Importance of Steel Pipe Shoes

Importance of Steel Pipe Shoes

Importance of Steel Pipe Shoes

Steel pipe shoes act as wear plates, supporting long lengths of oversized piping made heavy by excessive loads. They are known as rigid pipe supports and are particularly effective at controlling expansion and contraction of piping lined with thermal materials, preventing the pipe from moving away from or too close to the support or structure. By helping to eliminate the risk of damage to the pipe, steel pipe shoes are a vital commodity.

How They’re Fabricated

Steel pipe shoes are made by welding a T-shaped beam (or a wide flange beam cut in half) to a piece of pipe. They are then welded to the structure or a support. Once installed, these rigid pipe supports will limit movement, acting as an anchor, rest, or guide for the pipe. Pipe shoes must be the right size to effectively manage the natural movements of the piping, so it’s important for steel fabricators who specialize in this product to follow the structural engineer’s exact specifications.

Types of Steel Pipe Shoes

Pipe supports can be classified into three groups: general, construction, and function.


The steel pipe shoe is welded directly to a support or structure.


Under this category, pipe shoes break down into three types:

  • Rigid – restricts all movement
  • Elastic – allows flexibility for hot piping
  • Adjustable – a rigid support with adjustable functionality for critical locations


Function pipe shoes include the following types:

  • Loose support – restricts downward movement
  • Longitudinal guide – restricts transverse movement
  • Transverse guide – restricts longitudinal movement
  • Fixed point – restricts movement in all three directions but not rotational movement
  • Anchor – restricts movement in all three directions, as well as rotational movement
  • Limit stop – allows pipe to move freely within a certain limit

How to Fabricate Perfect Steel Pipe Shoes

Professional structural steel fabricators can stay plenty busy by offering steel pipe shoe fabrication as a service. And you can certainly make a name for yourself when you have the right equipment in your shop. BeamCut is one of the most advanced robotic plasma cutting machines in the industry. With this remarkable technology, you’ll be able to fabricate perfectly sized steel pipe shoes while also speeding up your production.

User-Friendly CNC Software

BeamCut’s easy-to use CNC software will allow you to manually calibrate cutting tolerances, nest parts, and track robotic cutting paths to eliminate programming mistakes and wasted materials. And with photo-laser profiling and linear-laser measuring included standard, BeamCut delivers perfection on every fabrication.

Automated Operations

BeamCut replaces punches, drill lines, band saws, coping and grinding stations, and layout and marking stations, not only freeing up space in your shop, but also allowing you to maintain a lean workforce. Indeed, BeamCut can handle every step of the fabrication in one pass. So after you upload the profile in the CNC software, load the material, and hit the start button, you can move on to the next task on your list. Thanks to this exceptional robotic plasma cutting technology, you can enjoy a reduction in production time by as much as 80%, a substantial return on your investment!

For more information about how BeamCut can improve your production of steel pipe shoes, contact us today.