Elastomeric Expansion Joint Types & Movement

Expansion Joint Design GuideGallagher recently released its Expansion Joint Design Guide, now available for download on our site.  This design guide takes an in-depth look at elastomeric, metal, and flue duct expansion joints.  The excerpt below is a section of our Expansion Joint Design Guide focusing on types of elastomeric joints and types of pipe movement.  To download the entire guide, visit our Resources Page, or click on the image to the right.


The basic purpose of an expansion joint is to absorb movement and vibration in a rigid piping system, being built to expand, contract, and adjust without straining or breaking the piping or ducting on either side.  They are specially engineered to handle movements due to thermal expansion, vibrations of pumps, and misalignments due to installation tolerances, while also being resistant to the process conditions and the external influences of the application.

Types of Expansion Joints

Expansion Joint - Single ArchSingle Arch

  • Fabric and rubber construction
  • Reinforced with metal/wire rings
  • Full-face flanges integral with joint body
  • Flanges drilled to companion bolt pattern
  • Gaskets not required
  • Offset available

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Protecting Fluid Reservoirs from Contamination

Air Sentry® BreathersAir Sentry® breathers should be an integral part of any proactive maintenance and reliability program. The breathers are designed to replace the breather cap or air filter on gear boxes, hydraulic fluid reservoirs, bulk storage tanks, oil drums, oil-filled transformers, and other fluid reservoirs.  Most older style air venting methods provide minimal, if any, contamination control.  Air Sentry® breathers provide the first line of defense in contamination control methodology, utilizing patented designs and featuring color indication silica gel and self-cleaning 2-micron filtration.

Why is Contamination Control Important?

There are two important threats to productivity that an Air Sentry breather can protect you from:

Particulates
One research group found that greater than 75% of all machine wear related failures were due to particulate contaminants. Frequently the greatest cost of equipment failure is not the component replacement cost, but the labor production downtime. Most particles start off as dirt that becomes airborne, finds its way into lubricant and fuel reservoirs, and is later transported to bearings, bushings, seals, valves, and other machine components. There they become key ingredients in abrasion, erosion, and fatigue failures. The contaminants also cause lubricant degradation, shortening the life of the lubricant and decreasing its ability to lubricate.

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Non-metallic Industrial Bearings

Non-metallic Bearings - ThorPlas BlueThordon non-metallic bearings have been used in a wide range of industries and various applications such as in pumps, pivot points, screw conveyors, hydro turbine wicket gates, agitators, and flocculator paddle wheels.  Thordon Bearings are design to work under the most extreme conditions: abrasive, corrosive, high impact load, high humidity, and infrequent maintenance periods.

Key Attributes

Self-Lubricating

With a low inherent coefficient of friction, Thordon bearings typically do not require grease lubrication.  This results in reduced maintenance costs and safety issues.  Environmental and product contamination concerns associated with grease lubrication are eliminated.  Thordon Bearings are homogenous polymers with built-in lubricants.  The lubricants, being dispersed through the bearing material, continue to provide low friction through the life of the bearings.

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Elastomeric Expansion Joint Components

From the outside, an elastomeric expansion joint looks to simply be made out of molded rubber.  Part of the reason expansion joints are used in such a wide variety of applications is that the interior construction of a joint can be custom-designed to handle your specific application – materials of construction will depend on size, temperature, application, media, pressure (S.T.A.M.P.).

Layers of Construction

Tube

  • Synthetic or natural rubber forms seamless, leak-proof lining
  • Extends fully through bore to outer flange edge
  • Common materials include chlorobutyl, neoprene, natural rubber, EPDM, Viton* and Hypalon*

Body or Carcass

  • Expansion JointWhen wrapped or plied, reinforcements provide support and flexibility between tube and cover
  • Fabric reinforcement: polyester or other suitable fabrics impregnated with specified elastomers
  • Metal reinforcement: bonded rectangular steel rings [exclusive to Garlock], or continuous strands of wire and round steel body rings
  • Metal reinforcement rings provide longer service life, extra safety protection, and extra rigidity, allowing higher pressure ratings

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Static O-Ring Seal – Face Type Seal

The face seal design chart below explains the hardware dimensions to use for an O-ring seal when the groove is cut into a flat surface.

O-Ring Seal: Face Type Seals

Systems Which Contain Internal Pressure

For designing systems which contain internal pressure, like the example below, the groove’s outside diameter (OD) is primary, and the groove’s width then determines the inside diameter.

