Common Uses of Galvanized Hanger Straps
Galvanized hanger straps have many diverse applications across residential, commercial, and industrial settings. Some of their most common uses include:
- Suspending plumbing pipes – Hanger straps provide a simple way to securely anchor supply and drain pipes to joists or beams in basements, crawlspaces, and attics. They can support straight runs as well as offsets and turns.
- Routing electrical conduits – Electricians often use galvanized straps to affix and align EMT, PVC, or metal conduits along ceilings and walls for lighting, power, and control wiring.
- HVAC ductwork support – Hanger straps are routinely used to hang rectangular, round, or oval air ducts from overhead structures. They can easily be repositioned as needed.
- Industrial process piping – In factories, plants, and refineries, hanger straps are installed to suspend process and utility piping carrying steam, gases, chemicals, or fluids.
- Cable management – Telecom, A/V, and network cabling can be neatly organized and tied to ceiling rails using galvanized metal straps.
How to Install Galvanized Hanger Straps
Installing galvanized hanger straps correctly is important to ensure pipes, cables, and ducts are securely supported. Follow these key steps:
- Identify where straps need to be installed along the length of the pipe or other item. Follow relevant building codes for hanger spacing.
Select appropriate strap
- Choose the strap width and thickness rated for the pipe size and total weight load.
Attach strap to structure
- Use lag bolts or other hardware to anchor the strap ends to ceiling or wall framing.
Hang pipe in strap
- Place pipe in the strap, centered between the fastened ends.
- Tighten nuts/bolts until snug around pipe. Avoid over-tightening.
- Position straps so pipes have room for expansion/contraction and minor alignment shifts.
Use additional supports
- For long pipe runs, use girder clamps, corners, guides, and anchors as needed.
Follow all safety procedures when working at height and use appropriate lifting devices. Inspect installations to ensure adequate support.
Galvanized Hanger Straps vs. Other Materials
Galvanized steel is the most common and cost-effective material used to manufacture hanger straps. However, other materials can also be used:
- Stainless steel – More expensive, but offers greater corrosion resistance for highly caustic or humid environments. Sturdier for heavy loads.
- Non-metallic – Straps made from plastic/nylon or glass-reinforced epoxy have good chemical resistance. Not as strong and can deform over time.
- Padded – Provide a protective cushion and prevent abrasion damage to coated pipes. Less rigid support.
- Wood – Used occasionally for small-diameter pipes. Absorbs moisture so has limited applications. Requires frequent replacement.
Overall, standard galvanized steel offers the best balance of strength, durability, and affordability for most hanger strap applications. The zinc coating provides excellent corrosion protection not matched by plain steel.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Galvanized Hanger Straps
To select the optimal galvanized hanger straps for an application, consider these key factors:
- Pipe size – Match strap width to pipe diameter, ensuring a snug fit without pinching. Measure OD including insulation.
- Pipe material – Certain materials like cast iron require wider straps to prevent cracking under load.
- Load weight – Verify the strap load capacity meets total pipe weight per hanger. Factor in contents.
- Environment – Indoor, outdoor, wet, corrosive? Choose appropriate strap thickness and corrosion protection.
- Insulation – Will pipe be insulated? Increase strap width to accommodate insulation thickness.
- Fire rating – Some applications require straps with fire-resistant ratings.
- Support spacing – Adhere to maximum support distances specified in codes and pipe standards.
- Temperature – Will high/low temps impact the pipe? Select straps rated for those extremes.
Considering these criteria will ensure galvanized hanger straps perform reliably over the long term. Work closely with suppliers to match straps to each usage.
Maintenance and Care Tips
With routine inspection and proper care, galvanized hanger straps can last for decades supporting pipework and equipment. Here are some maintenance best practices:
- Inspect often – Visually check straps for signs of looseness, distortion, wear, or corrosion. Catch issues early.
- Remove debris – Clean straps periodically to prevent dirt, grease, or debris buildup which can hold moisture.
- Tighten as needed – Re-tighten any fasteners that have loosened to maintain a snug strap-pipe connection.
