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SELECTION OF SUPPORT

PREPARED BY
Stress Department
Bapu P. Misal

The code ASME B 31.3 specifies under clause 321.1.1, the objective
of the support design as:
The layout and the design of the piping and its supporting elements
shall be directed towards preventing the following.
1. Piping stresses in excess of those permitted in the code.
2. Leakage at joints
3. Excessive thrust and moments on connected equipment
(such as pumps and turbines)
4. Excessive stresses in the supporting (or restraining)
elements.
5. Resonance with imposed fluid induced vibrations.
6. Excessive interference with thermal expansion and
contraction in a piping system, which is otherwise
adequately flexible.

7. Unintentional disengagement of piping from its


supports.
8. Excessive piping sag in systems requiring drainage
slope.
9. Excessive distortion or sag of piping (e.g. thermo
plastics) subject to creep under conditions of repeated
thermal cycling.
10. Excessive heat flow, exposing supporting elements to
temperature extremes outside their design limits.
ASME B 31.1 deals with the design of supporting elements
under clause 121.

DATA TO BE COLLECTED TO START THE DESIGN

1.

A complete set of piping general arrangement


drawings.

2.

A complete set of steel and structural drawings


including the equipment foundation .

3.

A complete set of drawing showing the location


of ventilating ducts, electrical trays, instrument
trays etc.

4.

A complete set of piping specification and line


list which includes pipe sizes, material of
construction, thickness of insulation, operating

5.

A copy of insulation specification with densities.

6.

A copy of valve and specialty list indicating weights.

7.

The movement of all critical equipment connections


such as turbines, compressors, boilers, etc.

On collection of the above data, the steps in which the


engineer will apply this basic information are as follows.
1.

The determination of support location.

2.

The determination of thermal movement of


the piping at each support location.

3.

The calculation of load at each support


location.

4.

The selection of the type of support i.e. Anchor


Guide, Rest, Constant or Variable spring etc.

5.

Checking the physical interference of the


support with structures, tray, ducts equipments
etc.

TYPES OF SUPPORT
Anchors are provided to secure the desired points of
piping whereas guides are provided to direct or absorb the
same. They shall permit the piping to expand and contract
freely away from the fixed points. Sliding or Rest
supports permit free movement of piping and shall be
designed to include friction resistance along with the dead
weight of the piping. Resilient supports are those which
support the dead weight throughout the expansion /
contraction of the piping.

The primary support is the supporting element which is


attached or in contact with the piping secondary support is
the supplementary steel provided to carry the load on the
structures.

Fig 1.8

Fig. 1.9

Fig. 1.10

2.0 THE DETERMINATION OF SUPPORT LOCATIONS


The support location is dependent on the pipe size, piping
configuration, the location of heavy valves and specialties
and the structure available for support. The simplest method
of estimating the support load and pipe stress due to weight
is to model the pipe as a beam loaded uniformly along the
length, the length of the beam equal to distance between
supports.
There are two possible ways to model the pipe,
depending upon the end conditions the simply supported
(pinned end) beam or the fixed end beam.
For a simply supported beam , the maximum stress
and support loads are.

Mmax

=
8

wl2

wl2

8Z
F

wl

2
where,
Mmax = maximum bending moment, ft-lb (N-m)

= Bending stress, psi (N/mm2)


w

= weight per unit length, lb/in

= length of pipe, in (mm)

= force on support, lb (N)

= section modulus in3 (mm3)

(N/mm)

