Gallagher Fluid Seals recently added the Rubber Expansion Joint Surveys & Failure Analysis white paper to our Resources page. This white paper discusses the importance of inspecting your plant’s expansion joints. Proper design and maintenance of rubber expansion joints plays a major role in the overall preservation and lifespan of a piping system.
It will also discuss failure analysis of rubber expansion joints and some of the leading causes of joint failure.
Below is an except from the white paper, discussing design and maintenance of rubber expansion joints, as well as the importance of expansion joint surveys.
Elastomeric expansion joints are fabricated from natural or synthetic rubber and fabric, normally consisting of an inner elastomeric tube fused to a metal-reinforced fabric body and an elastomeric cover. These expansion joints accomodate greater pipe movement and provide greater abrasion resistance than metal expansion joints.
The proper design and maintenance of rubber (or elastomeric) expansion joints plays a major role in the overall preservation and lifespan of a piping system. They absorb movement, relieve system strain due to thermal change, stress, pumping surges, wear, or settling, reduce mechanical noise, compensate for misalignment, and/or eliminate electrolysis between dissimilar metals. Poorly functioning joints can lead to major deterioration of the piping system’s integrity, creating safety and environmental issues in your plant and processes. Visible signs of wear and fatigue – including exterior surface cracking, blistering, deformation and delamination, exposure to metal or fabric reinforcement, ply separation of the cover, rubber deterioration, and leakage – can alert observant users to potential failure.