When it comes to pipe restraints, the role of liners is often underestimated. These features can dramatically extend the life of not only your pipe restraints but also your entire piping system.
Ready to find out how?
In this article, we dive into ways liners can extend the life of your piping products and why you need them.
What Shortens the Life of Your Pipe Restraints?
It isn’t always obvious, but your pipe restraints are up against harsh and corrosive forces. Here are a few factors that can shorten the life of your pipe restraints.
Whether you recognize it or not, corrosion poses a threat to the metal surfaces throughout your piping system. If your pipe restraints are metallic, it’s important to factor in how susceptible they are to corrosion. Although there are many types of corrosion that disintegrate metal, there are two common corrosion culprits to watch out for if you want to lengthen the life span of your pipe restraints:
- Galvanic corrosion: Galvanic corrosion is an electrochemical reaction that kicks off when you pair up dissimilar metals in the wrong conditions. This destructive force starts when metals with widely different properties rub against one another without insulation. Essentially, one metal pulls electrons from another metal. As a result, part of your piping system is eaten away by rust.
- Surface wear: When the metal of your pipes scrape against hard surfaces, the pipe’s outer surface and protective coatings can wear down. In turn, little holes and gashes form on your pipe’s surface. Even if those divots are difficult to see, they can provide a place for corrosive materials to pool and live. Eventually, those miniature homes for microbes can cause crevice corrosion and damaged pipes.
When the metal of pipes rubs directly against the metal of supports, it leads to a few different types of damage. In addition to opening the door to corrosion, it can break down the restraint altogether. Without protection, pipe restraints can also dig into the pipe itself and cause ruptures.
Add heavy movement, and metal-on-metal contact is a recipe for destruction. Especially in systems with reciprocating compressors that produce heavy vibrations, pipe restraints end up being pounded by hard metal pipes. With the constant impact of pipes smashing into the support, the pipes can easily wear down and snap.
The Wrong Materials
Some materials just aren’t equipped to hold up without protection. In many cases, thermal movement exposes the vulnerabilities of the wrong material combinations. For instance, if cold piping is laying directly on a metal pipe support, heat can move across the metal. That can result in ice formation and a worn-down pipe.
Even in systems that aren’t cold, unprotected pipe supports should account for thermal movement. Thermal expansion can cause heavy pipes to shift and scrape against the metal of supports. Again, that can damage both pipes and restraints.
How Do Liners Help Protect Pipe Restraints?
So how do liners protect pipe restraints against these destructive forces? Here are a few key things liners do.
Liners Prevent Galvanic Corrosion
Remember, in order for galvanic corrosion to take place, metal needs to directly connect with another, dissimilar metal. Liners use nonmetallic materials to insulate pipes and physically separate them from metal surfaces. That means they’re protected from the electrochemical reaction that can destroy pipes.
Liners Control Vibrations
In some instances, liners are designed to absorb vibrations and cushion the impact of metal banging on metal. That allows pipes to move more freely without damaging pipe restraints.
Liners Reduce Friction Wear
When a pipe scrapes against pipe restraints, it can damage both the pipe’s surface and the restraints. Many liners create a lower coefficient of friction and allow pipes to slide more naturally as they move. This protects the pipe and the pipe support from wearing down.
Liners Improve Performance in Extreme Temperatures
Especially in cold systems and systems with hot pipes, pipe restraints are exposed to harsh and unstable temperatures. Those temperature bursts can damage restraints if they aren’t equipped with temperature-resistant materials. Some restraints are etched with materials that are designed to perform in hot temperatures. Other liners are built to keep heat from jumping across metal surfaces and causing damage.
What Are Liners Made Of?
Although liners can be made up of all kinds of materials, there are some popular options for people who want their piping systems to perform longer. Here are a few material options and pipe restraints that are equipped with liners:
- Teflon: Teflon liners add a low coefficient of friction and are built to withstand harsh conditions. Because it’s bonded with fiber infusion during manufacturing, Fabric-Backed Teflon doesn’t delaminate, so it can also be used to control pipe vibrations. For instance, VibraTek hold down clamps, which are a proprietary APP product, include a thick lining that absorbs the impact of pipes, allows pipes to move axially, and saves surfaces from damage.
- Polyurethane: Polyurethane liners are made of a heavy-duty material that holds up in extreme conditions. Like Teflon, polyurethane can be molded to prevent delamination at high temperatures. Polyurethane liners are a key feature of hold down straps, which allow you to restrain pipes and minimize pipe damage. Polyurethane lining can also be equipped with UV inhibitors that keep them performing in heavy sun exposure.
- Custom materials: Some pipe restraint manufacturers will give you the option to choose the lining material that best suits your piping system and your goals. That could include everything from urethane and neoprene to sodium-etched Teflon. Essentially, your piping system needs to hold up in unique conditions. That’s why it is important to choose the lining material that fits your system.
Learn How to Protect Your Pipes
Looking for ways to increase the longevity and performance of your piping system? APP’s proprietary VibraTek liner is a must-have for high-stress piping systems. It fits precisely to pipes, doesn’t harbor moisture, and is built to reduce breakages.
If you want to learn exactly how pipe supports should work within your piping system, we can help. Download our Complete Guide to Pipe Restraints and gain the know-how you need to lengthen the life span of your piping system.