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Major Pipe Support Arrangements with Application

Updated: Feb 6, 2021

We need specific and skillful selection of piping support for the success of a project. In pipe support functional or construction details are different from the available details then a special support arrangement is desired. Appropriate support selection should be the purpose of all states of design and construction.

Principle for Industrial pipe Support Selection

Various kinds of Special Pipe Support:

1. Spring Hangers/Can Type Supports

The adoption of spring hangers and can type supports is actually common in strategic processes and power plant units. Due to thermal expansion lines operating at high temperature move uphill/downhill depending on the configuration of the pipe. Different spring supports are helpful in high temperature and high pressure conditions as they have a spring element that gets compressed when there is thermal movement of pipe and related loads. Inflexible supports don’t work in such conditions and may cause disruption. The application of spring hangers is to minimize piping loads on nozzles, spring supports etc. They give extensive support when there is expansion or contraction of the pipe.

2. Rigid/Rod Hangers

Rigid support or static restraints prevent transmittal of movement caused by thermal or vibratory changes on piping. These are designed to combat tensile loads and rigid supports are vertical type given from the top. That is no compression load can be applied over it, otherwise it may cause buckling. Rigid support subsists of clamps, eye nuts, tie rods, and beam attachment. The factors depend on selection of rod hanger are pipe size, load, temperature, insulation, assembly length etc. They are widely accepted. It comes with hinges and clamps, so no hefty frictional force comes into action.

Rod hangers provide support in the vertical direction and grants restricted motion in the horizontal direction. Readjustment in the vertical direction is obtained by threads or a turnbuckle. They are used to transfer piping loads on vertical structure where space restraints for plan of pipe supports below, rigid hanger supports can be used.

3. Sway Braces

Sway Braces are shock trimmers, that stop all movement caused by sudden loads in a pipe system. It is used to reduce pipe vibration amplitude, curb the load and reduce total movement. It halts the pipes from vibrating in resonant frequency.

Sway braces are used for hindering vibration, holding shock, prompting, governing or managing the pipe movement emerging from thermal expansion.

4. Rigid Struts

Rigid Struts are actually adopted as compression and tension elements to lower dynamic load. As the struts can be provided in both vertical and horizontal directions, they can handle both tensile and compression loads. The selection depends on pipe size, load, temperature, insulation, gathering length. Rigid struts come with hinges and clamps, therefore no hefty frictional force comes into play. Rigid Struts are commonly used in pump, turbine and Compressor connected lines near the nozzle connections in-order to take the advantage of negligible friction. These struts can be used as a surrogate for guide supports where structure is not convenient for using standard guides.

5. Hydraulic and Mechanical Snubbers

Snubbers are devices utilized to prevent pipe and equipment movement during unnatural dynamic conditions like turbine trips, safety/relief valve discharge, earthquakes etc. The snubber design grants free thermal movement of a component during normal operation situations, but restrains the component in anomalous conditions.

Snubbers are used to suppress the movement of pipe and equipment during unexpected dynamic plights such as earthquakes, turbine trips, safety/relief valve discharge and rapid valve stoppage.

6. Sliding Supports

Slide plates are utilized to produce a low-coefficient of friction between static support components and moving components to reduce the forces/friction that is caused by pipe deflections. Slide plates can be composed using a variety of materials inaccordance with their use including graphite, PTFE, 25% glass filled, stainless steel, and bronzphite. Sliding supports are used to decrease piping loads on nozzles due to friction, sliding supports could be utilized. They are appealed diversely to provide piping support, especially in heavy equipment such as pressure vessels, and structural steel members. Special support arrangements are adopted invitingly in engineering design to contribute pipe support and solve design troubles that are unique to each construction. Clause 321.1.1 of ASME B 31.3 indicates the layout and design of piping and its supporting elements to prevent possible hazards and imperfections in design. So, special support arrangement can be used innovatively to solve design and construction challenges.

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