Popular Industrial Applications for Stainless Steel Pipe Hangers and Supports
Step into any modern industrial facility—from food processing plants to wastewater facilities—and you can hear the ceaseless hum of machinery and see the complex web of pipes running like veins through the infrastructure.
Have you ever wondered what's holding this intricate network together, safeguarding it from the relentless vibrations and stresses of day-to-day operations?Industrial pipe hangers and supports are the unsung heroes of the modern industrial symphony.
From the hidden depths of petroleum refineries to the dizzying heights of skyscrapers, these essential components hold the world together, piece by piece, supporting a global network of industries.They minimize damage, control noise, and eliminate leaks—ensuring the lifeblood of enterprises large and small continues to flow unhindered and efficiently.
In this overview, we'll explore the myriad applications of these essential supports and the different types available today.
The Importance of Pipe Hangers and Supports in Maintaining System IntegrityIndustrial pipe hangers and supports are indispensable components in various industries, including the oil and gas, chemical, marine, and public works sectors.
They play a pivotal role in maintaining piping systems' stability, integrity, and efficiency, ensuring that these critical infrastructures can withstand the rigors of industrial processes and harsh environments.
While they offer a multitude of use cases, essential functions include:
- Providing structural support: Industrial pipe hangers and supports commonly provide structural support to piping systems, counteracting gravity-induced stresses that could otherwise lead to deformation or failure. By properly distributing the weight of the pipes, along with any fluids they may carry, these hangers and supports help to maintain the pipes' structural integrity and prolong their service life. This is particularly important in industries such as oil and gas, where pipes often carry heavy loads over long distances.
- Absorbing and dampening vibrations: ASC Engineered Solutions (Anvil) pipe hangers and supports are designed to absorb and dampen vibrations from machinery or fluid flow. High-frequency vibrations can cause significant wear and tear on piping systems, leading to premature failure. In the chemical and marine industries, where equipment may generate substantial vibration, hangers and supports are essential to protect piping systems.
- Protection from high-velocity flow conditions: Rapid fluid flow can generate substantial forces, leading to movement or even pipes rupture if not adequately restrained. This is particularly critical in public works projects, such as water or sewage treatment plants, where high-velocity flow is expected.
- Preventing pipe movement and collisions: By securing pipes and controlling movement, industrial pipe hangers and supports help to prevent damage and maintain the spatial organization within complex piping networks. Maintaining an appropriate separation between pipes and surrounding structures cannot only avert potential mishaps but also simplify maintenance procedures.
- Minimizing joint stress: Pipe hangers and supports, such as those manufactured by ASC Engineered Solutions (Anvil), are crucial in mitigating stress on pipe joints, which can result from factors like thermal expansion or contraction. In industries where pipes are subjected to high pressures, heavy loads, or extreme temperatures, pipe hangers and supports are essential to overall piping system stability and resilience.
Types of Pipe Hangers & SupportsAs highlighted in the previous section, industrial pipe hangers and supports are essential to any modern industrial system, ensuring the safety and integrity of all involved.
It is critical to recognize which type of pipe hanger and support is most suitable for your system to achieve the best results.
In this section, we'll briefly examine common types of pipe hangers and supports to give you an idea of which components might be an ideal solution for your pipe system engineering needs.
Before we start talking about individual components, it's essential to differentiate between these two common groupings to understand how their intended use varies as pipe hangers and pipe supports, while both crucial for maintaining the integrity of a piping system, serve slightly different functions.
Pipe hangers typically refer to hardware like rods, clamps, and hooks that suspend pipes above the ground, helping manage vertical load and often allowing for height adjustments.
On the other hand, pipe supports refer to a broader range of devices, including hangers, but also components like saddles, shoes, and anchors that bear the weight of pipes, manage horizontal load, and control their movement due to thermal expansion, vibration, or seismic activity.
These components interact to give the required dependability, soundness, and operation for intricate systems.
Often working in conjunction with each other to provide a greater overall benefit than either type of component would give separately.
Let's look at 10 of the most common types of ASC Engineering Solutions (Anvil) industrial pipe supports and hangers.