O-Ring Seal: Face Seal w/Internal Pressure     O-Ring Seal: Face Seal w/Internal Pressure

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Rubber vs. Metal Expansion Joints

An expansion joint can relieve stress in piping systems and prevent flange gaskets from being crushed.  But which expansion joint is best for your specific application?  Let us first describe the two types of expansion joints:

Rubber — a flexible connector fabricated of natural and/or synthetic elastomers and fabric and, if necessary, internal metallic reinforcements designed to provide stress relief in piping systems due to thermal movements and mechanical vibration.

Metal — a flexible element (bellows) constructed of relatively thin gauge material (generally stainless steel) designed to absorb mechanical and thermal movements expected in service.

Advantages: Metal Expansion Joints

Expansion Joints - Metal
Typical Metal Expansion Joint

Temperature
Rubber joints with standard construction and materials have an upper range to 230°F. Most manufacturers, however, can offer special constructions up to 400°F. Metal expansion joints do offer a far greater range, from -420°F to +1800°F. However, working pressures are reduced at elevated temperatures.

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Now Available: Expansion Joint Design Guide

Expansion Joint Design GuideGallagher recently released its Expansion Joint Design Guide, now available for download on our site.  This design guide takes an in-depth look at elastomeric, metal, and flue duct expansion joints.  The excerpt below is the first section of our Expansion Joint Design Guide, diving into elastomeric expansion joints, and what to consider when selecting which joint is right for your application.  To download the entire guide, visit our Resources Page, or click on the image to the right.


What is an Expansion Joint?

Elastomeric Expansion JointAn expansion joint is a specially engineered product inserted in a rigid piping system to achieve one or more of the following:

  • Absorb movement
  • Relieve system strain due to thermal change
  • Reduce mechanical noise
  • Compensate for misalignment
  • Eliminate electrolysis between dissimilar metals (metal expansion joints)

They are built to expand, contract, and adjust without straining or breaking the piping or ducting on either side.  Essentially, an expansion joint is meant to protect the piping system from damage.

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VIDEO: GYLON® ONE-UP® Diaphragm

The GYLON® ONE-UP® diaphragm is the optimal solution for sanitary applications in air-operated diaphragm pumps. Made using Garlock’s exclusive GLYON® PTFE Diaphragm material, and a proprietary EPDM rubber backing, the GYLON® ONE-UP® is made with the same patented rib construction of Garlock’s standard industrial ONE-UP® pump diaphragm.

Watch the video below to learn more.

 

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Polymer Springs: Improve Safety, Save Space, Lose the Weight

Parker Polymer SpringsLight-weight, robust polymer springs are replacing steel coil springs in a range of energy management applications including track tensioners for light-duty mobile equipment such as skid loaders.

With safety as Priority #1, use of polymer springs eliminates a potential source of injury and safeguards workers during equipment assembly and installation. Polymer springs are much safer to install compared to steel coil springs because their lowered stored energy reduces the risk of injury and damage due to uncontrolled release.

Product Features:

  • Safer. Lower stored energy vs. steel coil spring reduces risk of uncontrolled release
  • Smaller. For a given spring force, up to 75% reduction in space allows simple fixturing and assembly
  • Lighter. Up to 90% reduction in weight for a given spring force gives  equipment designers more degrees of freedom in weight distribution

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Lightweight Seals: Innovations With Added Value

Lightweight Design - Ted Duclos Ⓒ Stefan Bausewein
Ⓒ Stefan Bausewein

Lightweight design has recently become a much more significant trend in the auto industry. Even with small components like seals, a great deal of weight can be saved. From Freudenberg’s standpoint, several forward-looking issues come together in these approaches.

In his office, Dr. Ted Duclos, the CTO of Freudenberg Sealing Technologies, is holding up a palm-sized plastic ring.  “I know that it seems very small and insignificant,” he said. “But components like this quickly add up to several kilograms of weight in an engine.” And weight is one of the factors getting special attention from the auto industry – for a range of very different reasons.

Duclos has just returned from the Lightweight Summit in Würzburg, an international gathering of more than 300 experts from industry and research. Specialized lectures, discussion panels and presentations focus on lightweight design in the auto industry and especially in electric mobility. “Lightweight design is a trend,” Duclos said. In the design of classic internal combustion engines because low weight reduces emissions. And for the future of the electric car because reduced weight increases the vehicle’s range. Or to put it another way, lightweight design is one of several trends that are now logically tied to one another.

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