For fixed end beam

wl2
Mmax =
12

wl2
=
12 Z
wl

=
2

For either model, the support load remains the same. However,
depending upon the model chosen the stress in pipe varies. In
actual practice the pipe at the point of support is not free to
support fully, since it is partially restrained through its
attachment to piping segment beyond the support. If the pipe
runs between supports are equally loaded and of equal length,
segment end rotation could cancel each other causing the pipe to
behave as fixed-end beam. Therefore, the true case lies
somewhere between the two beam models. Hence, as a
compromise case, the stress is calculated as

max

wl2
=
10 Z

Hence, support spacing is decided by the formula


10 Z S
L =
w
where
S is the allowable stress as per the code in psi (N/mm2)

The suggested maximum spans between the supports as


recommended by ASME B 31.1 in Table 121.5 are as follows:
Nominal

Suggested Maximum Span

Pipe Size

Water Service

NB Inch
1
2
3
4
6
8
12
16
20
24

M (ft)
2.1 (7)
3.0 (10)
3.7 (12)
4.3 (14)
5.2 (17)
5.8 (19)
7.0 (23)
8.2 (27)
9.1 (30)
9.8 (32)

Steam, Gas or
Air Service
M (ft)
2.7 (9)
4.0 (13)
4.6 (15)
5.2 (17)
6.4 (21)
7.3 (30)
9.1 (30)
10.7 (35)
11.9 (39)
12.8 (42)

The above spacing is based on fixed beam


support with a bending stress not to exceed
2300 psi and insulated pipe filled with water or
the equivalent weight of steel pipe for steam,
gas or air service and 2.5mm (0.1 inch) sag is
permitted between supports.

The selection of supports should consider the following guidelines


i) The support should be located as near as possible to concentrated
load such as valves, flanges etc. to keep the bending stress to the
minimum.
ii) When changes of direction in a horizontal plane occur, it is
suggested that the spacing be limited to 75% of the tabulated
values to promote stability and reduce eccentric loadings. Note
that the supports located directly on elbows are not
recommended
since that will stiffen the elbow and no flexibility will be
available.

iii) The standard span does not apply to vertical run pipes (risers)
since no moment and no stress will develop due to gravity
load in the riser. The support should be located on the upper
half of a riser (above the center of gravity) to prevent
instability in overturning of pipe under its own weight.
Guides may be placed on long vertical risers to reduce pipe
sag resulting in excessive pipe deflection. These guides are
usually placed in span intervals of twice the normal
horizontal span and do not carry any dead weight.
iv) Support location should be selected near the existing building
steel to minimize the use of supplementary steel.

In case of pipeline running in multiplane, the support load


is determined by applying a method called weight
balancing. This method involves breaking the larger
piping system into smaller segments of pipe with supports,
which are modeled as free bodies in equilibrium and solved
statically.

PIPE SUPPORT DESIGN AND ENGINEERING

For the illustrated problem, the following vertical movements


are known,
Point A 50 mm up, Cold to Hot
Point B 25 mm up, Cold to Hot
The above data is as furnished by the manufactures of
equipment.
H3 - 0 mm Cold to Hot
Coefficient of Thermal Expansion of Lowchrome Steel at
550C(1022F) is 0.09143 inch/ft i.e. 7.62 mm/m.

STEP 1
Calculate the expansion at point C and D by multiplying the
Coefficient of expansion by the vertical distance of each point
from the position of zero movement on the riser CD.
3.0 x 7.62 = 22.86 mm up at point C
6.1 x 7.62 = 46.48 mm down at point D
The calculation of the loads for hangers involves dividing the
system into convenient sections. A free body diagram of each
section should be drawn to facilitate the calculation with simple
arithmetic solution to the problem.

DISTRIBUTION OF VERTICAL MOVEMENTS TO


INTERMEDIATE POINTS ON HORIZONTAL LEG

Step II
Make a simple sketch between two adjacent
points of known movement

The vertical movement at hanger location can be calculated by


proportioning the same.

6950 27.14
24.03
7850

Vertical movement at H1

= 22.86 + 24.03
= 46.89
Say 47 mm
i.e. 47 mm up

1950 27.14
2
6.74mm
7850
Vertical movement at H2

= 22.86 + 6.74
= 29.60
Say 30 mm
i.e. 30 mm up

Step III
Make the sketch of piping between the points B and D,
extending the piping to a single plane as shown.

