The Complete Guide to Spring Hangers

A practical guide to the family of pipe supports that includes variable spring hangers and constant spring hangers

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An Introduction to Spring Hanger Pipe Supports

Spring Hangers – often referred to as Spring Supports or Flexible Supports – use helical coil(s) to accommodate vertical loads and movements of piping systems due to thermal expansions, seismic activity or rotating equipment. For the purposes of this guide the family of spring supports to be discussed will be the variable spring hangers and constant spring hangers. Even though this family also includes sway braces and hi-load box springs, they will not be included in this paper.

F Type Variable Spring Hanger Parts

F Type Variable Spring Hanger Parts

Pictured here are galvanized base plates and cannisters for the F-Type Variable Supports 

Constant Spring Hangers Painted with Red Oxide

Constant Spring Hangers Painted in Red Oxide

Pictured here are two Constant Spring Hangers painted in red oxide. This type of constant is used to support pipe from above

F-Type Variable Spring Supports with Load Flanges

F-Type Variable Spring Supports with Load Flanges

Pictured here are three different F-Type Variable Spring Supports with their Load Flanges placed on top. The F-Types provide variable support from beneath the pipe.

Engineered Supports

MSS SP-58

Although there are many kinds of pipe supports, only the variable and constant spring hangers are typically referred to as Engineered Supports. This because, even though all pipe supports were created by engineers, the spring supports are each uniquely different and crafted for every project. MSS SP-58 is the Manufacturers Standardization Society’s requirements for the construction of pipe hangers and supports

Variable Spring Hangers

These spring hangers go by many names such as: Variable Spring Supports; Flexible Spring Supports; and Variable Effort Supports. Their styles of types are typically referred to by the Romanic letters A, B, C, D, E, F and G. You can read all about them on the Variable Spring Hanger page

A-Type Variable Spring Hangers

C-Type variable spring hangers are typically used when there is limited head space and when it is desireable to attach the hanger using a welding lug from above

Various C-Type Variable Spring Hangers
G-Type Variable Spring Hanger

G-Type Variable Spring Hanger

Type G Variable Spring Hanger are used when there is insufficient room above the supported pipe to install a hanger.

B-Type Variable Spring Hangers

Similar to the A-Type hanger except it has a single lug on the top plate. Notice the part known as the Pullbolt sticking out from the bottom of the support. This provides an attachment point for threaded rod to connect to the pipe

B-Type Variable Spring Hangers

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Variable Spring Support Canisters

Canisters – also known as ‘cans’ or casings – are typically made from sections of standard pipe. Slots for the compression plate are cut out on both sides and top and bottom rings are then welded to each end of the cut pipe piece

Constant Spring Hangers

Also known as Constant Spring Supports, these pipe supports are called into play when the vertical movent of a pipe exceeds the maximum allowed for a variable support (>50mm). This is especially true when a pipe is critical to the operation. As the name suggests, a constant support applies a constant load throughout the range of pipe movement

V-Type Constant Spring Hanger

V-Type Constant Spring Hanger
VB-Type Constant Spring Hanger

VB-Type Constant Spring Hanger

D-Type Constant Spring Hanger

B Type Constant Spring Hanger

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When Should Spring Hangers Be Used? 

Spring hangers should be used when:

• When pipe at a support location moves up off a rigid support & when it is necessary for support loading to be maintained
• When pipe at a support location needs to move downward to relieve load on equipment or stresses in the piping system
• When loads on attached equipment nozzles are limited and a spring hanger would assist in controlling the nozzle loading

In other words, spring hangers are used to carry the dead weight of the piping system at a given support while allowing movement resulting from thermal expansion or contraction of the piping system. Spring hangers are frequently used at the first pipe support location adjacent to rotating equipment such as turbines, compressors, pumps or expander-compressors. At these support locations, the amount of vertical piping movement is typically small. However to enable the loading on the equipment to be controlled, a spring hanger is used to apply a support load on the pipe. In all instances where the use of spring hangers is contemplated, evaluate the alternatives considering factors such as loading on equipment, cost, ease of in- stallation and ease of operation. If spring hangers are the most economical and most satisfactorily solution, then by all means use them.