Supporting of Pipes on a Pipe Rack


Supporting of piping on Pipe Racks and Pipe Ways involves providing rest, guides, limit stops and anchors in a piping header.


Guides on a pipe header shall be arranged as shown in following diagram.

Supporting Pipe Rack Header with an Expansion Loop

Supporting Pipe Rack Header Without Expansion Loop

NPS 2″ to 3″ 4″ to 6″ 8″ to 14″  >= 16″
L : Meters 3 to 4 6 to 8 12 to 16 12 to 16
L1 : Meters 6 8 14 As per Stress Anslysis

Notes :

  1. “L1” is the minimum length necessary to permit the piping maximum thermal expansion of 120 mm.
  2. “B” is the dimension of loop as per stress analysis.
  3. Pipe racks and pipe ways usually have spans of 6 to 8 Meters. So for pipes 6″ and smaller, guides are required on each main beam. For pipes more than 6″ NPS, guides on alternate beams can be provided.

Rest Supports

Maximum distance between supports shall not be higher than allowed particular material of construction at particular operating conditions. Refer company standards for the same.

  1. Maximum allowable spans for metallic piping.
  2. Maximum allowable spans for Cupro-Nickel Piping
  3. Maximum allowable spans for Plastic Piping.

Sloped Piping

For all pipes which require a slope towards a definite direction, the max allowable span should be such that max deflection of pipe is less than the level difference between two adjacent support points, in order to avoid pockets.

Supporting Small lines from Big Lines

For small bore piping, intermediate supports from adjacent large bore piping may be required as an allowable span for small bore piping can be is less than the distance between two consecutive supports.

The adjacent pipe chose as a supporting pipe must have diamter at least three sizes greater than the supported pipe, and never less than 4″.

Example : 

  • Supporting Pipe : 4″ / 6″ / 8″
  • Corresponding Supported Pipe : 1.5″ / 2″ / 3″
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