) at exactly a 90-degree angle creating stable joints. The right angle coupler in the above scaffolding load capacity calculator requires inputs for capacity in bending, torsion, shear, and axial. The calculator will produce results for bending, shear, slipping, and torsion capacity for these types of couplers.

**Friction-type sleeve coupler**

Friction-type sleeve couplers connect scaffolding members to connect them where rigid joints are required. These types of couplers rely on friction to create a strong and movement-free connection between members. The friction-type sleeve coupler in the above scaffolding load capacity calculator requires inputs for capacity in bending and axial. The calculator will produce results for bending and slipping capacity for these types of couplers.

**Swivel parallel coupler**

The swivel parallel coupler is used to connect tube members at a parallel angle whilst maintaining the swiveling function. This allows the scaffolding tubes to rotate independently when required. The swivel parallel coupler in the above scaffolding load capacity calculator requires inputs for capacity in axial. The scaffolding weight capacity calculator will produce results for axial capacity only for these types of couplers.

**Parallel coupler**

The parallel coupler is used to connect tube members at a parallel angle but unlike the swivel version does not maintain a swiveling function. This type of parallel coupler creates a rigid joint between the tubes. The parallel coupler in the above scaffolding design calculator requires inputs for capacity in axial. The calculator will produce results for axial capacity only for these types of couplers.

## What is a coupler used for in scaffolding?

In scaffolding a coupler refers to the equipment used to connect two scaffolding members. Couplers come in different types and options. Scaffolding couplers are vital to ensuring the safety and structural integrity of scaffolding and need to be checked for slipping, bending, torsion, shear, and other considerations.

## What effective length parameters are used in the scaffolding load capacity calculator?

The following factors are required as inputs in the above AISC 360 scaffolding calculator:

**Unbraced Length for Lateral-Torsional Buckling:**- This factor is the length of a scaffolding member that is not laterally supported.
**Effective Length Factor for Flexural Buckling about Y-axis:**- This factor represents the stability of the member under bending, considering its end conditions and geometry.
**Effective Length Factor for Flexural Buckling about Z-axis:**- This factor represents how well the scaffolding member is restrained against lateral bending in the Z-axis.

## What loads should be considered for scaffolding?

Engineers working on scaffolding systems should design them to resist various types of loads, these loads include:

**Dead Loads**generally from the weight of the scaffolding system itself.**Live Loads**generally from workers and equipment used on the scaffolding.**Wind Loads**depend on local conditions and standards.**Snow Loads**where applicable and depending on local conditions and standards.**Seismic Loads**in areas prone to earthquakes and depending on local conditions and standards.

Once the loads have been determined by a qualified structural engineer they can be applied in the design load section of the calculator in the form of bending, shear, and axial force.

## What is a base jack?

In scaffolding design, a base jack is a component of scaffolding systems found at the bottom of vertical members. Base jacks are generally adjustable to allow scaffolding to be set up on uneven surfaces. The European Scaffolding Standard (EN 12811-1:2003) has a provision for the design of base jacks found in Annex B.

## Frequently asked questions

**What unit system is supported?**

Both metric and imperial unit systems are available. To change unit systems click the cog at the top left of the input panel.

**What material properties are considered?**

The scaffolding design tools allow users to enter the following material properties:

- Modulus Of Elasticity
- Modulus Of Rigidity
- Slenderness Compression Limit
- Yield Strength of Member
- Ultimate Strength of Member

**What design codes are supported?**

The scaffolding design calculator supports the design of scaffolding to the following standards:

- AISC 360-16.
- AS/NZS 1576.
- BS EN 12811-1:2003.

**What analysis is used to calculate the resistance of couplers?**

The scaffolding design module consists of the evaluation of coupler capacities based on the linear static analysis of the members. For the European version of the design check coupler capacities as given in Annex C of EN 12811.1 are used.

**Is scaffolding with base jacks supported?**

The European version of the tool scaffolding with base jacks. The European Scaffolding Standard has a provision for the design of Base Jacks located in Annex B. The Australian and US versions of the tool do not support the design of scaffolding with base jacks.

**Is an integrated S3D version available?**

An integrated version of the calculator for SkyCiv S3D is available to import all eligible members into the scaffolding design module and run all scaffolding load checks at once.

## Related Tools

## About SkyCiv

SkyCiv offers a wide range of Cloud Structural Analysis and Design Software for engineers. As a constantly evolving tech company, we're committed to innovating and challenging existing workflows to save engineers time in their work processes and designs.