Miles of tubing and piping run through factories, commercial buildings, and infrastructure to convey fluids, air, cables and more. Properly mounting these extensive networks with the right hangers and supports is critical. Hanger straps provide an ideal solution – they are adjustable metal straps that firmly secure pipes and tubes while allowing hassle-free routing and alignment. This article will explore hanger straps, their key properties, usage directions, advantages over other hanging methods, and creative applications beyond just plumbing.

What Are Hanger Straps?

Hanger straps, also called perforated band hanger straps, are thin metal strips that have holes or slots punched along their length. They are produced from galvanized steel, stainless steel, or plastic polymers in various widths from 3/4″ to 4″.

The perforations allow the straps to be easily cut to any required length using snips. They can be bent and shaped as needed to fit around different sized pipes. The most common thickness is 30 gauge (0.3 mm).

Key Properties and Strengths

Hanger straps offer many useful characteristics:

  • Adjustable – Can be sized to suspend any pipe diameter. Long runs can be supported at optimal points.
  • Versatile – Suit most pipe materials like steel, copper, PVC, CPVC. Even wraps ducts and conduits neatly.
  • Strong – Galvanized steel straps support over 100 lbs per hanger which covers most commercial pipes. Wider straps are rated for heavier loads.
  • Durable – Withstand humidity, corrosion and abrasion. Galvanized and stainless steel options have long service lives.
  • Lightweight – Weighs very little per foot, keeping suspension loads minimal. Easy to transport and install.
  • Low Cost – Steel straps cost a fraction compared to specialized pipe hangers and clamps. Great for cost-sensitive projects.
  • Fireproof – Metal options won’t burn or melt in a fire like plastic hangers. Important safety aspect.

Minimal Disruption – Can be retrofitted on existing systems with minimal disturbance or downtime.

Hanger Strap Specifications

Hanger straps are available with the following range of specifications:

  • Materials – Galvanized steel, stainless steel, plastic (nylon, polypropylene). Galvanized is the most common.
  • Widths – 3/4″, 1″, 1-1/4″, 1-1/2″, 2″, 3″, 4″ etc. 1-1/2″ accommodates most pipes.
  • Thicknesses – Standard is 30 gauge (0.3 mm). Heavier 22 or 18 gauge used for overweight lines.
  • Coatings – Bare metal or vinyl/PVC coated galvanized for maximum corrosion resistance.
  • Strengths – 100 to 700 lb ratings per hanger strap based on size and material.
  • Perforations – Round, square or slotted holes. Larger holes allow easier fastener alignment.
  • Lengths – Rolls of 25 to 200 foot lengths. Custom cut strips are also available.

Usage Directions

Installing hanger straps to suspend pipes is straightforward:

  • Measure and cut strap to length using snips. Make it at least 2″ longer than pipe circumference.
  • Bend strap around pipe smoothly to evenly grip. Avoid kinks which cause points of weakness.
  • Position strap so pipe hangs level. Mark locations of holes/slots on ceiling or beam.
  • Drill holes in overhead surface at marked points to match strap perforations.
  • Fasten strap ends using bolts, screws or other hardware. Check strap is securely holding pipe before releasing.
  • For long runs, space hangers every 4 to 6 feet depending on pipe size and contents.
  • Use pipe clamps or clips where needed to firmly anchor straps to pipe and prevent sideways slippage.
  • Optionally cut small steel bases with threaded studs to pre-attach straps before lifting into position.

With the basics covered, hanger straps can be installed quickly with ordinary tools.

Benefits Compared to Traditional Pipe Hangers

While there are various specialized pipe hanger designs like clevis, trapeze and clamp types, hanger straps offer unique advantages:

  • Lower Cost – Hanger straps are around 4 times cheaper than equivalent load-rated steel hangers.
  • Quick Alignment – Straps can be shifted sideways easily on the mounting surface to perfectly align pipes.
  • Flexibility – Hanger location is not limited by fixed designs. Pipes can be rearranged by moving straps.
  • Lighter Installation – Weigh far less than cast iron or steel hangers, reducing overhead support requirements.
  • Inventory Convenience – A few sizes of straps can support a wide range of pipe sizes rather than stocking each hanger type.
  • Adaptable – Adjustable nature suits temporary or irregular piping that may change in the future.
  • Chemical Resistance – Plastic options can suspend pipes carrying corrosive chemicals incompatible with metal hangers.

For versatile utility and the lowest installed cost, hanger straps are hard to beat.

Creative Applications Beyond Plumbing Supports

While designed for pipes and tubes, hanger straps have many additional creative suspension uses:

  • Mounting cable trays and cable ladders
  • Hanging industrial fluorescent light fixtures
  • Supporting ductwork like exhaust vents and air conditioning
  • Running electrical conduit and water lines together
  • Organizing warehouse racking and storage
  • Building DIY gymnastics and fitness rigs
  • Suspending pens, tools and accessories in workshops
  • Installing isolated instrument platforms and spring dampers
  • Creating under-shelf lighting strips
  • Mounting custom artwork/decoration away from walls
  • Holding clotheslines and plant pot racks
  • Building aviary perches and reptile heating lamp mounts

Hanger straps enable easy bolting, anchoring and securing in ways solid rods and bars cannot. Even short leftover pieces get reused for miscellaneous tasks.

