Do you have a pipe dream? We will support you !

The future is here – the future is blue! The brand new, patent pending, low friction u-bolts. The 1111 series.

The future is here – the future is blue! The brand new, patent pending, low friction u-bolts

Our first line of U-bolts with a rubber shroud were the ever popular 1108 series. A basic rubber sleeve and pad added to the U-bolt to act as an insulator

1108 Series Rubber insulated U-bolts

1108 Series Rubber insulated U-bolts

These U-bolts are ideally suited to insulating the metal of the pipe / tube from the U-bolt. Perhaps they are dissimilar metals, and you need to prevent any enhanced corrosion problems.

These are not classed as either grip or non-grip and could be used in both situations depending on placement of nuts, or trimming the rubber slightly

You can see our range of insulating rubber lined u-bolts on our website : Click Here

Our next foray into rubber encased U-bolts was the heavy duty anti-vibration U-bolts

1109 Series heavy Duty anti-vibration U-bolt

1109 Series heavy Duty anti-vibration U-bolt

These are very definitely grip type u-bolts. Designed to grip the pipe / tube but also to absorb any vibration that may be coming from the pipe. With these U-bolts the rubber is moulded onto the u-bolt and is therefore fixed in postition

But we have the anti-vibration u-bolt in another exiting flavour – the light duty style with  flame retardant rubber.

These U-bolts have a d-shaped cross section, with channels designed to absorb small vibrations

You can see our range of heavy and light duty anti-vibration rubber lined u-bolts on our website : Click Here


So with insulating and anti-vibration u-bolts, what else is there?


Introducing our brand new, patent pending, low friction, non grip, anti-vibration u-bolts. 

Graphskill’s new Series 1111 Ubolts


These ubolts have been developed to enable pipes to be securely guided with a minimum of friction so safe-guarding the pipe from expansion & contraction wear due to temperature changes; whilst also reducing the noise & vibration of the pipe.

They are fitted with a gap between the ubolt and the pipe enabling the pipe to expand & contract yet keeping it fully guided in position.

The rubber base pad acts to reduce the noise & vibration of the pipes as they carry their fluid and it is fitted with a PTFE strip to reduce the friction and hence protects the pipe as it expands & contracts. The pad also contains a metal spacer for the U-bolt legs to go through giving strength to the pad, and a firm anchor for fastening the nuts at the required position.

The patented-pending ubolt sleeve is a low friction silicone rubber which rotates around the ubolt to enable the pipe to move unrestricted but be fully guided in position on the supporting framework.

These are a much cheaper and more reliable solution to the conventional rubber lined ubolts which have PTFE bonded to the inside surface of the rubber coated ubolt.

Although Ubolts with the PTFE strip bonded to the rubber profile around the ubolts have been in common use for many years, they are prone to the PTFE separating from the rubber due to the difference in the expansion coefficient of the rubber and the PTFE. This problem is eliminated by Graphskill’s unique solution of a single medium with minimal friction.


Difference Between Black Steel and Bright Drawn Steel | Metal Supermarkets

Great informotion from

Black Steel: Black steel is created through a mill process which involves rolling the steel at a high temperature (typically at a temperature over 1700° F), which is above the steel’s recrystallization temperature. When steel is above the recrystallization temperature, it can be shaped and formed easily, and the steel can be made in much larger sizes.

Black steel is typically cheaper than bright drawn steel due to the fact that it is often manufactured without any delays in the process, and therefore the reheating of the steel is not required (as it is with bright drawn). When the steel cools off it will shrink slightly thus giving less control on the size and shape of the finished product when compared to bright drawn.

Uses: Black products like black steel bars are used in the welding and construction trades to make railroad tracks and I-beams, for example. Black steel is used in situations where precise shapes and tolerances are not required.

Bright drawn: Bright drawn steel is essentially black steel that has had further processing. The steel is processed further in cold reduction mills, where the material is cooled (at room temperature) followed by annealing and/or tempers rolling. This process will produce steel with closer dimensional tolerances and a wider range of surface finishes. The term bright drawn is mistakenly used on all products, when actually the product name refers to the rolling of flat rolled sheet and coil products.

When referring to bar products, the term used is “cold finishing”, which usually consists of cold drawing and/or turning, grinding and polishing. This process results in higher yield points and has four main advantages:

  • Cold drawing increases the yield and tensile strengths, often eliminating further costly thermal treatments.
  • Turning gets rid of surface imperfections.
  • Grinding narrows the original size tolerance range.
  • Polishing improves surface finish.

All cold products provide a superior surface finish, and are superior in tolerance, concentricity, and straightness when compared to black steel.Cold finished bars are typically harder to work with than black steel due to the increased carbon content. However, this cannot be said about bright drawn sheet and black steel sheet. With these two products, the bright drawn product has low carbon content and it is typically annealed, making it softer than black steel sheet.

Source: Difference Between Black Steel and Bright Drawn Steel | Metal Supermarkets

A Fantastic New Development: Slotted Backing Plates

Slotted Backing Plates

It has been difficult not only for us to manufacture and stock backing plates for all our U-bolts, but it has also been tricky for customers to find the correct match

So here is our brand new innovation, slotted backing plates   😀

slotted backing plate

slotted backing plate

The principle is fairly straightforward really. Instead of holes for the U-bolt legs, we have elongated slots. This means that one plate will suit a wide variety of U-bolts AND square bolts.

This will enable us to cut down the choice from around 50 backing plates to just 9!

All you need to know when trying to match the backing plate are two measurements: the Thread diameter of the U-bolt and the inside diameter of the u-bolt (distance between the legs)

Backing plates are labelled as:  Slotted backing plate for M6 U-bolt (14 – 26 mm ID)

So you can see , it is for an M6 u-bolt with a distance between the legs of 14 – 26 mm – simples!

slotted backing plate schematic

slotted backing plate schematic

See our range here:


Big Boys’ Meccano And Our Brilliant Young Design Engineer

Big Boys’ Meccano And Our Brilliant Young Design Engineer

You may well have read recently that Graphskill have started supplying Unistrut / Oglaend style metal framing systems. These systems are metal channels which can be used with nuts, bolts, washers etc to create just about anything from shelving to pipe support systems. It works just like Meccano – only bigger. Which is why we have taken to calling it affectionately as “Big Boys’ Meccano ”

1 Hole Plate for Unistrut and Oglaended style metal frame

1 Hole Plate for Unistrut and Oglaend style metal frame

2 Hole Plate for Unistrut and Oglaended style metal frame
2 Hole Plate for Unistrut and Oglaend style metal frameoglaend


So, along comes Max; Martin’s son who is on summer holidays waiting to return to his ‘A’ level studies in September. Max has a fabulous engineering mind – a natural. He was listening to our discussions about BBM (Big Boys’ Meccano ) and said he could do some design videos.

We had been pondering how to show people how to use channelling with our u-bolts to create a pipe support systems – “Leave it to me” he said. And that was the last we saw and heard of him for a few hours

And this is the result:


And of course, it goes without saying that we can supply all the component parts :

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