Pipe Clamps Selection: Basics
Pipe clamps are used to make sure that your pipes are properly supported to reduce their movement and vibration. There are many types of pipe clamps that are designed to support different pipes used in different situations from large civil, industrial, and mining projects to smaller plumbing jobs around the home or office. Using the correct pipe support clamp
is important to maximize the life cycle of the installation. Therefore, pipe clamp selection is one you should do with utmost care.
Types of pipe clamps
Pipe clamp fittings are bolted circular or semi-circular pipe attachments that clamp around a pipe and connect it to the other assembly components for proper support. There are many types of pipe clamps used for various purposes.
- Adjustable Pipe Clamps: Mostly made of steel, plastic, or aluminum, these pipe clamps are probably one of the most cost-effective types since they can be adjusted according to the pipe diameter.
- Cushioned Pipe Clamps: These pipe clamps come with a cushioning material to avoid corrosion by preventing metal-to-metal contact. These clamps can only be used in conditions where the cushioning material can sustain the pipe temperature.
- Rigid Clamps: One of the most basic forms of pipe clamps, they are usually made from steel or iron. They are available as single pieces or two pieces that are screwed together.
- U-Bolts: In these, the pipe clamp size is small as they are usually used for small pipes with a diameter under 8-inches.
- Two-Bolt Pipe Clamp: They are used for hanging light-weight pipes without insulation
- Three-bolt Pipe Clamp: They are used for suspending insulated pipes carrying high-temperature fluids. Their load-carrying capacity is comparatively larger than two-bolt pipe clamps.
- Yoke-Type Pipe Clamp: These are used to hang high-temperature horizontal insulated pipes. They can easily support pipes within 4-6 inches of diameter.
- Riser Pipe Clamps: They are used to support pipes without using hanger roads. In these cases, the pipes are usually fixed to the floor or another structure. They are not recommended for high temperatures.
- Pipe Clips: Also called pipe strips, these clamps are used to support horizontal or vertical lines by bolting the clip directly to a structure.
- Heavy-Duty Pipe Clamps: They are specially designed in heavy-duty variants to support high-load pipes.
- Extended Pipe Clamps: Sometimes, the bottom piece of the pipe clamp is extended and configured to be used as a pipe support. They are called extended pipe clamps.
- Multiple Pipe Clamps: They are specially designed to suit site requirements. Here, two or more pipe clamps are joined together or manufactured to support more than one pipe.
How to select a pipe clamp
There are some parameters you should consider before selecting a pipe clamp:
- Pipe Material: The material of the clamp should be compatible with the pipe to avoid corrosion.
- Pipe Temperature: Pipes can expand and contract depending on the temperature of the material and what flows through it. The clams should be able to withstand all temperature fluctuations.
- Load Bearing Capacity: Manufacturers usually specify the maximum load-bearing capacity of their pipe clamps. So, they must be selected only after calculating the load of the pipes.
- Pipe OD (Outside Diameter): Along with the maximum load-bearing capacity, manufacturers also provide a certain minimum to maximum pipe diameter applicable to each clamp. So check the diameter of your pipe and select the clamp accordingly.
- Working Environment: Pipe clamps must be selected depending on the environment they will be exposed to. For example, if it is a highly corrosive environment, you should select clamps that have a proper anti-corrosion coating.
- Other Special Requirements: You should also be mindful of other special functions that the clamp may need, like a rubber line or noise absorption properties.