Heavy duty pipe expansion joints are necessary in systems that convey a high temperature, such as steam or exhaust gases, or to absorb movement and vibration. They are innovative applications that are used in pipes and pipelines that are often used in the oil, petrochemical and paper industries among many others.
A typical pipe expansion joint is made from metal like stainless steel, plastic like PTFE, glass like glass fibre and elastomer like rubber. The bellow is made up of a series of one to more convolutions, with the shape of it designed to withstand the internal pressures of the pipe, but flexible enough to accept the axial, lateral and angular deflections. Expansion joints are also designed for other criteria, such as noise absorption, anti-vibration, earthquake movement and building settlement.
There are a few rules that manufacturers and suppliers must consider when a pipe expansion joint is made, according to the rules laid out EJMA, while for fabric expansion joints only guidelines and a state of the art description exists by the Quality Association for Fabric Expansion Joints. They are generally manufactured in standard dimensions that have the ability to withstand temperatures from minus 300 degrees (°F) up to 4000 degrees (°F), as well as being able to resist at full vacuum or 2000 psig. Expansion joints can be manufactured from a range of different materials such as Stainless Steel, PTFE and Rubber, so there is a product supply available for almost every application.
Engineers were presented with the task of combating problems regarding thermal expansion, corrosion and abrasive factors that took effect on the functionality of various applications. Fabric joints can be used in different applications for turbines and pipelines, as they can defend against resistance, heat and other factors that can be helped to a great extent with the use of expansion joints. Other applications such as turbines with different membranes and designs, extension joints can be the perfect solution.
Heavy duty pipe expansion joints are crucial components for pipeline technology that are used to counterbalance length changes that generally occur in pipelines from temperatures changes and can also absorb vibrations that could be absorbed by pumps, engines, compressors or turbines. It is a cost effective choice which will essentially provide a feature to increase the life span and reliability, while reducing sealing problems and large space required for alternative expansion equipment.