OF EXPANSION JOINTS
Instead of buying completely new Expansion Joints, options for refurbishment of Expansion Joints is worth considering. From a time perspective, cost perspective and environmental perspective refurbishment often represents an attractive solution.
When is refurbishment of Expansion Joints the best solution?
Through the years Belman has done many refurbishment projects. Having learned from these experiences Belman often promotes refurbishment as a good solution if the Expansion Joint contains heavy steel constructions in carbon steel or stainless steel, such as thick walled welding ends, thick walled flanges and other hardware like gimbals etc.
BP • Evonik • Corus (now TATA) • E.ON • Kraftwerk Mehrum • Proviron • RWE • Vattenfall
WHAT IS REFURBISHMENT
Refurbishment (also referred to as repair, sanitation, modernization) is when certain parts of the Expansion Joints are re-used and some parts are scrapped and new parts are produced. The parts that will be re-used are often sand blasted and painted and then appear as new. These re-used parts are then welded together with the new parts. Please find here a useful list of parts that are often made as new/replaced as well as parts that are re-used:
New parts/replaced parts:
- Inner Sleeve/-s
- Welding ends and flanges
- Gimbals and hinges
- Other hardware
ADVANTAGES & COST BENEFIT
As a general rule refurbishment is more cost-efficient than exchanging the complete Expansion Joint if the Expansion Joint is:
- Tied, hinged or gimbal with heavy steel parts (such as Angular Expansion Joints, Lateral Expansion Joints and special designed constructions containing significant amounts of carbon steel/stainless steel)
- If the bellow is a small part of the Expansion Joint (meaning it has a large surface area of carbon steel/ stainless steel)
As a general rule a full replacement of the Expansion Joint is the most cost-efficient solution (no refurbishment) if the Expansion Joint is:
- A simple Axial Expansion Joint or Universal Expansion Joint, where the bellows are the main element of the Expansion Joint
- If the Expansion Joint have thin walled flanges, welding ends
- No external crew required at the plant
- The best and most cost-efficient solution is ensured
- Only critical work is made on the Expansion Joint
- Expansion Joint experts verify and guarantees future service life of the Expansion Joint
- Cost-savings, typically only the bellow needs to be replaced
- Less scrap and thereby more environmentally friendly
- Good technical solution with new service life
Can the refurbishments be done very fast?
YES. Belman can adapt to the timeline requested by the client. If required, it can be done in just a few weeks – or in a few days if it concerns just one Expansion Joint.
Can the bellows be made from different material than the original bellows?
YES. In this case story the original bellows were made from carbon steel and the new bellows were made from 1.4571 (AISI 316 Ti). The bellows can be made from many other steel grades as well depending on the operating parameters and requirements. Belman has a huge stock of various materials.
Is the cost saving always 49% for refurbishments?
NO. It varies from project to project, as it depends on the weight of the carbon steel parts. However, in most situations we see cost savings of a minimum 30% on the Expansion Joints. Of course one round of additional transport has to be included, which is not required for new Expansion Joints, as they are sent directly to the client for delivery.
What tests can be done?
All tests requested by the client can be done. Furthermore, it is possible for the client or external inspectors to visit Belman for the testing process. Belman works with inspectors from various authorised bodies.
Can we ensure the same built-in length?
YES. Belman is fully aware that the Expansion Joint need to fit the gap in the pipeline. For that reason, the client must accept the design and the refurbishment solution before start-up.
Do the clients accept the solution and steps in refurbishment process?
YES. Belman works in close cooperation with the client on all projects. Belman is very keen on meeting client requests and guides the client to the best solution. However, ultimately the client is the decision-maker. If Belman encounters any unexpected challenges during the project, the client is immediately notified in order to find the best solution together. The final solution is often based on a recommendation from Belman.