Case 1

4X
646..88
4577500((4466..882255))11335500X

= -42.99 mm say 43 mm
Vertical movement at H4 =43 mm down

= -19.70 mm say 20 mm
Vertical movement at H5 = 20 mm down

(71450(466..4882255))11335500X
9
2
5
0
4X
646..88
6

= -3.41 mm say 3 mm
Vertical movement at H6 = 3 mm down

= -20.81 mm say 21 mm
Vertical movement at H7 = 21 mm up

For easy reference, when selecting the appropriate


hanger, let us make a simple table of hanger movement.
Hanger Number
H1
H2
H3
H4
H5
H6
H7

Movement (mm)
47 up
30 up
0
43 down
20 down
3 down
21 up

The first step in the solution is to prepare a table of weights

Description

Weight

Weight of
Insln (Ca Si)

Total Weight

Weight
Used in
calculation

150NB Sch
160 pipe

67.5 Kg/m

17.0 Kg/m

84.5Kg/m

84.5 Kg/m

150 NB Sch
160 900 BW
LR Elbow

24.0 kg

8.0 Kg

32 Kg

32 Kg

150 NB BW
1500 Ib class
Gate Value

725.0 kg

37.0 Kg

762 Kg

762 Kg

Taking moments about H1,


m

kg.

0.15

25.4

0.60

762.0
787.4

=
=
=

kg.m
3.81
457.20
461.01

461.01
Reaction at the point A

=
0.9
= 512.23kg

Reaction at the hanger H1

=
=

787.4 - 512.2
275.17 kg.

DISTRIBUTION OF LOAD BETWEEN EQUIPMENT CONNECTION A & H1

422.5
Reaction at the point H1 & H2 =
2
=

211.25 kg

DISTRIBUTION OF LOAD BETWEEN H1 & H2

Taking moments about H3


M
x
Kg.

0.00

234.15

0.00

0.0832

32.00

2.66

1.0895

145.42

58.44

411.57

Kg-M

161.10
161.10

Reaction at H2
Reaction at H3

=
=
=

1.95
82.62 kg
411.57 - 82.62

= 328.95 kg.
DISTRIBUTION OF LOAD BETWEEN H2 & H3

The various distances to the center of gravity of the


bend can be calculated using the formula as below

2R Sin /2
A

R ( 1- Cos )

R Sin

Applying the above formula for the distance of CG from the center of
the arc for 150 NB LR elbow.

R Sin

229.0 x 1
/ 2
=

145.8mm

Distance of the CG form the center line of the straight


pipe = 229.0 - 145.8 = 83.2 mm

Taking moments about H4


M
x
Kg. =

Kg_M

0.2605 x
0.6668 x
0.750

44.0
32.0

=
=

11.46
21.34

496.1

372.08

572.1

404.88
404.88

Reaction at H3

=
0.750

Reaction at H4

539.84 kg

572.1 - 539.84

32.26 kg.

DISTRIBUTION OF LOAD BETWEEN H3 & H4

422.5
Reaction at the point H4 & H5 =
2

= 211.25 kg.

Distribution of Load Between H4 & H5

Taking moment about H6


M

Kg.

Kg-M

0.5

105.6

52.8

1.60

126.75

202.80

2.275

63.4

144.2

297.75
399.8
Reaction at H5

Reaction at H6

=
=

2.5
159.92 kg

=
=

299.75 - 159.92
135.83 kg

Distribution of Load Between H5 & H6

399.8

Taking moment about H6


M

Kg

Kg-M

2.60

439.4

1142.44

5.35

25.4

135.89

5.80

762.0

4419.60

1226.8
As the nozzle B is relieved of load

5697.93
5697.93

Reaction at H7

=
5.2

Reaction at H6

1095.76 kg

1226.8 - 1095.76

131.04 kg.

DISTRIBUTION OF LOAD BETWEEN H6 & H7 TO MAINTAIN ZERO REACTION AT NOZZLE B

FLEXIBLE SUPPORTS

When vertical displacement occurs as a result of


thermal expansion it is necessary to provide a
flexible support which apply supporting force
throughout the contraction and expansion cycle of
the system.

