Pipe supports: Hold down clamps

April 27, 2016

Restraining pipe movement in process systems is key to extending the life of components. Whether they're used to prohibit movement or simply allow controlled movement, hold down clamps succeed where other pipe supports fail.

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Hold down clamp pipe supports restrain pipe movement in process piping systems, reduce fatigue and extend the life of components.

As we discussed in our previous blog about pipe supports, there are two main factors to consider when selecting a support system: load and conditions. One of the biggest challenges when it comes to conditions is the amount of vibration impacting your pipe system. Today we're going to talk about how one product that is commonly used to control the movement caused by vibration can actually cause extended damage throughout your system. Don't worry – we've addressed this issue with an amazing product that actually does the opposite and further protects your pipe system from vibration damage.

First, let's return to the basics: restraining pipe movement in process systems is key to extending the life of components. While some applications call for prohibiting movement, others require specialized clamping devices that allow controlled movement. Depending on the application, we can line clamps and hold down straps with a variety of materials, from elastomers to specialized vibration dampening liners embedded with Teflon. It's important to ensure clamp liners will not delaminate over the lifetime of the clamp. By accomplishing this, we can significantly relieve unnecessary stresses in your piping system.

Steel pipe clamps and clevis are used to guide or restrain movement in piping systems. They’re used in a wide range of pipe support applications. For example, they can be used in combination with threaded rods as a hanging pipe support assembly, or the steel pipe clamps and clevis can be welded to a pipe shoe, so they can be bolted to a pipe for easy installation and removal. The finishes on these products can be carbon steel, stainless steel, hot-dipped galvanized (HDG), etc.

One product that stands out when it comes to vibration problems is the VibraTek Hold Down Clamp. This is a proprietary liner constructed to absorb vibration from compressors and reciprocating equipment to prolong the life of attached piping systems.

The concept behind the VibraTek Hold Down Clamp is that it is specifically engineered to dampen vibration in piping systems. Fit is a key component of the product, so in addition to providing industry-standard metallic clamp designs, we also modify the clamp for specific jobs, and can even use designs our customers provide.

The proprietary VibraTek liner sets this product apart. While the purpose of a hold down clamp is to restrain the movement of vibrating pipes, this process in itself can be problematic. Vibration can eventually lead to metal fatigue, breaking the clamp bolts and in some cases, the clamp itself.

3-D Animation of APP’s VibraTek Hold Down Clamp

Once the pipe is unrestrained the increased vibration magnitude can cause further damage to the components in your piping system. We realized that a hold down clamp can have a far-reaching impact to the entire system.

We responded with the dual layer VibraTek liner, which is composed of a vibration-dampening elastomer made into a fiber-backed Teflon sheet. The Teflon creates a very low coefficient of friction between the pipe and the clamp, allowing for axial movement while the vibration dampening elastomer mitigates the effects caused by vibration.

Our customers have found that the VibraTek hold down clamp is the premier solution to problems associated with vibration in piping systems. Our proprietary VibraTek liner is constructed to absorb vibration from compressors and reciprocating equipment to prolong the life of your piping system. We incorporate specialized fiber-backed Teflon to the VibraTek lining to add a low-coefficient of friction to its vibration dampening qualities.

In addition to our VibraTek line, we can also line our clamps with your choice of lining materials, from Urethane and Neoprene to sodium etched Teflon. If you have questions about VibraTek in your piping system, contact us today!

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