Pipe Clamp Types: Explained Briefly
These are also known as gluing clamps. It got its name from circular shape in all its varieties.
Due to necessity, pipe clamps have been customized in many ways to accommodate different diameter sizes, different lengths, and attachments to utilize the clamping technique in woodworking, piping, and such other works.
The capacity of a pipe clamp is endless since the pipe used in it is detachable. So, whenever you hear the word piping, it means to connect the pipe with the pipe hanger assembly using a pipe clamp. Before deciding to buy a pipe clamp, read our detailed article on the best pipe clamps.
Now, using the pipe clamps is the same as using bar clamps. But pipe clamps are cheaper and more versatile because you can replace the pipes. You can even switch the pipe to a longer or shorter pipe for increasing or decreasing the range.
Different Types of Pipe Clamps
In terms of their construction and use, pipe clamps can be of many types. Some usual types are listed below.
These clamps are the simplest of them all. They are usually made out of iron or steel with two holes for screws – making them perfect for rigidly attaching two pieces. Their circular shape makes it easy to fit in pipes and fixate them in an accurate position until further need.
You can see these pipe clamps being used in constructing milling and shaping machines. These are ideal for reducing leakage.
In terms of construction, you can find –
- Single body pipe clamps
- Two-part pipe clamps attached with a screw on top
The rigid pipe clamp with two parts can be used in jobs where you need wider gaps in the middle. It’s achieved through using a longer screw on the top.
Flat Cushion Clamps
A cushioned flat clamp has almost the same construction design as a rigid clamp. The only difference or addition it has is the cushion. This rubber cushion is found along the inner wall as a layer or as a cover on the clamp.
And this cushion is placed there to prevent materials from corrosion and marring, which you could say is an improvement over the simple rigid ones. And due to the softness and protection, you can use these to clamp steel, wood, and plastic objects without facing any issues. It's more appropriate to use with non-insulated pipes.
Thanks to the flexibility of the cushion, you’ll get a slightly bigger diameter as an allowance for the object you're fitting in it. The cushions also work as shock and vibration absorbents as well as noise suppressors, which are surprisingly good for any working environment.
The body is made of steel or iron and very easy to install. And just like simple rigid pipe clamps, these are also found in a single part and double part design.
The U shaped bolt is the main part here. A single U-bolt has 4 components; a U-bolt, the saddle, and 2 hex nuts. It can fit in a range of diameter sizes as you can adjust the position of the saddle on the two shafts of the bolt.
The two shafts have threads cut on them and acts as screws for the nuts. You can change the position of the nuts along the thread to increase or decrease the diameter.
Also, the saddle can be of different shapes, with some thicker than others. Moreover, you can choose squared corners in U-bolts if you need to clamp anything of square shape.
In terms of material, usually, you’ll find steel, aluminum, and malleable iron body U-bolts. These can be very strong, and when everything is put together, they can handle a huge amount of weight.
U-Bolt with Cushion Clamps
This is another variation of the U-bolt pipe clamp. The extra bit is the cushion that’s placed between the shafts. Usually made of rubber, this cushion can be removed from the clamp for cleaning or replacing purpose.
Using a cushioned U-bolt clamp gives you the option to use it with steel, wood, and plastic bodies. Cushioned U-bolts are better at absorbing shocks and vibrations that the body might experience from outside. So, to reduce noise in the workplace, this is a better option.
Furthermore, using a cushion prevents rust, corrosion, and makes it easier to remove and clean the pipes. The flexible cushion can compress its size when needed for allowing bodies with a slightly bigger diameter and width.
Also, the construction of the body is no different from the U-bolt clamp having the same material and design.
If you take two rigid pipe clamps and press their opposite ends together, you'll get the shape of an oval clamp. The rigid pipe clamp can clamp around a circular-shaped body, i.e., cylinder, whereas this oval clamp can work with a much wider body of the same diameter.
You can find oval clamps with a two-part body or a single part body. Two-part oval clamps have holes on either side, and it’s more accommodating to different sizes among the two due to its two-part design.
Oval clamps are more durable compared to the simple rigid clamps and certainly more versatile. It’s made of steel, stainless steel, and iron.
If you worked with routing cables you might have seen these clamps. When closed, they adopt a P shape. The top of the P is where bodies are fitted in. These clamps have one of the smallest diameter sizes among all clamps here. And that makes it very suitable for securing, grounding, or routing cables. Of course, pipes can be fitted in it too if it’s the right size.
The lower side of the P-clamp has the screw hole. Due to the construction, it's very robust, and the clamped object won't be loose anytime soon.
Also, the thickness varies, and some P-style clamps even come with rubber cushion around it for shock absorption and noise cancellation.
It's not as adjustable as other clamps, but it's secure enough.
Swivel Bolt Clamps
Bolts with swiveling ability are the most complex and versatile clamps. They're also known as T-bolt or I-bolt clamps. When you use it with a steel tube, you can create a variety of angles as per your needs.
The material is forged steel and galvanized. It looks robust, and it holds up its promise.
In terms of design, it’s two clamps attached with the ability to rotate in its axis. This compound clamp design allows the pipes to swivel from 0 degrees to 360-degree angle.
These are easy to install and used in building racks, railings, and such structures. You can use them in the existing piping system without dismantling them, thanks to its swivel ability.
Wrapping it up!
A reminder before you go, all of the clamps above, except the ones with cushion, can and will cause corrosion and marring on both the object’s surface and the clamp’s body. Cleaning it up and keeping it dry will make sure you don’t experience any of that.