Flexible hangers are two types :

Constant Spring
Variable Spring.

AL

Y
=

Sin

Sin

Considering,

Sin
Y

Z
=

Sin

Sin

YSin
Sin

Z
Since Y SinX
X
Sin
Z

Y
Substituting in Eqn.

=
Sin Sin

Y
i.e.

=
X/Z

or
X

YZ Sin
=

Sin

YZ

Sin

(XYZ
F
Sin)

The Load L is suspended from the lever at point A and


at any point within the load travel range the moment of
the load about the main lever-pivot P is equal to the
load times its moment arm.
Thus load moment =L (WSin), where WSin is the load
moment arm.
The spring is attached to one of its ends to the
fixed pivot B. The free end of the spring is attached by
means of a rod to the lever-pivot D. This spring
arrangement provides a spring moment about the main
lever-pivot P which opposes the load moment and is
equal to the spring force, F times its moment arm.
Thus spring moment

K
E
(
Y
Z
S
i
n

)
SL
pW
ringS
oin
M
e
m
n
tK
E

Y
Z
i
S
n

Where X is the spring moment arm


The spring force F is equal to the spring constant K
times to the spring deflection E
Thus F = KE

To obtain PERFECT constant spring, the load


moment must always equal to spring moment.

K
E
Y
Z
T
h
e
r
f
o
e
L
W

K
E
Y
Z
o
r
L

By proper design and are made equal

The spring and the rod are so designed that


the spring deflection E always equals the distance

Between pivots B and D


Therefore LW = KYZ

This equation holds true for all position of load within its
travel range and K, Y, Z and W remain constant. It
is therefore true that perfect constant support is obtained.
But due to spring hysteresis, bearing friction,
sliding friction of moving parts and manufacturing
tolerances, it is not normally possible to keep constant
effort throughout the travel range. The deviation is kept
very minimum by using PTFE washers and bushes at all
pivot points and life time lubricated antifriction bearings.

There are different models of constant springs available


based on the type of supporting arrangement. These are
manufacturer specific and generally as below.
a) Spring located horizontally with the supporting structure
above and the supported pipe line below the spring called
model H by the manufacturers.
b) Spring located horizontally with the supporting structure
below and the supported pipe line also below the spring
called model E by M/s Sarathy and Model M by M/s
Myricks.

c)

Spring located horizontally with the supporting structure


below and the supported pipe line above the spring
called model F by M/s Sarathy and Model S by M/s
Myricks.

d)

Spring located vertically with the supporting structure


above and the supported pipe line below the spring
called model V by the manufacturers.

e)
Spring located vertically with supporting structure
above and the supported pipe line below the spring called
model P by M/s Myricks.

HOW TO SELECT A CONSTANT SPRING SUPPORT

1.
and the
2.

3.
4.

5.
6.

First select the basic model best suited for piping


layout
physical structure available for mounting.
Establish the total travel by giving a positive allowance of about
20% to the calculated actual travel and in no case less than 25 mm
in order to allow for a possible discrepancy between calculated and
actual piping movement.
i.e. Total travel = actual travel + Over travel
Use the selection table supplied by manufacturer and locate the total
travel required at the corresponding table.
Move along the line until load nearest to the operating load to be
supported is located such that the load fits within a reserve range of
10% of the average of the maximum and minimum loads
specified.
If the total travel lies between the two indicated figures, the loads
between the successive travels can be incorporated.
The corresponding hanger size can be read from the respective
column.

i.

ii.
iii.
iv.

v.

vi.
vii.

viii.
ix.
x.

The following data is required to be specified while


inquiring/ordering for a constant spring,
The exact Hot or Operating load required to be
supported during the working condition.
Hydrostatic test load.
The total travel and its erection.
The direction of travel, either upwards or
downwards from the erected position.
The set pin locking position (Top, Middle, Bottom
or as required).
The basic model.
Requirement of bottom accessory components such
as rods, clamps etc.
Any hazardous environmental conditions.
any special finish on the body such as galvanizing etc.
Tag or Identification number.

