How to Install a Rubber Expansion Joint

A rubber expansion joint is a double-ended connector used in piping and hose systems to absorb movements, vibrations and noise. They are made of natural or synthetic elastomers, and may be reinforced with fabrics and metal for strength and pressure resistance. They also provide thermal and chemical resistance in fluid systems.

They are designed for axial, lateral and angular movement compensation. They are available in a wide range of elastomers and pressure ratings and come with special options for applications where a clean, streamlined design is necessary to minimize suspended solids or buildup.

TANIQ has developed an optimized design methodology that follows lightweight engineering principles, resulting in a higher performance and reliability for these products. This digitized design and automated manufacturing process reduces production time by up to 70%, while at the same time introducing high product quality and consistency.

The use of a rubber expansion joint will protect your process piping system from noise and vibration from pumps, valves, compressors and other equipment as well as centrifuge the movement of abrasive slurries or highly corrosive media, and eliminate thermal movement. The excellent chemical resistance of the rubber or synthetic elastomers used in these joints make them a great choice for many applications.

In most cases, a rubber expansion joint will be installed in a rigid pipe and can either absorb movements from adjacent equipment or as part of a larger expansion joint system to absorb thermal or temporary pipe movements. They are also used as flex connectors in unanchored systems to absorb noise and vibration from the surrounding equipment.

They will need control units to prevent the product from expanding under pressure and should be anchored in place using hangers or anchors that have been properly designed for this application. In unanchored situations, the pressure thrust from the expansion joint will cause the pipe connected to it to expand and can lead to damage.

There are several things to consider when installing a rubber expansion joint and each manufacturer has their own recommendations regarding installation. First, check that the piping system is properly supported. Next, lubricate the face of the rubber joint to prevent it from adhering to the flanges of the pipe.

Finally, insert the rubber expansion joint into the flanged position. Care should be taken to avoid rolling the leading edge of the joint out of its flange groove, as this may cause failure in the connection. Apply a graphite solution in water or glycerin to the face of the expansion joint before inserting it into the flange.

TANIQ has developed an optimized design methodology for these products that allows the optimization of bellow shapes and the number of bellows needed to compensate large movement up to 80mm in lateral and axial directions. This design methodology combines light engineering and finite element analysis to achieve the optimal bellow shape and number of bellows for each application.