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  • Adjustable Pipe Bracket and Clamping System Benefit from TPE
Pipe Bracket

Touchdown clamps use a thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) insert to absorb noise caused by loose pipes.

Clamps use a thermoplastic elastomer insert to absorb noise caused by loose pipes.

Water flowing through pipes can be an annoying source of noise and damage in residential and commercial buildings. When long runs of pipes are not securely fastened, they can bang against a building’s structure when flow starts as water is turned on and off at a valve or faucet. These noises are particularly disturbing to residents of apartment buildings who share common walls.

To provide increased protection against this kind of noise transfer, Sioux Chief Manufacturing developed a series of universal pipe clamps with noise absorbing blocks to reduce noise transfer caused by loose pipes. Under their registered trade name, “Touchdown” clamps are an integral component of the company’s Power Bar Universal Slider Bracketing System, which feature a base insert and optional bridge insert made from a thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) supplied by RTP Company.

Sioux Chief is the first company in the plumbing industry to integrate a metal telescoping bracket with a slideable plastic clamp. According to Carol Flanagan, Product Group Director—Support, “The clamp reduces noise transfer in the pipe by holding the pipe away from the building structure. It also isolates the pipe from the metal bracket, eliminating any possibility of galvanic corrosion that occurs when two dissimilar metals are in contact.”

“Both the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) and International Plumbing Code (IPC) require pipes to be securely fastened to the supporting structure in various increments, depending on pipe or tube diameter,” said Flanagan. “The TPE inserts fit into the bridge and base of the Touchdown clamp. Because they are softer than the adjoining nylon material, they provide a higher degree of protection against noise transfer.” Touchdown clamps can be used in any type of construction where pipes, tubes, cables, or wires are installed.

RTP Company engineers recommended an RTP 2700 Series styrenic-based TPE for the clamp’s insert. The compound offers elasticity comparable to rubber, a Shore A hardness of 70, and meets strength and compression set requirements when installed around a pipe. “Once the clamp was installed,” explained Flanagan, “we needed to ensure the material held the pipe tightly and did not relax through a broad range of temperatures.”

“Other considerations were overall material costs; the material’s behavior when shot through our hot runner manifold system; and the material’s compatibility with CPVC tubing,” added Flanagan. “We are always looking for ways to consolidate materials and vendors in order to achieve overall savings.”

Since 1957, Sioux Chief Manufacturing Co. of Peculiar, MO has provided innovative American-made products to plumbing and mechanical contractors. For more information visit