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Piping Technology and Products sells three types of snubbers, a mechanical snubber (Fig. 13), a hydraulic snubber with a sealed reservoir ( Fig. 14), and a hydraulic snubber with a reservoir open to the atmosphere (Fig. 15). This last type is distinguished by the vertical, transparent reservoir partially filed with hydraulic fluid.

While the first two have different principals of operation, from the standpoint of installation and maintenance they are very similar, and will be discussed together. The third has some unique features, and will be described separately.Some comments apply to all. First, the snubber must be set at the cold position. Under normal operations, the snubber will extend in the positive direction from the initial (cold) position to the operating (hot) position. In rare installations, the snubber may be expected to move in the negative direction by some known amount. The cold position must be set so that the snubber will never closer than ½ to 1 in from the end of its stroke. In most cases, this means that the cold setting will be ½ to 1 in from one end of its stroke range. At the operating conditions the snubber should have at least 1 in of possible travel.The snubber should be installed with its axis parallel to the direction of expected impulsive load. This may or may not be the direction of thermal movement. If the two movements are not in the same direction, there are some additional installation considerations. In this case the snubber should normally be ordered with ball joints at both ends, as shown in Figure 13. The snubber should be mounted so that the major expected thermal movement is in the plane of the ball joints.The overall length is adjustable from 2" to 6" by means of the threaded rod on the extension end of the unit.

CAUTION: Do not use the piston side threaded rod end for adjustment. Full thread engagement is critical for safe operation.

Mechanical and Pressurized Hydraulic Snubbers   back to top Back to Top

mechanical snubber
Figure 13: Mechanical Snubber
hydraulic snubber
Figure 14: Pressurized Hydraulic Snubber

To Install   back to top Back to Top

  1. Determine the direction and magnitude of thermal motion and impulse load.Adjust the snubber so that after the thermal expansion, the snubber will be in the middle of its travel range.Temporarily install unit in the operating position. Tack weld end brackets to the fixed structure and to the pipe that it is to control. For units furnished with a pipe clamp connection, install the clamp at this time. (CAUTION: Do Not Allow Weld Spatter To Contact Snubber Unit).After tack welding, remove pivot pins from both ends of the snubber assembly, set the unit aside and complete welding. Tighten pipe clamp bolts if applicable.Reinstall snubber assembly between end brackets and replace pivot pins and cotters.
  2. Installation is now complete, and the snubber assembly is ready for operation.

To Maintain  

Under normal operating conditions hydraulic snubbers are maintenance free. In severe service (usually involving excessive vibration or high temperatures) the seals may become damaged, causing a loss of fluid. In this case the snubber must be completely disassembled, new seals must be installed, and the snubber must be re-filled with fluid.


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