The Significance Of The Piping Expansion Join

Heat is an integral part of your pipeline system, and depending on how it’s managed, it can make or break things for you (literally). Your team knows well that heat causes expansion. When pipes expand, it affects your connections, and when your connections are not up to the mark, you will need to deal with leaks. The result is inefficiency, downtime and a lowering of your bottom line. Using expansion joints is one proven way to mitigate many of the adverse effects of heating.

How do expansion joints work?

An expansion joint has one of a couple of uses. It can be used to control thermal expansion and minimize its disruptive influence. It can also be used as a shock absorber to reduce stress on joints, and cut noise. Expansion joints work by being extremely responsive to outside stress. They are designed with folds in the material (the metal ones are called bellows). This allows for more movement – axial, lateral and angular. The result is the absorption of a lot of the heat and pressure that might otherwise be placed on the piping.

Expansion joints are usually made of metal, rubber or a mix (braided stainless steel hoses). Metal expansion joints compress when pipes are getting hot, to counter the movement caused. This relieves the stress from the pipes. Rubber expansion joints are used to absorb both heat and shock and are most often used in applications requiring noise reduction or protection from vibration caused by pressure and other external disturbances. Braided expansion joints are more flexible connectors. They are typically used at outlets and nozzles to eliminate load and improve performance.

Here are a dozen reasons why you should consider using expansion joints!

1. They lengthen the life of your piping by preventing them from excessively expanding due to differences in temperature.
2. They help solve issues relating to alignment caused by vibration from pumps, other equipment or the environment.
3. They absorb some of the stress created at load points.
4. They help bring better connectivity and keep things from breaking down.
5. They reduce the strain placed on your pump casings (70 percent of pump failures could be attributed to excessive strain on pump casings ).
6. They allow you to easily use prefabricated piping with less chance of misalignment – a choice that saves time and money.
7. They are designed with arches to allow for movement, compression, and extension, which gives them a wide range of functions that protect your equipment.
8. They can help you design, and start to work in, several sections of your piping simultaneously rather than force you to start at the pump with its immediately connected pipes.
9. When rubber expansion joints are reinforced with fabric or metal, they can expand and elongate to work on the suction and discharge sides of the pump, to isolate it.
10. They can significantly cut the noise levels in your operations.
11. They can greatly reduce your maintenance bills.
12. They cut costs associated with regular replacement of pipes due to wear and tear.

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