The UCM was approached by Peri Formwork Scaffolding Engineering (Pty) Ltd, regarding tests on full-scale 8m high scaffolding towers. The towers are used during construction of, for example a bridge deck, and can temporarily support loads up to typical heights of just more than 8 meters.
The biggest challenge with these tests was height, since the top of the test setup was higher that the laboratory crane and therefore less than two meters from the ceiling. After the tower was erected, a compression load was applied by pulling down a steel bar from the basement of the laboratory. The top of the steel bar was connected to a beam setup at the top of the tower which evenly distributed the load to the four legs of the tower.
Tests were also conducted on towers with lower heights. All towers were tested up to failure, which typically occurred around 300 kN or 30 ton.