Differences Between Flex Connectors and Bellows (Expansion Joints)

Posted: March 26, 2020 | Category: Expansion Joints, Flexible Hoses

Understanding the differences between flex connectors and bellows will help you make an informed decision about which device will work best for your requirements. At Flextech Industries, we understand how vital it is to choose the best device to perform the specific function you need. That is why we can custom design the ideal flex connector or bellows (expansion joints) for your pipes.

Find out how expansion joints work.

What are Flexible Connectors?

Flexible connectors are made from flexible hoses and are designed to absorb or isolate high frequency, low amplitude engine vibrations from the rest of the exhaust piping. The flexible hoses used to create flexible connectors are usually constructed from a single ply of small corrugations that allow the material to move with vibration; however, flexible hoses are not designed to compress because the pressure capacity of the hose comes from the external braid restraining the assembly. This means that, if flexible hoses are subjected to compression, the braid will be forced to bulge and will, in turn, strip the assembly of its pressure retaining capabilities. It is important to note the flexible connectors are not designed to compensate for or absorb pipe expansion or to correct major misalignments in exhaust piping.

Learn how to install rubber expansion joints.

What are Bellows?

Compared to flexible connectors, bellows or expansion joints are designed to absorb pipe expansion. Since bellows have larger corrugations than flexible connectors, they are able to compress more and tend to be better at handling lateral movement to tolerate pipe misalignment. Thanks to their multi-ply construction, bellows can provide compensation and better vibration isolation than a flexible connector, even when the bellows are a shorter length.

Bellows are available in both single-ply and multi-ply versions. Multi-ply bellows are constructed from two thinner layers of steel and are more flexible, absorb more expansion and vibration, and provide better durability than single-ply bellows. While multi-ply bellows tend to cost more than single-ply bellows, they are often the preferred choice.

Learn more about metal bellows.

Flex Connectors and Bellows from Flextech Industries

No matter what type of flexible connector or bellow you are looking for, our professional team can help you find the perfect device for your exact requirements. We offer a range of both standard flexible connectors and bellows, as well as complete customization and manufacturing options for anyone who cannot find exactly what they are looking for.

If you would like to learn more about the differences between flex connectors and bellows, or if you are interested in one of our products, please get in touch with Flextech Industries at the location nearest you or by filling out a contact form on our website.