Tag Archives: elastomeric expansion joint

Style 404 Expansion Joint for Abrasive Applications

Abra-Line Style 404The ABRA-LINE™ family of products was developed for highly abrasive applications typically found in the power generation, fertilizer, mining and chemical industries. These may include flue gas desulphurization systems, phosphate mining, dry bulk power transfer systems, tailings and slurry applications. Our proprietary urethane formula was designed to reduce wear and extend
service life.

Style 404 Expansion Joints are specially designed for full vacuum abrasive service applications. The tube material is a proprietary urethane formulation. Style 404 can be constructed as a single or multiple arch design. It can also connect pipe flanges in concentric or eccentric tapers, to join piping of unequal diameters.

Case Study: Chemical Processing

Chemical Processing

A stainless hosing was used and would continuously fail due to abrasion on the leading edge of the hose. The hosing would last for 3 to 6 months before replacement.

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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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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


  • 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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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

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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