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5 Elements Customers Want In A Pipe Support

Dec 28, 2020

If you’re searching for that perfect pipe support, the options may seem endless. And picking the right support can drastically impact your whole system for years to come. The pressure can be overwhelming.

We get it.

That’s why we dug into the past and tallied up the biggest customer concerns. Here are the top five elements customers want in a pipe support and what you should look for too:

1. They Cut Down Corrosion

Want to lengthen the life span of your piping system? Stop corrosion. Experts say people could save between $375 billion and $875 billion every year by using corrosion control practices. Here’s how the right pipe supports target corrosion and save you money:

Reducing Metal-to-Metal Damage 

When bare metallic pipes grind against other metals, it wears down their protective outer layers. That opens the door for corrosive materials to set in. Worse yet, connecting dissimilar metals can kick off galvanic corrosion and disintegrate pipes. Pipe supports should prevent corrosion by stopping the metal-on-metal contact that tends to kick-start the whole destructive process.

Lowering Friction 

If pipes scrape on beams or uninsulated metallic pipe supports, it wears them down. So quality pipe supports will add a low coefficient of friction. This lets pipes move without cracking or deteriorating.

Protecting Pipes from the Elements 

Whether it’s the salty sea air in marine environments, harsh vibrations rumbling through midstream systems, or ice formation in cold systems, external elements negatively affect your pipes. That’s why pipe supports should account for harsh elements and actively protect pipes from their corrosive consequences.

2. They Reduce Vibrations

There’s a massive amount of power driving through your piping system. Unfortunately, that also means unrestrained pipes will rattle and risk breaking. As pipes bounce between hard surfaces, something has to give. 

At best, surfaces are worn down. In worse cases, vibrations cause ruptures or broken parts. This is where pipe restraints save the day. 

Case in point: VibraTek Hold Down Clamps. These pipe restraints were designed specifically to absorb vibrations without snapping. They use a special lining that sucks up vibrations, reduces noise, and keeps pipes protected. 

Related: Download the APP Vendor Comparison to effectively evaluate the capabilities and products of four pipe support manufacturers →

3. They Feature Temperature Resistance

Temperature hits piping products in two ways. First, high heat or ice formation can directly chip away metal’s outer layers. Second, heat changes cause thermal expansion, and the resulting movement causes wear. 

In many cases, the best supports will be designed to fight off both temperature pitfalls. For instance, pipe shoes, such as CryoTek and ProTek shoes, are made up of composite materials. That means they don’t naturally conduct heat the way metals do. This reduces ice formation in cold systems and cuts down movement altogether.

4. They’re Made of Quality Materials

When you think “quality,” your mind probably rushes to cold, hard steel. And you could be right. But high quality could also mean composites or other advanced materials. It all depends on your system’s unique circumstances.

For instance, if you’re working on an offshore rig, quality could take the form of composite pipe shoes that are resistant to corrosion. If you need to support massive pipes, it could mean a flat plate that holds strong under thousands of pounds of pressure.

The bottom line? Quality pipe supports will use high-grade materials that are carefully crafted to help your system perform at its best.

5. They’re an Affordable Investment

Remember: Affordability does not necessarily mean cheap. It means you’re getting true value for your money. It also means you’re making an investment that will pay off in the long run. 

Sure, it may be easy to pick up a cheap pipe support and save a few extra bucks up front. But those savings will go out the window, and then some, if the supports don’t reduce corrosion and breakdowns. The best supports will be affordable now and keep costs low in the future.