Industrial pipe support systems are the unsung heroes in many facilities. While pipes, ducts, and cables get most of the attention, it’s the supports and hangers that truly keep everything intact. Among the most popular and versatile options are galvanized hanger straps. When properly installed, these high-strength fasteners provide a sturdy foundation for infrastructure of all types.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the many benefits of galvanized hanger straps. You’ll learn the basics of how they work, proper techniques for cutting and installing galvanized straps, weight capacities, and real-world examples across industries. Whether you’re a safety manager at a refinery, construction foreman on a job site, or maintenance tech at a food plant, this vital information will help you get the most out of galvanized hanger straps.
An Introduction to Galvanized Hanger Straps
Galvanized hanger straps consist of a steel strip or band coated with a layer of zinc. The zinc provides excellent corrosion resistance, protecting the base metal from rust and deterioration. The coating allows galvanized straps to withstand moisture, salt spray, chemicals, and other hazards found in demanding industrial environments.
Compared to bare steel or stainless steel, galvanized straps offer the ideal balance of strength, durability, and cost-effectiveness. They can serve as hangers, clamps, mounts, braces, and more. You’ll find galvanized hanger straps hard at work in facilities across many industries including:
- Manufacturing plants
- Refineries and chemical plants
- Food and beverage processing
- Power generation
- Marine applications
- And many more
Galvanized coatings serve a vital role in protecting steel from the elements. Let’s explore why they make galvanized hanger straps such a versatile and heavy-duty pipe support option.
The Power of Galvanization
Galvanization provides three key advantages:
The zinc coating sacrifices itself to protect the underlying steel. If the coating gets damaged, zinc particles around the area work to re-seal the metal. This means galvanized straps provide maintenance-free corrosion protection for decades.
The coating makes galvanized straps more malleable and impact-absorbent. They can flex and withstand impacts that could dent or crack bare steel. This helps prevent failure in demanding environments.
Galvanization provides an excellent base layer for painted finishes. The rough surface accepts and holds paint much better than bare steel. This allows galvanized straps to be powder-coated for specialized applications and color-coding.
Thanks to its unrivaled balance of strength, durability, and cost, galvanized steel is used in infrastructure projects, vehicles, appliances, and industrial applications across the globe. Next, we’ll go over some best practices for cutting galvanized hanger straps.
Cutting Galvanized Hanger Straps
Galvanized hanger straps are available in standard sizes up to 10 feet in length. Often, you’ll need to cut them to custom lengths to match specific pipe runs. Here are some tips for safely and accurately cutting galvanized straps:
- Wear proper PPE – safety glasses, work gloves, long sleeves, etc.
- Work in a spacious, well-ventilated area
- Keep fire extinguishers and first aid kits on hand
- Secure the strap prior to cutting to avoid slipping
- Aviation snips – fast and efficient cutting for straight lines
- Hacksaw – versatile and affordable with replaceable blades
- Reciprocating saw – powerful but requires more safety precautions
- Bench shear or metal-cutting bandsaw – ideal for cutting stacks of straps
- Measure twice, cut once! Plan cutting lines carefully.
- Clamp down the strap securely or have a partner hold it taut.
- Let the tool do the work – don’t force the cut.
- If burrs occur, remove them with a file or sandpaper.
- Seal any cut edges with zinc-rich paint.
By following safe work practices and using the right cutting tools, you can easily trim galvanized hanger straps to fit any application. Next, let’s discuss how to determine the load capacity of galvanized straps.
Estimating the Load Capacity of Galvanized Hanger Straps
A pipe hanger system is only as strong as its weakest component. To prevent dangerous failures, it’s crucial to choose galvanized hanger straps rated for the load they will carry. The carrying capacity depends on several key factors:
- Low carbon steel – most economical, adequate for light loads
- High strength low alloy steel – higher strength-to-weight ratio
- Stainless steel – most expensive, ideal for highly corrosive environments
- Standard galvanized – suitable for indoor applications
- Extra thick galvanized – provides extended corrosion resistance outdoors
- Width – typical range is 1/2” to 2” wide
- Thickness – usual sizes vary from 20 gauge to 28 gauge
- Cross-sectional area – determines strength along the vertical axis
- Banding -offers continuous support along a pipe
- U-bolts – concentrated load on attachment points
- J-hooks – grip top half of pipe circumference
- Temperature, moisture, wind, seismic activity, and other factors
With so many variables, determining the load capacity can get complicated quickly. Thankfully, manufacturers provide detailed rating tables and calculators to take out the guesswork. Always confirm your specific application falls within the rated working load limit. This helps ensure galvanized hanger straps uphold their end of the bargain.
Now that we’ve covered sizing and capacity considerations, let’s explore best practices for installation.
Proper Usage and Installation of Galvanized Hanger Straps
To fully realize their benefits, galvanized hanger straps must be installed correctly. Follow these guidelines to properly use galvanized straps for pipe supports:
Measuring and Planning
- Map out all pipe routes and branch connections.
- Identify all necessary hanger locations and spacing intervals.
- Measure pipe sizes and diameters for strap selection.
- Cut straps to appropriate lengths as needed.
- Use suitable load-rated hardware – bolts, screws, nails, etc.
- Position hangers for proper pipe slope and alignment.
- Place insulation inserts to prevent abrasion damage.
- Allow room for expansion and contraction.
- Torque fasteners to specifications without overtightening.
- Attach multiple straps per section for heavy pipes.
- Vertical runs may require clamps instead of hangers.
- Use adjustable swivel hangers to allow movement.
- Double wrap and crisscross straps for extra security.
- Suspend large pipes from U-bolts or band hangers.
- Follow all relevant building codes and industry standards.
By taking the time to install galvanized straps correctly, you can maximize system stability and service life. Next, we’ll look at real-world examples of galvanized hanger straps in action across industries.
Galvanized Hanger Straps in Practice
Now that we’ve covered basics of galvanized hanger straps, let’s see them doing what they do best – supporting critical infrastructure across sectors.
Plumbing and HVAC
Galvanized steel straps are the product of choice for hanging pipes in plumbing and HVAC systems. The zinc coating provides corrosion protection against moisture and condensation. Hangers spaced every 5-6 feet prevent sagging and reduce pipe joint stress. Bell hanger straps firmly cradle and align slip joint connections.
In processing plants, power plants, and refineries, thick and heavy-duty galvanized steel straps securely suspend large bore pipes, vessels, and equipment. The rugged steel construction and corrosion resistance allows them to withstand vibration, thermal expansion, and outdoor conditions. Common arrangements include trapeze hangers for multiple pipes and riser clamps for vertical runs.
Construction and Infrastructure
Civil construction projects depend on galvanized hangers and supports to manage intricate networks of water, sewer, and drainage pipes. Their high strength secures duct banks, electrical conduits, and cable trays through tunnels and underground concrete shafts. Galvanized coatings ensure decades of maintenance-free service even in corrosive soils.
Whether you’re a plumber, plant manager, or project engineer, galvanized hanger straps should be your go-to solution for safely managing pipe runs large and small. From their exceptional corrosion resistance to high load ratings, galvanized straps offer versatility across applications. By following the proper cutting, installation, and usage guidance provided, you can achieve a pipe support system engineered for maximum performance and longevity.
For specialty designs, custom straps, or application-specific recommendations, contact a professional supplier of galvanized pipe hangers and support systems today. Investing in quality installation will keep your systems on firm footing for the long run.
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