NOTE: While we list an example use case in the descriptions below, they're purely for illustrative purposes. Many of these components see use across a wide range of industries. If you need clarification on whether a particular item suits your intended application, please contact one of our expert analysts, and we can help clear up any questions and provide options that will meet your needs.
- Adjustable Pipe Hangers: Featuring a U-shaped clevis connected to a threaded rod for height adjustments, these hangers are used in oil refineries to accommodate changes in pipe routing due to equipment placement or terrain variations.
- Pipe Clamps: Pipe clamps are half-circle-shaped structures that enclose and tighten around pipes with bolts. In chemical plants, they secure pipes carrying corrosive fluids while accommodating thermal expansion and contraction.
- Pipe Saddle Supports: Resembling a saddle shape to distribute weight over a larger area, these supports are utilized in gas transmission lines to prevent stress concentration on large, horizontal pipelines.
- Spring Hangers: Equipped with a spring mechanism to allow vertical pipe movement, spring hangers are used in nuclear power plants to compensate for thermal expansion or contraction in coolant fluid lines.
- Snubbers: These dynamic supports allow regular pipe movement but lock in place during sudden movements. In offshore oil rigs, snubbers protect piping systems from shocks and vibrations due to rough sea conditions or seismic activities.
- Pipe Shoes: Pipe shoes provide elevated support, typically in the form of a plate or formed sheet metal, for larger or heavy pipes. In geothermal power plants, they reduce stress and wear at the support point of pipes transporting hot fluids.
- Rod Hangers: Installed from above, rod hangers are rods, often threaded, used to suspend pipes. In shipbuilding, they provide flexibility in adjusting heights and angles to accommodate the ship's structure.
- U-Bolts: U-Bolts are curved bolts that wrap around the pipe and fasten to a supporting structure. In the mining industry, U-bolts are used to secure air and water supply pipes to the ceiling of underground tunnels.
- Pipe Roller Supports: Pipe roller supports allow for the horizontal movement of pipes by incorporating a rolling mechanism. In the pulp and paper industry, they support large pipes carrying hot fluids and enable movement due to thermal expansion.
- Pipe Guides: Pipe guides typically feature a sliding plate or collar, which helps control the pipe's movement. In district heating networks, they manage the direction of pipe movement during thermal expansion, preventing damaging lateral or rotational movements.
Specific Pipe Support and Hanger Applications by IndustryWe can look at the industry-specific uses in greater detail with an idea of the big-picture functionality and benefits of stainless steel pipe hangers and supports.
While these popular components are used across many industries today, we will highlight four of the biggest industries—energy, oil and gas, marine, and public works.
Energy Industry Applications
- Geothermal Power Plants: These plants harness heat from the earth to generate electricity, transporting hot fluids through pipes. Supports and hangers in this context must accommodate thermal expansion, maintain pipe integrity, and facilitate easy maintenance.
- Nuclear Power Plants: Piping systems transport radioactive fluids in such plants. Pipe supports and hangers ensure these systems function safely and efficiently, and they must meet stringent regulatory standards due to the sensitive nature of the operations.
- Wind Turbines: Wind turbines have hydraulic piping systems for braking and cooling. Here, pipe supports and hangers ensure these systems remain stable and functional, even in the face of substantial wind-induced vibrations.
- Marine Renewable Energy: For offshore wind farms or tidal energy systems, pipe supports and hangers ensure the integrity and stability of pipes carrying electrical cables or hydraulic fluids. They have to withstand marine conditions and facilitate maintenance operations.
Oil and Gas Industry Applications
- Oil and Gas Overland Pipelines: These pipelines often span vast distances and carry heavy fluids under high pressure. Pipe supports and hangers help distribute this weight evenly, reduce stress on joints, and mitigate the effects of vibrations caused by fluid flow, ensuring the system's longevity and safe operation.
- Refineries: In refineries, there's a complex network of pipes carrying fluids at different temperatures and pressures. Pipe supports and hangers here help manage thermal expansion and contraction, prevent pipe sagging, and maintain a safe distance between pipes, aiding in regular inspections and maintenance.
