Expansion joints

Expansion joints

Pipe expansion joints are necessary in systems that convey high temperature commodities such as steam or exhaust gases, or to absorb movement and vibration.

slider expansion joints applications

Expansion Joints


An expansion joint is a useful component in an infinite number of applications.

pipe joint construction

Piping Expansion Joint Construction

A pipe expansion joint is a flexible connector of two pipes. It provides stress relief in a piping system due to thermal and mechanical vibration or movements.

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Expansion joint accessories

An expansion joint by itself provides accommodates any axial, longitudinal and angular movements in a pipelines, ducts and vessels.

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expansion joint accessories

Metal Expansion Joint

Rubber Expansion Joint

Stainless Steel Metal Hose

What industries use expansion joints?

Expansion joints are used in all kinds of different sectors and in a huge range of different industrial contexts.

  • Expansion joints are particularly suited for aggressive chemicals and for abrasion resistance.
  • Sunny Steel Metal Expansion Joints can be custom-made from a range of carbon steels, austenitic stainless steels anc ceramic lined.
  • Stainless steel pipe expansion joint, with control rods

Specific industries that use expansion joints include the Energy sector such as nuclear power plants and district heating schemes.

what industries use expansion joints
Thick Wall Pipe Expansion Joint

Thick Wall Pipe Expansion Joint

Thick Wall expansion joints are frequently used in heat exchangers, furnace and blast furnace pipe work.

These may be a cost-effective option for large-diameter piping systems which operate at low pressure. Metals can be selected to satisfy different temperature conditions. The distribution of axial, angular, and lateral forces will be different when thick-wall pipe expansion joints are used. We can provide your design engineers with the potential forces and movements for proper design of the structural members supporting the system. These joints have a long life which justifies the initial investment.

Thick-wall expansion joints are used primarily in heat exchangers and large diameter piping systems where thin-wall expansion joints would not be sufficient. The bellows are typically fabricated from A516 Grade 70 material, with the thickness ranging from 3/16″ to 1″. Other materials are available to meet different temperature requirements.

Thick Wall Expansion Joints are normally supplied without any end connections due to the fact that it is easier to weld the end fittings to them by a relatively less skilled welders. The heavy wall bellows are less susceptible to damage during installation and system start-up however these bellows possess high spring forces as a result of high convolution profile. The thickness of these thick wall bellows elements vary from 1 mm to 3 mm depending up on size and the height of convolution varies from 50 mm to 100 mm.

Thick Wall Expansion Joint (Bellows), has a very diverse methodology, which is explained in one of the articles below. The following calculations are supported:

  • Cylinder calculations
  • Differential axial thermal expansion
  • Axial rigidity
  • Radii requirements
  • Cylinder calculations
  • Cycle life
  • Minimum thickness based on material and service

ceramic lined

Sleeve Type Expansion Joints

Ceramic lined

pipe expansion joints

Universal tied expansion joint

Universal tied expansion joints consist of two bellows with a central pipe and tie rods to withstand reaction forces produced by internal pressure.  The universal tied expansion joint allows large lateral movement in all planes, this movement can be increased by increasing the length of the central pipe. 

universal tied expansion joint with flanges

Universal tied expansion joint with flanges

The universal tied expansion joint can take greater axial, lateral and angular movements than a single tied expansion joint. If the universal tied expansion joint is designed with only two tie rods, equally spaced @ 180 degree, the expansion joint will take both lateral and angular movements. If more than two tie rods are used then this kind of expansion joint will only take lateral movement. Dome washers are also used depending upon the design requirement.

Universal tied expansion joint with flanges

Universal tied expansion joint with pipe endsKeywards:Universal tied expansion joint, Universal expansion joint, Universal tied expansion joint with flanges, Universal tied expansion joint with pipe ends

universal tied expansion joint with pipe ends