How do Expansion Joints Work?

Posted: April 27, 2022 | Category: Expansion Joints

Understanding how expansion joints work can help you determine which expansion joint material will work best for your specific needs. At Flextech Industries, we understand how important it is to have the right expansion joints, flexible hoses, and industrial dampers for the job. That is why we have provided some information outlining what expansion joints are used for and the different types of expansion joints that are available.

Read our expansion joint safety inspection checklist.

What Are Expansion Joints Used For?

Expansion joints are commonly installed in industrial piping systems to relieve anchor stress, reduce noise, compensate for misalignment, and absorb vibrations and shocks. In some cases, expansion joints can also be designed to allow for thermal expansion in extremely hot applications to minimize wear and tear on the piping system.

Learn how to choose the right expansion joint.

Types of Expansion Joints

Pipes can move in different ways based on the type of material the expansion joint is made from. Some of the different materials expansion joints can be made from include:

Metal Expansion Joints

Metal expansion joints are designed to compress, compensating for any movement in the pipe. This makes them a common choice for applications where thermal expansion is an issue. Through compressing to handle expanding hot pipes, the metal expansion joint can take stress off the anchors and pipes, preventing ruptures and reducing wear over time.

Learn more about metal bellows expansion joints.

Rubber Expansion Joints

Rubber expansion joints can also be used where thermal expansion is an issue, as this material can absorb vibrations and shock waves. This type of expansion joint is also great for minimizing the transmission of noise and vibrations and protecting other equipment —such as pumps and shock absorbers— by minimizing trauma caused by water hammers, pressure surges, and seismic events.

Fabric Expansion Joints

Fabric expansion joints help to relieve stress on piping systems and ducting during thermal growth and/or shock caused by thermal variations. These expansion joints are available in a variety of configurations including FC series fluoroplastic, FL series fluoroplastic, and M series multi-layered fabric, making them a great choice for many different environments.

What are pipeline expansion joints?

PTFE Expansion Joints

PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) expansion joints are designed and built for industrial piping applications that are subjected to erosive and/or corrosive materials. The non-reactive and low-friction qualities of PTFE make these expansion joints the safest choice for chemically reactive piping environments.

To learn more about our selection of expansion joints and other products, get in touch with the team at Flextech Industries. We can be reached through our online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our products.