3 Tips For Choosing The Right Type Of Clamp

Choosing the right clamp for your needs can be complicated. Different industries require different functions from clamps. You want to ensure that the clamp you choose will serve its purpose correctly.

Here are a few tips to help you make the best clamp decision.

1. Determine The Grade Of Stainless Steel You Need

Stainless steel clamps are all built for durability and versatility, but steel comes in many different grades. Determining the right grade of stainless steel is key when choosing your clamp. You need to ensure that the material in the clamp you choose will stand up to the task.

Steel grades vary in terms of corrosion resistance, formability, weldability and strength. Some austenitic types of stainless steel can be hardened by cold working, which provides added toughness and ductility, while the steel is still formable and weldable.

The grade you choose will depend on the application. Clamps used in the marine industry, for example, must be corrosion-resistant and able to hold up under pressure. Automotive clamps endure a great deal of stress and must endure high temperatures. Strong steels containing nickel are a must in both of these industries.

2. Consider The Material Of The Hose Or Pipe

While choosing the right clamp material is important, you should also consider the hose material. They vary in thickness, weight, elasticity and strength. Softer hoses provide more flexibility but are less durable than harder substances designed to withstand high temperatures and stress.

For instance, irrigation systems use PVC piping that can undergo strong water pressure, whereas ventilation hoses made of polyurethane are created for strong suction.

Softer hoses such as silicone and some polyurethane hoses require clamps that will not cause damage. When working with a soft hose, choose a clamp with beveled edges that prevent cutting or tearing of the hose material, and consider a clamp that does not have any slots where hose material may ooze through, damaging the hose.

3. Select The Proper Clamp Size

Of course, size is one of the biggest factors to consider when determining which clamp you need. When measuring the size of the hose, you should use the outside diameter.

Adjustable clamps (such as worm drive and non-perforated screw clamps) can be a great option because of their versatility. They give you the ability to tweak your clamp after installation in case temperature changes or aging cause the hose to shrink or expand.

However, the added range provided by worm gear clamps can cause other problems. If a clamp is too large, you may end up with a long protruding band, or tang, which is a safety hazard. Also, if the clamp is closed down too far, the clamp may become D-shaped, leading to leaks. It’s also wasteful, since you are paying for more material than you need.

It’s best to choose the ideal size to begin with rather than compensate for the wrong size.

These are just a few of the factors involved in selecting the right clamp. Download our tip sheet for a more detailed guide on choosing the best clamp for you. In it, you will learn best measurement practices and important questions to ask yourself as you make your decision.

Discover The 7 Questions You Should Ask Before Choosing A Clamp

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