There are almost as many different materials used for pipe clamps as there are varying diameters and mounting systems for them. Below you’ll find a few of the more common materials used, and some examples of which is best suited to what sorts of application.
What are stainless steel pipe clamps best for?
Stainless steel pipe clamps are ideal when used in any setting where they could be exposed to moisture corrosion, oxidation or similarly harsh environmental conditions.
The enhanced rigidity and resistance of stainless steel pipe clips to these (and most other) causes of discolouration or structural degradation make them a reliable and long-lasting heavy-duty option.
There are some elements that can cause long-term issues for stainless steel clamps - notably prolonged exposure to salts and other trace minerals - but on the whole, they’re a great choice for a wide range of demanding indoor and outdoor uses.
What are plastic pipe clamps best for?
Plastic pipe clips are a great option in many scenarios where a degree of flexibility is required - such as for lighter-gauge cabling runs that might need to be removed and replaced at various times - or where the rigidity and sturdiness of metal fixtures is overkill for the type of conduit being supported.
In various outdoor applications, plastic clips are widely used for their moisture resistance and a range of other hard-wearing qualities. Most modern gutter clips, for example, tend to be available in PP/uPVC plastic or similar, which is broadly resistant (after treatment) to a range of potential hazards such as electrical conductivity, thermal shock and UV discolouration.
Plastic pipe clamps are also handy for blending more seamlessly with typical household decor or painted walls, making them less obtrusive when used in full view. Small plastic clips are often semicircular or U-shaped, and designed to bend open so as to gently cradle (rather than fully encircle and lock in place) the tubing or cable runs they’re supporting.
What are copper pipe clamps best for?
Copper pipe clamps, much like copper tubing itself, are excellent for use in indoor plumbing systems. Although known as a comparatively malleable metal, most copper used in plumbing systems is relatively rigid, doesn’t react with water, and remains neutral and non-toxic over many years of extended use in plumbing systems.
Copper pipe clips won’t corrode on exposure to any residual moisture, so they stay looking good for decades on end, and they’re generally prized for a pleasing aesthetic quality even when used in exposed piping and ductwork. Excellent thermal properties - particularly in terms of dealing with continual expansion and contraction - further contribute to their longevity in hot and cold water systems.
What are brass pipe clamps best for?
Brass pipe clamps are often used when an element of decorative appeal is required, but they’re also just as hard-wearing in many plumbing applications as copper is (after all, it’s an alloy of copper and zinc).
Like copper, brass pipe fittings and pipe clips don’t rust or discolour even after long-term exposure to water, and they’re resistant to attacks from pH shift, salts and other trace minerals. In addition, brass has similarly good thermal ductility and conductivity for extended lifetime performance and economy and is also fire resistant.
What are chrome pipe clamps best for?
Chrome and chrome-plated pipe clips are used in many of the same sorts of environment that stainless steel would be - again, their general resistance to corrosion and other frequent culprits in all-round weathering and degradation make chrome pipe clamps a solid choice for most indoor and outdoor uses.
Chrome remains one of the most popular aesthetic choices for any pipe clamps being used in high visibility areas in and around the home.
As with all plated metals, the quality and thickness of the plating layers are what determines the longevity and resistance of the fixture. Thinner coatings will be at higher risk of developing defects and bubbling when exposed to harsh environments for extended periods, whereas high-quality chrome plating can last even longer than stainless steel under similar conditions.