Beam clamps are pieces of hardware that provide attachment of various objects to structural members without welding or drilling. They are mostly used to secure wires, fixtures, bridal rings, threaded rods, electrical boxes and various hardware pieces to beams flanges on walls and ceilings.
Generally, there are three types of beam clamps: the traditional beam clamp with a setting screw, spring steel clamps that essentially hammer onto the beam and locking type clamps. For first two types of clamps, it is either the clamp’s teeth (spring steel) or set screw that holds the clamp securely in place on the beam. Both are most commonly used in electrical construction applications.
Both types of clamps are available in a variety of designs and sizes to accommodate different applications and hardware requirements. Locking type clamps, on the other hand, are designed for heavy use and are furnished with a fluted steel locking edge that holds the clamp in place and angles and channels. The tool cannot be removed from the beam when a load is attached to the clamp’s body. There are two types of locking type beams: Model A and Model B. Model A locking type clamps are portable and are used to suspend hoists from beams and girder thus eliminating the need for nuts, bolts, and shackles. They are available for use in the UK.
Model B locking type clamps are intended for the American standard but perform the same function as Model As
Here are a few things to consider when selecting a clamp for a specific use:
* Size – clamps are available in different sizes in order to fit different flange thicknesses and thread sizes. This allows users to secure a variety of hardware using almost any type of beam.
* Beam clamp shape – clamps are available in a variety of styles and shapes. Some clamps use set screws to hold onto the beam or flange while others made from spring steel. The availability of different styles provides options on ways of attaching them to different types of beams.
* Function – different types of beams are designed for different uses. Some clamps are designed with an attached conduit hanger while others include an attached J-hook onto which you can hang data communication cables.
* Weight capacity – due to the side range of uses you could possibly put them to; beam clamps are designed to hold specific weight so e sure to check the clamp’s Working load limit. Localised loading can be extremely dangerous since this could damage the beam clamp and accessories. This includes clamps of similar design and function.
For safe use ensure that you choose a beam clamp that is compatible to the hoist you are using. If the need to use two clamps in tandem arises, it may be necessary to use a spreader beam. It is important to ensure that each beam is not suspending a load that exceeds its WLL. Lastly, consult a supplier before replacing bolts on a beam clamp. Fitting the wrong screw into the clamp could potentially damage your beam clamp or cause an accident.