WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES
OF USING PIPELINE EXPANSION JOINTS?
Expansion joints are considered as very important components of a complete pipe system and are widely used particularly in industries where thermal expansion in pipe systems occur.
As pipeline expansion joints are designed to safely absorb the dimensional changes of steel pipe systems and ducts. This means that the expansion joint will absorb these dimensional changes, which could be heat-induced expansion and contraction, vibrations caused by rotating machinery, pressure deformations, and misalignment during installation or building settlements.
Expansion joints also offer the advantage of reducing stresses in pipe systems generated by thermal expansion, and reduce pipe loads at connections to sensitive equipment such as pumps and steam turbines. Taken together this acts to prolong the service life of pipe systems, and reduces the risk of their downtime for additional maintenance and repair.
More advantages of installing expansion joints:
- Simple in design and function
- Space reduction
- Weight reduction
- Cost reduction
- Reduce engineering and design complexity to piping systems
- Better flexibility for piping layout
- Reliable and proven in the field
- Further, expansion joints are more effective than alternatives such as pipe bends and pipe loops due to their greater ability to conserve space, their economic efficiency and better performance in absorbing larger movements.
What are the advantages of each expansion joint type?
Expansion joints and flexible bellows come in a wide variety of designs and types. Each design/type has its own advantages, which are:
Axial flexible bellows
- Simple solution for compensation of temperature fluctuations
- No change in the flow direction
- Compact and space saving solution
- Relatively low cost
Lateral flexible bellows
- Absorb movements in all lateral directions
- Absorption of large lateral movements with only one lateral expansion joint
- Reduced loads on all fix points as the tie rods absorb the loads without transferring pressure thrust on to the fix points
Angular flexible bellows
- Absorb angular movements in single or multi plane
- Use of normal guides
- Reduced loads on all fix points
Universal flexible bellows
- Absorb movements in all directions
- Absorption of large axial movements and lateral movements in one expansion joint
- Can be modified to suit existing installation gap
Exhaust flexible bellows
- Gas-tight and resistant to corrosion and temperature
- Absorb vibrations and oscillations
- Light weight, reducing loads on hangers and pipe supports
- Very low spring rates, and high flexible performance reduces loads on hangers and pipe supports