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Sanitary Tubing Hangers, Which One is Best for My Application?

November 26, 2013

Sanitary tubing hangers are often an overlooked part of the sanitary process world.  It is somewhat surprising because all tubing and piping uses hangers.  The piping can’t just hang out in space.  A lot of time and effort is normally spent on specifying the correct piping and fittings for a sanitary application.  But most people don’t know much about what the different sanitary hanger options are.  We will try and bring clarity to this topic.  Here are the three main types of sanitary hanger systems going from the lowest cost to the highest.

Sanitary Hex Hangers Showing both the Grommet Style and Sleeve Style

Sanitary Hex Hangers Showing both the Grommet Style and Sleeve Style

Stainless Steel Hex Hangers

This is probably the most commonly used type of sanitary hanger system.  The hanger is composed of two 304 stainless steel stamped plates that bolt together forming a hex.  Rubber grommets insert into the interior of the hex to secure the tube.  The grommets are available in either Buna rubber or Viton for high temperature applications.  Polypropylene round sleeves are also available instead of the rubber grommets.

The most common hex sanitary hangers do not have any mounting connectors.  They are normally welded to mounts using a piece of stainless steel rod.  There are some sanitary hex hangers available with 3/8” FNPT or 3/8” all thread half couplings welded to them so they can be screwed in place.  The sanitary hex hangers are commercially available in ¼” through 14” tube sizes.

Block Style Hangers Allow   You to Hang Multiple Tubes from the Same Mounting Point

Block Style Hangers Allow You to Hang Multiple Tubes from the Same Mounting Point

Polymer Block Style Hangers

This is modular sanitary hanger system using polymer blocks with stainless steel support components.  The tube is secured between two polymer blocks held together with stainless steel mounting hardware. The blocks are available in HDPE, Santoprene, Polypropylene and Vekton.  Which polymer insert you use is normally a function of the temperature of the piping you are hanging.  Behringer also now offers this style of block hanger with a metal impregnated insert for metal detection (interestingly, a popular request).  The mounting hardware is available in 304 and 316 stainless steel.

The modular characteristics of the block style sanitary hangers gives them some unique abilities.   You can stack them together giving you the ability to hang multiple sanitary process lines from the same mounting point.  This can be a great advantage when hanging tube in a confined area like on a sanitary skid system.  There hangers are available in ¼” through 8” tube sizes.

Clean Room Hanger

Clean Room Hanger

Hygienic Clean Room Hangers

This is a sanitary tube hanger system offered by Behringer.  They were designed originally to be used in Biopharmaceutical applications, but work very well in any sanitary piping application.   The body of the hanger consists of two hinged semi-circular clamp halves that bolt together.  The clamp halves have round polymer inserts that secure the tubing.

Several things make these sanitary hangers unique.  The profile of the hangers is rounded so there is no area for moisture to gather.  The hanger/insert assembly forms a tight seal around the tubing eliminating and potential bacterial entrapment areas sound in more traditional hangers.  Also the closure features acorn nuts so that there are no exposed threads, again eliminating areas where contaminants may be trapped.

The sanitary clean room hangers are available with a wide variety or mounting options including a style that has a mounting stanchion that swivels.  The dynamic union between the hanger rod and hanger housing allows for the housing to self-adjust to the tubes slope for drain ability as well as a 360 degree swivel. This is common place in pharmaceutical applications.  Clean room hangers are offered in sizes from ¼” through 6”.

Conclusion

Which of these systems is right for you?  We will let you decide, but here is some of the criteria we look at.  The hex hangers work well in most applications.  The rubber grommets do a good jobs in isolating the tube, eliminating vibration.  If you go with sanitary hex hangers pay attention to your line temperatures.  If you are running hot products go with the Viton inserts.  The Buna inserts will deteriorate over time under higher temperatures.

The block type hangers are great if you are stacking you piping and are working in close quarters.

Finally, if you want the highest level of cleanliness, the sanitary clean room hangers are the best.  If you want to keep your piping secure and want to be sure you maintain the proper pitch angle of your process piping, they are the best.  Some food for thought.  While they were originally designed to serve the biopharmaceutical industry, you might want consider this type of hanger for your food plant.   Many food plants have very wet environments. Eliminating any potential bacterial entrapment areas is important.   Yes the clean room hangers cost more.  But with food safety issues getting to be a bigger and bigger deal these days they might be cheap insurance.

As always, if you have any questions on this topic or any of our other blogs, contact us via our website or call at 800-800-8464.

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