Case story


Oil refinery

The Netherlands


To help an oil refinery in the Netherlands fix its damaged Expansion Joint, Belman replaced the Bellows, inner sleeves and tie rods of its Elbow Expansion Joint. The process resulted in significant cost savings and downtime reduction for the client.


The oil refinery experienced unexpected damage on the convolution in the Bellows of its Elbow Expansion Joint. To avoid any unwanted leakage, the client was looking for a quick and sound solution to the problem and consulted Belman to evaluate whether the best and quickest solution would be to repair the bellow itself, replace the Expansion Joint completely or something else entirely.


BELMAN SOLUTION – replacing only the Bellows, inner sleeves and tie rods
Belman analysed the images and information forwarded by the client. Based on a dialogue with the client, Belman evaluated that a replacement of the Bellows, inner sleeves and tie rods would be the best option. The Bellows represented a very small part of the Elbow Expansion Joint and the rest of the steel parts on the Expansion Joint looked intact, which is why Belman did not recommend replacing it entirely. Instead, Belman asked the client to dismount and send them the Elbow Expansion Joint, after which Belman would inspect the piece to confirm the recommendation.

The Elbow Expansion Joint arrived at Belman’s production plant on 15 September and the company immediately got to work. The inspection confirmed the recommendation, and Belman disassembled the old tie rods, Bellows and inner sleeves. New Bellows and inner sleeves were made, tested and mounted, as well as new tie rods. The completed Elbow Expansion Joint was pressure and tightness-tested and also underwent visual and penetrant tests.

It was then packed and dispatched to the client for arrival on-site on 27 September as requested so the client could start the reinstallation.


A better solution on many levels
An Expansion Joint repair/refurbishment is often preferable for several reasons. In this case, it was due to the reuse of most of the steel parts (as only the Bellows, inner sleeve and tie rods needed to be replaced). The client achieved significant cost savings compared to buying a new one. The lead time was also reduced, as production of a few parts and assembly can be done faster than building a completely new Expansion Joint. Finally, another important benefit was that the client avoided having to scrap well-functioning components.


Belman – expertise in Expansion Joint repair/refurbishment
Throughout the years, Belman has done many refurbishment projects. Having learned from these experiences, Belman often promotes refurbishment/repair as a good solution if the Expansion Joint contains many or heavy steel constructions in carbon steel or stainless steel that are still intact. Belman often guides clients on the best remedial solution for the damage they have in their Expansion Joints, based on +25 years of experience with Expansion Joint design and manufacture.