Pipelay Clamps

Pipelay Systems recognises the importance of secure and accurate pipe clamping during laying operations. The PLS pipe clamping system is based on a proven and highly successful friction clamps design originally developed for deepwater J laying of 24” steel rigid pipe. Unusually the clamp system is a completely bolted construction. This allows greater flexibility in the clamping operation which can be either opened or split to accommodate pipe and collar arrangements. Accurate control is critical to safe operation.

The friction clamp system is PLC controlled, configured for hot standby, in the event of a PLC failure, and readily integrated with a vessel’s SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system.


In a J-Lay system the head clamp, typically 500Te or higher, is an open design and features a hang off collar as well as the friction clamp. The workstation clamp, on the other hand, has a split design and can also handle collar and pipe typically to 750Te or higher. The collar clamp can be operated independently.

As the final holding device on a pipe laying vessel, the workstation pipe clamp is built to the highest possible integrity. It comprises a specially designed cylinder with an integral, high integrity, manifold fitted with zero leakage valves, allowing the cylinder to withstand lateral loads as well as axial loads. A further cylinder is used to open the clamp and support the pipe in the closed position. The cylinders are mounted within a fully machined support frame which, in turn, is located within a main support structure. The pipe clamping system can be used for pipe with and without collars with a top load of typically 800Te or greater.

In the event the workstation clamp has to support a flooded pipe, the clamp’s unique leak free valve system is able to hold the load for at least 24 hours, even with a total loss of power. Pipelay System’s pipe clamps, with ratings up to 1,200Te top load, have proven to be up to the task time and again in the harshest of environments.