Importance of Pipe Supports

A pipe support or pipe hanger is designed element that transfers the load from a pipe to the supporting structures. The load includes the weight of the pipe proper, the content that the pipe carries, all the pipe fittings attached to pipe, and the pipe covering such as insulation.

The four main functions of a pipe support are to anchor, guide, absorb shock, and support a specified load. Pipe supports used in high or low temperature applications may contain insulation materials. The overall design configuration of a pipe support assembly is dependent on the loading and operating conditions.

pipe support

Types of Pipe Support

  • Rigid Support: Rigid supports are used to restrict pipe in certain directions without any flexibility (in that direction). The main function of a rigid support can be Anchor, Rest, Guide or both Rest & Guide. Get more information about rigid pipe support on 3 Bolt Pipe Clamps.
  • Spring Support: Spring supports or Flexible supports use helical coil compression springs to accommodate loads and associated pipe movements due to thermal expansion. They are broadly classified into Variables Effort support & Constant effort support.

The critical components in both the type of supports are Helical Coil Compression springs. Spring hanger & supports usually use helical coil compression springs. The springs are manufactured either by the cold coiling process (where wire diameter is less than 12 mm) or by Hot coiling process Springs are classified as “Light” & “Heavy”. Light springs are normally cold formed Heavy springs are manufactured by the hot coiling process. There are different kinds of spring supports are Pipe Shoes, Slide Plates and Pipe Stands.

  • Shock Absorber: The restraint system is intended to protect the pipe work, the plant and the structure from abnormal conditions; it should not impede the function of the supports. Conditions that necessitate the use of restraints are- Earthquake, Fluid disturbance, certain system functions, Environmental influences. In areas that are situated on or near to geological fault lines it is common practice to protect the plant from potential earthquake activity. In such plant, there will be a very large requirement for dynamic restraints.
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