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Types of Pipe Clamps

Updated February 21, 2017

Clamps are useful in many different industries and crafts and come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, many of these clamps have similar names, despite their very different functions. This can make choosing the right clamp confusing and difficult. The term "pipe clamp" can refer to a number of different types of clamp, each with its own specialised function. Learning about the different types of clamps can help homeowners and crafters make the right decisions about their tools.

Woodworking Pipe Clamps

Woodworking and cabinetry pipe clamps are composed of two metal clamp heads mounted on a length of threaded pipe. They're often used to hold sets of glued boards together to make a wider piece as in lamination or edge-gluing. The length of the base pipe determines the capacity of the clamp, and most clamps can be modified to use longer or shorter pipes. Pipe clamps are normally less costly than similar bar clamps, but can be very heavy, due to their all-metal construction.

Plumbing Pipe Clamps

In plumbing, a pipe clamp is a small metal clamp formed of two curved metal pieces held together by screws. These clamps are often used to hold pipes to walls and ceilings and can usually withstand fairly high temperatures. For instance, according to Piping Technology & Products Inc., uninsulated carbon steel pipe clamps can handle temperatures up to 399 degrees Celsius. Some pipe clamps also are manufactured with insulation on the inside of the curve. This allows them to hold the pipe more tightly since the insulation is compressible, and it reduces temperature loss through the clamp.

Lighting Pipe Clamps

Pipe clamps also are used to support lighting for stage and photography purposes. These clamps, also called C-clamps because of their shape, screw onto the end of a pipe or tubular truss. Usually made from malleable iron or extruded aluminium, this type of clamp includes an adjustable screw to support light fixtures at the appropriate angle. Most lighting pipe clamps have an adjustable mount that allows them to fit a range of tubes and pipes. These pipes come in heavy and light duty styles, with light duty clamps being smaller in size and generally made from lighter-weight materials.

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About the Author

G.D. Palmer is a freelance writer and illustrator living in Milwaukee, Wis. She has been producing print and Web content for various organizations since 1998 and has been freelancing full-time since 2007. Palmer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in writing and studio art from Beloit College in Beloit, Wis.