A pipe support is a piece of equipment which carries or supports the weight of a pipe and the fluid in the pipe over a certain length. The function of the pipe support is to guide, anchor, absorb shock or support a specified load, in order to maintain the integrity of the pipework.
There are essentially two main types of pipe support structures, primary and secondary support. Primary supports directly attach to the pipeline. While secondary pipe supports attach to the structure that works to support the pipe. Primary and secondary supports are then classified in three variations:
Rigid pipe supports restrict movement in at least one direction. This support system directly rests on the foundation that is supporting the pipe. It cannot be adjusted to suit construction or installation tolerances.
The design of Adjustable pipe supports is so that manual adjustment can occur, to suit specific site conditions. A threaded assembly provides adjustment where the exact height (BOP) is unclear, or the supports require retro-fitting. Adjustable width pipe supports utilize a slot and fastener configuration to allow flexibility in pipeline alignment. Essentially, a small modification can transform almost all types of rigid supports into an adjustable configuration.
Elastic pipe supports commonly support hot piping, and can support pipes even when they are constantly moving up or down according to the pressure, temperature and flow of the substances inside the pipe.
All pipe supports come in a standard range, according to universal pipe sizes. They are also available custom, to suit special pipe sizes and diameters. They are usually mild steel and undergo hot dip galvanising to reduce corrosion. However, these can also be zinc plated or powder coated. Alternatively, pipe supports can be any grade of stainless steel for maximum longevity. When there is a pipe support requirement in high or low temperature applications, they may need to contain insulation materials or low friction surfaces such as PTFE, to allow for expansion and contraction.