Pipe Support Friction Coefficient

All piping stress engineers must be aware that while modeling supports or restraints we have to enter the frictional coefficients at the pipe support surfaces. The value of this coefficient depends on the supporting surface material and surface roughness. During the project bidding stage (ITB Document) the client generally provides the information regarding which friction factor to be used for which surface. Also, every EPC organization prepares its own guideline for using standard friction factors in case not available in the ITB document. The following write up will try to provide an idea regarding which co-efficient of friction to be used in what situation. This can be used as a guide only. However, project-specific data or information will override any word mentioned here.  

The coefficient of friction factor depending upon the supporting interface (i.e, the junction between Top of Steel and Bottom of Pipe or Bottom of Shoe/Cradle) shall be applied at all vertical restraints (+Y or Y supports) locations as mentioned below. But if ITB for any project provides separate data then those data shall be considered.

  • Carbon Steel to Carbon Steel: 0.3
  • Polished Stainless Steel to Polished Stainless Steel/Graphite: 0.15
  • Teflon to Teflon/ Polished Stainless Steel: 0.10
  • Concrete to Carbon Steel: 0.4
  • Pipe to Roll Support: 0.01
  • Teflon to Carbon Steel: 0.2

There is various philosophy among EPC companies regarding the use of co-efficient of friction for guide and directional anchor supports. Some organizations prefer not to use any frictional co-efficient for horizontal supports. However if used the same can be taken from the above table (normally 0.3 is used if no special arrangement is made).

  • No friction factor to be used while supporting using rigid hangers.
  • In case when Sliding Plate is required, add the comment as “(PTFE/Graphite) Sliding Plate Required” and mention friction factor μ=0.1 /0.15 respectively depending on temperature” on stress sketch. Use Teflon (PTFE) Slide plate up to a Temp of 204 degrees Centigrade, above which use graphite plate (up to 540-degree Centigrade).
  • Normally the friction factor shall not be applied when modeling bottom type spring. But sometimes ITB document/Client could insist on friction modeling of bottom type springs, in that situation friction factor could be applied as per requirement.
  • When the pipe/shoe is supported on the welded rod on the structure then friction factor of 0.25 shall be considered.
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Anup Kumar Dey

I am a Mechanical Engineer turned into a Piping Engineer. Currently, I work in a reputed MNC as a Senior Piping Stress Engineer. I am very much passionate about blogging and always tried to do unique things. This website is my first venture into the world of blogging with the aim of connecting with other piping engineers around the world.

15 thoughts on “Pipe Support Friction Coefficient

    1. Anchor means fully locked in the 6 direction by welding with structure. There is no possibility of sliding.How friction will come?

    1. As per Standard industry practice friction is not considered for guide and line stop supports. However practically there will be friction. So its up to you whether to use friction or not. Check client requirement regarding the same.

      1. It is depend on the arrangement/type for guide and line stop support. If you use strut/restrut/ 3way (rest+guide+ axial stop) shoe support without gap then friction is not applicable.

  1. Hi from mexico,

    How should I consider friction if i have a antivibrating support that uses rubber.

    Related to this, I have some doubts about the gap too, because rubber is elastic so, when pipe expands there is a movement allowed by the rubber, I´m very interested to know the opinion from a more experienced person, I have looking all around but I have not found anything about this, so I think it is more related to experience considerations.

    (sorry for my english)

  2. The friction factors quoted are significantly different to those from engineering text books especially the steel to steel value of 0.3. How can such a low value be substantiated in view of this?

  3. Thanks a lot for your always kind and informative post.

    I’m a piping stress engineer in DSME and want you to advise on how to apply co-efficient differently for the following cases in Caesar II.

    1. When using U-bolt(Carbon steel) with Teflon sliding pad to support carbon steel pipe.
    2. When using Plastic clamp(Polypropylene) to support carbon steel pipe.

    As far as I know, Plastic clamp is preferred to be used to support the lines with high pressure and I currently need to know the differences between two restraint types above in Caesar II programme.

    Thanks in advance.

  4. I see nobody has any comment regarding to exceptionally low friction factor of 0.3 for steel to steel. The use of this value is against all recognisable engineering data – so why do people not question it???

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