Supporting of Pipes of a Distillation Tower


Supporting of pipes on a distillation tower is a critical activity involving stress analysis of almost all lines. Following points must be taken care of while supporting pipes of a distillation tower.

Piping shall be grouped as far as possible for the ease of supports. Piping shall be supported from cleats welded on the vessel as far as possible. Proper guides at recommended intervals shall be provided for long vertical lines.

Piping support cleats for safety valves shall be independent meant for safety valves only & shall be designed considering impact loading during popping off. Utility Connection nozzles shall be from side/top.

The stress analysis requirements for supports and guides in piping connected to distillation towers and vertical vessels are as follows :

  1. The rest support must be as close as possible to nozzle. If there is a horizontal spool immediately adjacent to the nozzle, the rest support will be done shown in the sketch below.
  2. The guides along the vertical run will be spaced as shown in the sketch below.
  3. Ease of erection is also to be considered when positioning and spacing the guides, therefore it will be useful grouping the guides for a number of pipes at a common elevation. This criteria is valid also for columns with reinforcing rings, whereby positioning the guides on the rings, it is not necessary the welding on the shell.
  4. For larger diameter piping (NPS >= 16″) standard distances between the guides are not established since support system is generally based on the stress analysis requirements.


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