A rubber expansion joint is a type of connector used to control movement and pressure in a pipe or system. They are commonly used in a variety of systems, including gas turbines, HVAC, and power plants. They can also be found in auxiliary condensers, aeration systems, and fire and bilge pumps.
When compared to metal expansion joints, rubber joints have better flexing capabilities and are less prone to failure. They are also more resistant to abrasion. They can also absorb noise from nearby equipment. They are ideal for high-pressure applications, such as for diesel engines. They are also a good choice for controlling periodic movement. They are particularly effective in absorbing thermal contraction in aeration lines and steam turbine exhaust lines.
They are available in different shapes and sizes, as well as in different materials and specifications. They are designed to be versatile in order to meet various service needs. They can also be fitted with control units to improve performance.
There are several types of elastomers to choose from when designing an expansion joint. These can include fluoroplastics, which are abrasion-resistant and are resistant to chemicals. They also have good thermal stability. They are typically used in hot air, chemical, and petroleum industries. These elastomers are non-reactive and do not suffer from fatigue breakdown.
For optimum performance, designers should consider the type of material and elastomer. This is especially important if the liquids being transported are not water-based. They should also look for an elastomer that rubber expansion joints is compatible with the material it is being carried. These options range from natural or synthetic rubber to PTFE and Hypalon.
Generally, the wall thickness of metal joints is very thin. This allows for easy installation. However, they can be susceptible to abrasion and chemical erosion. They can be strengthened by using solid rings or wire embedded in the expansion joint’s body.
With advancements in technology, mandrel-built rubber expansion joints are now manufactured in automated systems. This has led to a reduction in production time, as well as an increase in product quality. These can be applied with minimal effort, and can be used to accommodate different connection requirements. They can be designed with custom shapes to fit a wide variety of building and pipe system designs.
There are several abrasion-resistant, heat-resistant, and corrosion-resistant elastomers to choose from. They are primarily used for low-to-medium pressure applications, as well as medium vacuum applications. They are made of EPDM rubber, which offers a higher temperature resistance than Neoprene. For chemical applications, PTFE and Hypalon are the best choices. They can be paired with special polymers for further protection.
Floating flanges are also available to ensure smooth, quick installations. They are often configured with lateral offset features to achieve the right angle of compression. This configuration also allows for the expansion joint to be drilled to any desired dimension.
Depending on the application, they can be installed with control rods to help prevent excessive movement. They are also used to help reduce vibration.