Tips for Proper Hanger Strap Installation

While hanging pipes with perforated straps is straightforward in principle, observing the following tips ensures safe and lasting support:

  • Choose width based on pipe circumference – too narrow risks excessive tightness and damage while too wide can allow slipping and pipe movement.
  • Align strap holes with pipe centerline so strap tensions are balanced on both sides. Eccentric loading can distort pipes.
  • Use correctly sized fasteners for girder/joist thickness and match washer sizes to strap holes.
  • Snugly tension straps so pipes fit firmly but not so excessive as to distort soft copper. Check for ovalization.
  • Space supports based on pipe specs and contents. Spans over 6 feet may require intermediate guides for alignment.
  • Where vibration is high, use neoprene sleeves inside straps to dampen forces on pipes.
  • Avoid hanging very high temperature steam lines from plastic or vinyl straps. Use refractory ceramic supports.
  • Inspect periodically and retighten any straps that have loosened over time due to vibration and expansion/contraction cycles.

Proper usage guidelines maximize the safety and service life of pipeline suspension systems.

Industrial Applications of Hanger Straps

Thanks to their versatility, low cost and ease of installation, hanger straps are popular options for managing complex utilities in industrial facilities like:

Factories – Supporting process pipework, compressed air lines, water treatment, waste plumbing. Allows flexibility to rearrange/expand lines.

Refineries and Chemical Plants – Quickly and safely securing acid, solvent and gas piping of all sizes. Adjustable nature suits interlinking temporary pipe runs.

Power Plants – Simplifies hanging large bore water pipes, steam lines, and condensate returns while resisting vibration and thermal expansion stresses.

Wastewater Treatment – Provides affordable corrosion-resistant supports across acres of exterior clarifiers, aeration basins and filter beds.

Mine Processing – Galvanized or stainless steel straps withstand humidity and corrosive minerals while offering lightweight suspension for slurry pipes.

Food & Beverage – Easily reroutable so new equipment can tap into existing CIP cleaning, product, and utility lines.

For any facility managing complex or changing pipeline networks, hanger straps facilitate safe and orderly infrastructure.

Hanger Strap Safety Considerations

While perforated straps are very safe suspension solutions, certain best practices should be kept in mind:

  • Follow all rated load capacities based on material, size, spacing and layout.
  • Avoid using damaged, jammed, or severely corroded straps. Inspect regularly.
  • Position straps so any failures would only allow controlled downward movement not sideways pipe release.
  • Support fire sprinkler lines independently per codes using listed sprinkler hangers, not building service hangers.
  • Use strap vibration isolation solutions where needed – a 2 lb pipe can exhibit large vibration forces over 10+ feet spans.
  • Hazmat identification signs must be visibly placed on straps supporting regulated dangerous goods lines.
  • Maintain electrical continuity between straps on metallic pipes to avoid potential electrolytic corrosion.

When used responsibly, hanger straps pose no greater risks than other mechanical pipe hanging methods.

Galvanized Steel – The Ideal Hanger Strap Material

Hot-dip galvanized steel is by far the most common and all-around best performing option for hanger straps. Here are the key advantages of galvanized steel straps:

Strength – Galvanized steel provides the right balance of high tensile strength with ductile formability. 30 gauge steel safely holds 100 lb+ loads.

Corrosion Resistance – The zinc coating prevents rusting and withstands industrial chemicals far better than bare steel. Properly galvanized straps outlast plastic.

Fire Rating – Galvanized steel is non-combustible and handles over 1000°F. Essential for fire sprinklers.

conductivity – Provides effective bonding between pipes. Important for cathodic protection systems.

Cost – Galvanized steel is the most affordable strap material with widespread global availability.

Recyclability – Fully recyclable for substantial embodied energy savings versus plastics.

For the widest range of safe suspension applications, galvanized steel is ideal. The zinc coating will sacrificially protect the underlying steel for decades even with scratches or cut edges.

Plastic Hanger Straps Where Metal Cannot Be Used

Plastic is commonly used where chemicals or water purity rule out metal hangers:

Chemical Resistance – Made from polypropylene or Teflon® (PTFE) for broad chemical compatibility. Unaffected by acids or caustics.

Non-conductive – Dielectric nature is essential for pipes carrying sensitive signals or power. Prevents short circuits.

Pure Water Systems – Prevents any zinc/iron contamination of high purity water treatment lines.

Light Duty – Best for pipes under 50 lb, provided ambient temperature is under 120°F.

UV-Resistant – Carbon black and stabilizers prevent outdoor sunlight degradation.

So for light, non-metallic lines carrying aggressive chemicals or ultra-pure water, plastic straps are the optimal hangers. They are also useful as insulating spacers between metallic pipe runs and joists to prevent electrolytic corrosion.

Conclusion

Hanger straps offer an unrivaled combination of safety, flexibility, cost savings, and durability for suspending pipe runs large and small. Their adjustable perforated design allows quick hanging of any tube and pipe configuration. Specified and installed properly, hanger straps will reliably support vital building and industrial services for decades. Even as facilities upgrade their plumbing and process pipe networks, hanger straps adapt and keep up. They represent the easiest, most affordable way to meet evolving piping infrastructure challenges now and in the future.

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Justin Wong

Justin Wong

Hi, I’m Justin, the technical engineer of Jiangmen Masters. We’ve been running a factory in China that makes metal hanger strap for 16 years now, and the purpose of this article is to share the knowledge related to metal hanger strap from a Chinese supplier’s perspective.