A Wear Pad by Any Other Name

August 05, 2015

Wear Pads have many different aliases and are referred to by a variety of names. Whether it's a pipe saddle, pipe cradle, a load pad or a pipe isolation pad, they're all wear pads. However, it's important to understand that not all wear pads are created equal.

Wear Pads have many different aliases and are referred to by a variety of names. Here are some of the common everyday terms you may know our wear pads by. Keep in mind, not all wear pads are created equal.


You might have heard these terms used when describing pipe supports and, in particular, wear pads.

Pipe Saddle or Pipe Cradle

This is a very general term associated with pipe supports. Saddles or cradles can be made out of a variety of materials including carbon steel, stainless steel, FRP, HDPE. This term refers to anything that acts as a saddle underneath pipe or cradles the pipe. They are used to protect the pipe from the elements or surrounding structures that could damage the pipe.

FRP or GRP Saddles and Cradles

Fiber Reinforced Plastic or Glass Reinforced Plastic are terms for an extensive range of materials. In a nutshell, the material is flexible and resilient to chemical attack because of the plastic resin, yet very strong due the reinforcement of the glass fibers. This makes FRP a great material to use as a wear pad. But remember, not all FRP saddles/cradles are created equal. The wear pad must be manufactured to the exact OD of the pipe it will be used on for it to work properly. Dissimilar mating surfaces will cause galvanic corrosion.

Load Pads

This is a common term used to describe pads that help support the load of the pipe. Every point where a pipe crosses a support, i-beam, concrete, etc. is a point where the load of the pipe (weight) is being concentrated over a small surface. This point loading causes a stress concentration, which makes the area more susceptible to corrosion. This is where our ProTek Wear Pads can help. By being able to handle loads of +54,000 lbs., our wear pads can evenly bear the load of just about any piping system!

Pipe Protection Pads or Pipe Isolation Pads

The word isolation says it all. The best way to prevent corrosion and wear on your piping systems is to isolate the pipe at support points. Watch this cool video to learn about the different methods used to isolate pipe and why our ProTek pads are the best solution:

Wear Pads or Plates or Shoes

Our ProTek pads are most commonly called wear pads because they prevent wear on the pipe surface. They are also called plates because standard metallic wear pads are bent to a radius using a steel sheet (plate). The term plate can also refer to the flat ProTek plates that are attached to beams. We recommend that ProTek pads are always used in unison with flat plates due to pipe movement.

At first glance, a ProTek wear pad can seem like a very simple product, and many good things are indeed simple. Think of a quality screwdriver or hammer, you can buy one of good quality that will last for years or buy a cheap one that needs frequent replacement. For more information on why all wear pads are not created equal, check out our wear pad differences.

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