Variable Spring
5.2.1

How to select the series?

5.2.2

How to determine the type?

5.2.3

How to determine size?

5.2.2

How to determine the type

The type of variable spring hanger to be used depends


upon the physical characteristics required by the suspension
problem I.e. available head room, pipe to be supported above the
spring or below the spring etc. The type should be selected from
the seven standard types available. (See sketch for types A
through G)

5.2.1

How to select the series

The selection of the hanger series shall be done to limit


the supporting force within the allowable range. In choosing
between the series VS1, VS2 and VS3 it must be ensured that the
calculated movement will fall within the working load range. The
series VS1 has the maximum variation in supporting force and
hence is not a competitive selection but an invention of necessity
where head room is not sufficient to use VS2.
Good engineering sense combined with available space and
reasonable economic considerations should ultimately determine
which series of variable spring hangers should be used.

5.2.3

How to determine size

For determining the size of the hanger the load deflection table
shall be referred. In order to choose the proper hanger size the
data required is the actual load or the working load (also called
the hot load) and the magnitude and direction of the pipe line
movement from cold to hot .
Locate the hot load in the table. To determine the cold
load, read the spring scale up or down for the amount of expected
movement. The chart must be read opposite from the direction of
pipe movement. The load arrived is cold load.
If the cold load falls outside the working load range of
hanger selected, relocate the hot load to the adjacent

column and find the cold load. When both the hot and cold loads
are within the working range of a hanger, the size of the hanger is
the number found at the top of the column.
Should it be impossible to select a hanger in any
series such that both loads fall within the working range,
consideration should be given for a constant spring hanger. Once
selected, the percentage load variation shall be checked as
follows:
Travel x Spring Rate x 100
Load Variation Percentage =
Hot load
This should be within 25% as specified in the code.

SPECIFICATION FOR ORDER


The following data is required to be specified while
inquiring/ordering for a variable spring:
I.
II.

The exact hot or operating load required to be supported


during the working condition.
III.
Hydrostatic test load.
IV. The calculated vertical movement and
V.
The direction of travel, either upwards or downwards from the
erected position.
VI. The hanger series, type and size.
VII. The allowable percentage variation of load from cold to hot.
VIII. Requirement of accessory components such as rods, clamps
etc.
IX. Any hazardous environmental conditions.
X.
Any special finish on the body such as galvanizing etc.
XI. Tag or Identification number.

5.2.5 COMMISSIONING OF SPRING SUPPORTS


1

2
3
4

Securely attach the spring to the building structure by identifying


and locating at each support point in accordance with hanger
installation drawing. The location should be such that the hanger
should be perpendicular in the hot or operating position/the
load should act vertical.
Make sure the moving parts are unobstructed.
The locking should not be disturbed till complete erection is
over. The lock that makes the support work as a rigid support
during erection, hydrostatic testing or chemical clearing etc.
The locking pins must be removed after the hanger is fully
loaded to put the piping systems into operation. In case of top
mounted support, this lock shall be freely removed by the hand
after adjusting the distance between the hangers and pipe by
rotating the turn buckle.In case of foot mounted supports the load
flange is rotated till it touches equipment/pipe being supported.
Then the threaded bush with hexagonal sides is rotated so that it
moves up and the load is gradually transferred on to the support

The preset pin becomes loose when the pipe load becomes
the preset or factory calibrated load. The support is then
ready for use.
Once the preset pin is removed the support allows
movement up or down by the specified amount of
travel in accordance with the expected pipe
movement.
When the line is in operation, carefully check the
support for its free movement. Generally no further

adjustment is necessary. In case of any adjustment,


the same shall be achieved by turning the threaded
bush with hexagonal sides in case of foot mounted
support or the turn buckle in case of top mounted
support.
**********