The longevity of any piping project is dependent on the quality of the pipe support infrastructure utilized in the installation. With considerations such as shock absorption, load capacity, and resistance to elemental exposure, the material composition of the hanger is a pivotal aspect to any successful design. While there is a wide variety of materials to consider, one of the most trusted and reliable solutions is polyurethane.
Polyurethane technology has come a long way from its days as a World War II airplane coating. The various compositions and applications used today have proven the material to both flexible and durable, leading to many metals and plastics being replaced by the superior substance. One of the most popularized applications of the material is skateboard wheels, which saw the device grow from an obscure toy to a serious piece of sports equipment due to the vastly superior durability of polyurethane wheels to those previously available.
While these trivial advances are all well and good, it is the ability to mix customized compositions that make the substance invaluable to the construction of pipe support systems. The Oil & Gas, Pipeline, and other industries generally require unique solutions more often than simple, one-size-fits-all products. With these considerations in mind, working with a quality industrial designer and manufacturer of polyurethane products will almost always result in a better outcome.
There are numerous considerations to account for in any pipeline project, with an equal number of industry standards to adhere to. Things such as compression strength, tensile strength, thermal conductivity, erosion, aging, permeability, and especially load must be considered. Load consideration includes primary loads such as dead weight, internal and external pressure, occasional factors related to environmental activity, and thermal expansion. Once these factors have been taken into account a polyurethane pipe support structure can be designed to meet and exceed to required specifications, and usually to a greater extent than similar solutions of other material compositions.
While there are many pipeline applications in which polyurethane is only one of many utilizable materials, there are some instances in which it is clearly superior to other industry standards. One of these instances is marine pipelines in which the support structure is subjected to saltwater erosion and tidal pressures. Polyurethane offers more resistance to the deteriorating effects of saltwater than other materials like steel or rubber, while providing an optimal synthesis of support strength and malleability. In these and other environments, a polyurethane-based pipe support system will keep functioning properly long after the alternative system would have failed or been replaced.
As previously stated, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to pipeline engineering, so it is important to take all variables into account. There are instances in which other materials will be more suitable for a specific task, but the advances in technology have increasingly favored polyurethane over the competition. Once the specifics of a task have been taken into account, the math will typically indicate that a project calls for a high-quality pipe support manufacturer and a customized polyurethane solution.