A very typical application for the Unistrut Metal Framing system is attachment to, or suspension from a ceiling – especially in commercial buildings – for the purpose of securing runs of pipe, electrical conduit, or cables, HVAC ductwork, cable trays and other materials. In many instances a beam clamp is used for adhering channel to existing structural supports, or beams.
Beam clamps come in a variety of styles to support a range of application needs, including attachment of channel directly to the beam, and suspension of channel via threaded rod support. Most beam clamps are designed to be used in pairs, with one clamp on either side of the beam, providing stable support. Some beam clamps have been modified, with a j-bolt for instance, to be used on their own.
Because not all structural supports are made the same, many of Unistrut’s beam clamps are made to accommodate a range of beam styles and profiles through the incorporation of adjustable flanges or set screws.
Over the years contractors have come up with many inventive terms to describe the different styles of beam clamps that are available, some more universally accepted than others. Here’s a brief rundown of the most common styles:
- “C- Clamps” & “Flange Clamps”, like the P2675, PFL037 and others are typically used in applications where the Unistrut channel will be suspended from the beam off of a piece of threaded rod attached to the beam clamp.
- “Window Clamps”, like the P1796S are comprised of a piece of bent plate, with a channel sized ‘window’ cut into one side and a set screw mounted on the other; channel is slid through the ‘window’ and is snugged to the beam using the set screw.
- “U-Bolt Clamps” (sometimes also referred to as “Window Clamps” like the P2785, P2786, and others secure Unistrut channel to the beam via a 3/8” u-bolt that is threaded on both ends. The u-bolt sandwiches the channel and beam with a piece of bent plate, and is secured, with hex nuts. Some u-bolt clamps secure channel to the underside of the beam, and others to the inside.
- “J-Bolt Clamps”, like the P2786A are actually modified u-bolt clamps, instead of securing channel to a beam using a pair of u-bolt clamps, the plate of the j-bolt clamp has been modified to accept a 3/8” hook which secures to the opposite side of the beam so that it can be used as a singular, stand-alone clamp.
Here are some important factors to consider when choosing the right beam clamp for your application:
- How do you want to mount your channel: to the beam (below or inside), or suspended from threaded rod?
- What size channel are you going to support? (especially important for “u-bolt clamps”)
- Do you need to purchase single beams clamps, or pairs? (even clamps designed to be used in pairs are sold individually)
- If suspending channel with threaded rod, what size rod are you using? (clamps are manufactured with different hole sizes to accommodate the most common sizes of rod – some offer threaded (tapped) or clear (untapped) holes)
Now that you’ve got enough information to get you started, see what else is available:
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