What are Pipe Expansion Joints?

Pipe expansions joints – also known as expansion compensators or bellows are used in pipe work applications where the thermal expansion, movement and vibration could cause problems. Pipe expansion joints are made up from one or more convolutions which are designed to move or expand to relieve the stress from the solid pipe.

 What you will find, is that the convolutions are designed to move or expand to relieve the stress from the solid pipe. The level of movement or expansion within the application will determine the number and shape of convolutions that are required for the pipe expansion joint to function. Usually manufactured out of materials like stainless steel, PTFE and rubber, a pipe expansion joint can be made to suit almost any application.

Also available for applications are expansion joints manufactured from material – commonly known as sewn bellows, meaning they are generally used for covers for moving parts such as hydraulic cylinder rods, keeping them safe from dust and other contaminants.

The most common cause of mechanical damage to pipe expansion joints are arc strikes or tools and materials dropped from above. The materials are generally quite thin and can dent relatively easily, which leads to placement of protective covers, which do sometimes help, but can obstruct access to bolts and joints.

Certain damages to pipe expansion joints can be harmless and not affect an application at all. However, other damages can reduce the cycle life, create a fatigued operation or lead to a complete system failure.

Ensuring that your pipe expansion joints are in fully working order is extremely important, as they can be a vital part of your applications process. For replacements, inspection and advice, Buckley Industrial are easily contactable and offer out there services to those who need  high quality and comprehensive service.