The difference between pipe clamps and pipe guides
Across the industry, there is often some confusion around whether to use a pipe clamp or a pipe guide in a given application.
In general terms, a pipe clamp is a product described as an attachment which clamps around a pipe to restrict movement and attach the pipe to the supporting structure. The primary function of a pipe clamp is to secure a pipe firmly and tightly to a structure and to minimize any lateral or axial movement in the clamp.
Pipe clamps can vary in material thickness and width and are designed to a specific criterion, as determined by the site requirements. They are designed to function by supporting a vertical load when incorporated as part of a pipe hanger assembly.
A pipe guide allows a pipe to freely expand and contract within the limits of the guide due to thermal differential or mechanical movement, without a rigid connection to the structure.
Pipe guides are designed to carry the pipe weight while simultaneously permitting a degree of deflection in vertical, lateral and axial directions. Whereas, clamps are intended to restrict movement as either a guiding element or an anchoring device.