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What Type of Expansion Joint Works Best for You?

The utility of an expansion joint probably becomes most evident to people during a hot summer, when structures warp and change dimensions due to the temperature changes. These are precisely what expansion joints are meant to do; they function to relieve thermal stresses. Badger Industries in Pennsylvania provides expansion joints primarily for piping and ducting operations, which are especially sensitive to thermal pressures. You cannot afford to have a pipeline warp uncontrollably at any time, which makes the wide range of expansion joints that Badger offers instrumental in process systems of all kinds.

1. Single Expansion Joint:

A single expansion joint is a mid-structure element that minimizes or eliminates the structure’s tendency to deform under a thermal load – that is, expand or contract when the temperature changes too quickly. In addition, the single joint protects against axial vibration forces that would otherwise cause significant axial movement along the length of the beam or structure that the joint is meant to hold together. Proper alignment is especially important for this type of joint so that it can absorb motion along with three different directions as it was designed to do – angular, lateral, and axial.

Similarly, the double expansion joint is simply an extension of the single variant and consists of two simple joints connected by anchor support. It is applicable when the expected axial movements would be much too significant for a single joint by itself, and features prominently in long pipelines.

2. Toroidal Expansion Joint:

Sometimes, neither single nor double joints are capable of doing the job – the applied pressures are too high in a connected structure, and the temperature variation too sudden. For these cases, materials science mandates that a toroidal expansion joint works best. The geometry is such that the wall thickness can be varied to manage different operating stresses that result from the pressure on the structure being held together by the joint. Toroidal expansion finds its main use in applications that involve heat exchange.

3. Hinged Expansion Joint:

For applications that require an extended degree of restriction of the beam or pipe, a hinged expansion joint works well. It is designed to restrict angular rotation in all planes except the one. The physical difference between the hinged joint and the others is apparent in the hinged plates that sit at the ends of the expansion joint and reflect the desired plane of angular rotation. Since only angular rotation is allowed, hinged expansion joints can manage impressive loads and forces by absorbing them and transferring the movement to the angular plane.

4. Gimbal Expansion Joint

Where the hinged expansion joint is exceptionally restrictive, the gimbal joint is less conservative. It allows angular rotation in any plane, and thereby can also absorb stresses in any plane. It is sometimes favored by engineers for its ability to facilitate the placement of pipe supports, because of its exceptional ability to carry loads and deflect pressures. Gimbal expansion joints are most commonly used in pairs.

5. Fabric Expansion Joint

This is the first joint that isn’t of circular geometry. Indeed, the rectangular makeup suggests what it’s for: almost any application that employs cross-sectional ducting can benefit from the support of a fabric expansion joint. Strong and sturdy, the fabric expansion joints built by Badger Industries’ expansion joint manufacturers are tailored specifically to the desired application, which guarantees reliability and longevity. It is, naturally, a highly adaptable design.

6. Universal Expansion Joint

The scope of universal expansion joints is self-explanatory; a more in-depth investigation of their construction reveals that they’re double-jointed connectors that do not actually connect to the structure. It is this attribute that allows them to absorb lateral, angular and axial stresses that simply could not be deflected by a single expansion joint. They are a bit more complex than the other joints, but their utility cannot be questioned. Steam distribution systems make extensive use of universal expansion joints because the overall system saves significant amounts of money with their ability to absorb thermal pressures in all planes.

7. Pressure-Balanced Expansion Joint

Pressure-balanced expansion joints are instrumental in the proper functioning of turbines, manufacturing equipment and pipe anchors, because of their ability to deflect excessive pressure away from these elements. They find great use in sections of long pipelines where the direction changes.

No matter what your needs may be, choosing the right manufacturer will ultimately be the biggest factor in the quality of whatever expansion joint you need. Work with the team that sets the standard in quality design and fabrication by contacting Badger Industries. As an accredited member of the leading industrial organizations, we’ve built a solid reputation as a leader in both implementation and customer satisfaction. Discover the ways in which our services are superior from the start and contact our team of industry-leading engineers and manufacturers today


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