I-Rod® strips

Half-round I-Rod is available in 5-foot or 10-foot lengths or pre-cut-and-drilled for any standard pipe U-bolt.

Corrosion at pipe supports is one of the leading causes of process piping failures. Not surprisingly, beam supports and saddle clamps have historically caused the majority of problems. They have these undesirable features in common:

• Crevices – the formation of a crevice at the pipe surface.
• Water entrapment – water is trapped and held in constant contact with the pipe surface.
• Poor inspectability – these supports are virtually impossible to paint or maintain, and visual inspections and NDT are often difficult.
• Galvanic couples – even when both the pipe and the support are the same steel, the metallurgical differences can still provide enough potential to drive a galvanic corrosion cell.

I-Rod is the solution. I-Rod, a durable, extruded thermoplastic cut into a half-round rod, is the key component in all of Deepwater’s I-Rod brand pipe supports. It is available in 10-foot lengths or cut-and-drilled for use with standard-size pipe U-bolts.

There are three different diameter sizes for I-Rod: 0.75 inch, 1 inch, and 1.5 inch, as well as a high-temperature version for process piping operating above 200 °F.

The Nu-Bolt Assembly is our most popular I-Rod product, providing corrosion protection at I-beam supports. For Grinnell clamps and pipe saddles, the newest addition is the I-Rod Clip, designed to clip onto new and existing saddle-clamp-style supports or inside clamps.

Frequently asked questions

Q: “Is I-Rod made of Teflon?”
A: No. I-Rod is a high-impact thermoplastic material. Teflon and Delrin are commonly used to imitate I-Rod, but both fail, causing dangerous pipe corrosion. Teflon specifically does not function due to its lack of compressive strength. To see examples of I-Rod imitations made of Teflon that have failed in the field, visit the Press Release section.

Q: “What is the maximum operating temperature that I-Rod can withstand and still operate effectively?”
A: Normally at temperatures above 90°C (194°F) crevice corrosion is not a problem because moisture simply evaporates. The material will perform in environments that sometimes rise to 120°C (250°F) for short durations (less than 24 hours), but may experience some slight deformation at the contact area. There is a high-temperature version of I-Rod available for extreme heat. Please contact us if you have questions about this HT material. Click here to view the full specifications on I-Rod.

Q: “Does the I-Rod create a stress-raising point on the pipe?”
A: No, not if the piping is correctly supported along its length. If there is noticeable sagging between support points, then the pipe is being overstressed and inadequately supported. Note: I-Rod has been used on hundreds of thousands of pipe supports for over 20 years, and we have never seen a problem.

Q: “How do I know I’m buying I-Rod and not some inferior copy?”
A: Every shipment of I-Rod is traceable and sent with a certificate of authenticity. I-Rod is distinctly marked with traceable batch numbers.

Q: “How can I secure the I-Rod to the beam? Is there an epoxy glue I can use?”
A: Our double-sided tape usually works well for initial fastening. Otherwise, it should be mechanically fastened to the beam. We do not recommend any type of adhesive or sealant.

Q: “What are the most common applications for using I-Rod?”
A: See some common applications below:

Beam and saddle supports
I-Rod was designed specifically to be cut and drilled to fit standard pipe U-bolts. It can be bought either pre-cut-and-drilled, or in 10 foot, half-round lengths. This makes it ideal for standard-beam support points on process piping runs. For pipe cradles and saddle-style supports where the standard half round rod doesn’t fit, we have designed the I-Rod Clip from the same I-Rod thermoplastic material to snap directly into the cradle.

Beam dressing
An effective way to apply I-Rod is to lay the rod material in continuous lengths across the upper flange of a pipe support beam. This allows flexibility for location and size when installing pipes. It also provides a low-friction interface for skidding pipe into position. The rod may be secured to the beam with special double-sided tape or by bolting.

Stainless steel tubing offshore
Tight crevices between tubing, supports and clamps are difficult to avoid and must be managed. I-Rod material and T-Sep have proven to be an excellent solution for preventing pitting and crevice corrosion of offshore stainless steel tubing. From World Oil (April 2009): “the round surfaces of semi-round thermoplastic rods come into contact with perpendicularly oriented tubing, and the crevice area at the rod/tubing interface is minimized. Recent installations in the Gulf of Mexico have combined this clamping concept with the use of super duplex tubing”



Key design points

Half-round shape
The half-round shape minimizes contact between the pipe and the support, which eliminates the crevice. Keeping water out keeps corrosion from forming.

I-Rod also provides an electrically-isolated stand-off between the pipe and the supporting beam or saddle clamp. This allows for easy maintenance and inspection while preventing galvanic corrosion between dissimilar metals (the pipe and support).

I-Rod has excellent compressive strength and a very low friction coefficient, making it ideal as a beam dressing. Pipe damage during new construction is reduced when I-Rod is present to assist in pipe fitting.