- Replace worn straps – Swap out excessively worn, damaged, or corroded straps to avoid failures.
- Touch up scratches – Use zinc-rich paint to touch up any scrapes, nicks, or scratches in the galvanized coating.
- Lubricate threads – Keep fastener threads clean and lubricated to prevent seizing up.
- Protect stored straps – Keep unused straps in a dry, covered area to avoid weather deterioration.
Routine care will maintain the galvanized coating and help straps achieve their maximum service lifespan.
Galvanized Hanger Straps in Various Industries
Thanks to their versatility, galvanized hanger straps are extensively used in many industrial, commercial, and residential fields. Here are some of their key applications:
- Suspend plastic, copper, and cast iron plumbing pipes
- Support electrical conduits and cable trays
- Hang ductwork, exhaust piping, and diffusers
- Anchor process, utility, and drainage pipes
- Manage high-pressure steam and chemical lines
- Comply with strict inspection standards
- Secure natural gas, water, and sewer pipes underground
- Mount power and telecom conduits on overhead poles
- Provide flexibility in tunnels, chases, and buried piping
- Resist saltwater corrosion on ships and offshore rigs
- Mount diesel, ballast, and Bilge systems
- Meet stringent maritime construction standards
- Hang sheet metal ductwork from rooftop units
- Support chilled water and refrigerant piping
- Allow adjustment as systems are balanced
Galvanized steel offers the strength, protection, and durability needed in all these vital industries.
Sustainability of Galvanized Hanger Straps
While very durable, galvanized steel does have some environmental impacts to consider:
- High embodied energy – Producing galvanized steel is energy-intensive and yields greenhouse gas emissions.
- Raw material extraction – Mining iron ore and zinc can disrupt landscapes and habitats.
- Recyclable – Steel and zinc are 100% recyclable materials with high scrap value.
- Long service life – Galvanized straps can last 50+ years with minimal maintenance.
- Reduced waste – Reusing straps and extending system lifespan reduces waste.
Specifiers can also encourage sustainability by:
- Choosing lighter-gauge straps when adequate
- Using straps only where structurally required
- Implementing pipe insulation to minimize heat loss
- Sourcing straps made from recycled steel
- Returning scrap straps for recycling
While not perfect, galvanized steel remains a very good option for sustainable pipe support systems compared to alternatives. Thoughtful design and installation helps minimize any ecological impacts.
Frequently Asked Questions About Galvanized Hanger Straps
1. Are galvanized hanger straps suitable for outdoor use?
Yes, galvanized straps are ideal for outdoor use. The zinc coating protects the steel from corrosion, rust, and weathering damage. Galvanized straps can withstand rain, sun, snow, and temperature extremes.
2. How long do galvanized hanger straps typically last?
Properly installed galvanized straps have a service life of 50 years or more. With routine inspection and maintenance, they can last indefinitely. The zinc coating sacrifices itself to protect the underlying steel.
3. How do I know which size of galvanized hanger straps I need?
Size your straps based on the pipe’s outer diameter and the total weight load. Straps should fit snugly around the pipe without pinching. Refer to pipe standards and codes for sizing guidance.
4. Can galvanized hanger straps be reused?
Yes, galvanized straps can be reused. Remove them carefully to avoid damage. Inspect for wear or warping. Touch up any scratches in the galvanizing. Reuse is recommended and sustainable.
5. Are there any alternatives to galvanized hanger straps?
Alternatives include stainless steel, plastic, padded, and wood straps. But galvanized steel offers the best strength, protection, and value for many applications. It’s a tried-and-true industry standard.
In summary, galvanized hanger straps are an essential component in commercial and industrial settings for securely suspending pipes, conduits, ductwork, and more. They offer versatility, durability, and protection from corrosion. Choosing the right size and type of galvanized strap for the application is important, as is proper installation and periodic maintenance. With their excellent strength-to-cost ratio and widespread availability, galvanized straps will continue to be the go-to solution for pipe hanging applications.
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