- Offshore Rigs: These complex structures involve numerous pipes carrying fluids under high pressure. Pipe supports and hangers are crucial for maintaining the integrity of these piping systems, especially given the harsh marine conditions and constant motion from waves and wind. The pipe supports and hangers used here are typically made from corrosion-resistant materials and designed to withstand high wind loads and wave impacts.
Marine Industry Applications
- Ships and Vessels: Both during the production phase and operation, pipe supports and hangers are used extensively in modern ships to manage an intricate network of pipes used for fuel supply, ballast water, sanitation systems, and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems. These components ensure structural integrity, manage thermal expansion, and reduce the risk of damage due to ship motion or vibrations.
- Underwater Pipelines: These pipelines, used for oil, gas, or water transportation, require supports to handle their weight and the loads exerted by currents and marine life. Supports also help to manage thermal expansion and contraction due to temperature variations in the water.
Public Works Applications
- Water Treatment Facilities: In these facilities, pipes carry water and waste under various pressures and temperatures. Pipe supports and hangers ensure the integrity of these systems, manage the effects of thermal expansion and contraction, and facilitate regular inspections and maintenance.
- Sewage Systems: In sewage systems, pipes transport waste materials, often at high velocity. Pipe supports and hangers help maintain these systems' structural integrity, mitigate the effects of vibrations, and allow for safe distances between pipes to prevent collisions.
- Bridges: Bridges often have pipes for drainage or utilities. Supports and hangers ensure these pipes stay in place despite weather conditions or vibrations from traffic. They also make inspections and maintenance more manageable.
- Public Transit Systems: In subway or train systems, pipes carry utilities or serve as part of the infrastructure. Pipe supports and hangers here need to manage vibrations from passing trains and maintain the structural integrity of these systems.
Contact one of our experienced analysts today to learn more about how we can help you maintain the integrity of your piping systems.
FAQs About Industrial Pipe Hangers & Supports
How Do I Select the Right Type of Industrial Pipe Hanger or Support for My Application?While we can't cover all possible scenarios and considerations, a good starting point to select the appropriate pipe hanger or support would be considering factors such as load capacity, material compatibility, operating temperature range, vibration resistance, and corrosion resistance. You can consult with a qualified engineer or refer to industry standards like ASME B31.1 (Power Piping) or ASME B31.3 (Process Piping) for additional information.
What Materials Are Used to Make Industrial Pipe Hangers and Supports?The most common materials used in manufacturing industrial pipe hangers and supports include carbon steel, stainless steel, galvanized steel, ductile iron castings, and thermoplastic resins.
Are There Any Special Considerations When Installing Industrial Pipe Hangers and Supports?Yes, it is vital to ensure that the hangers and supports are installed correctly and securely to prevent any damage or failure of the piping system. Following the manufacturer's instructions and consulting with a qualified engineer if necessary is recommended.
Are There Any Safety Guidelines to Follow When Working with Industrial Pipe Hangers and Supports?Always adhere to local regulations, industry standards (e.g., OSHA), manufacturer recommendations, and best practices. Ensure appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is available and that installation teams use it properly throughout installation or maintenance tasks. Regularly inspect pipe hangers and supports for signs of wear or damage.
ConclusionIndustrial pipe hangers and supports are the unsung heroes holding together the veins and arteries of the modern industrial world.
Though often overlooked, these components are indispensable across diverse sectors, from energy production to marine operations.
Their ability to provide structural support, absorb vibrations, restrain pipes, and minimize joint stress ensures the safe, reliable, and efficient flow of industrial processes.
With the proper selection and installation of hangers and supports, industries can boost system integrity and longevity while reducing noise, leaks, and maintenance costs.
As our infrastructure and operations grow more complex each year, these pieces will become ever more critical.
Unified Alloys stocks a wide assortment of popular ASC Engineered Solutions (Anvil) industrial pipe hangers and support components, providing easy access to these industry-leading products throughout North America.
Our decades of experience and comprehensive selection of stainless steel pipe and other products allow us to service industries of all sizes.
Contact one of our experienced sales analysts today to discuss your needs and explore how we can help you source materials and components for your next project!
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