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How do you install an expansion joint?

The necessary steps for installing all expansion joints shall be pre-planned. The installers shall be made aware of these steps as well as the installation instructions furnished by the manufacturer. The most critical phases of the expansion joint installation are as follows.

  • Care shall be exercised to prevent any damage to the thin bellows section, such as dents, scores, arc strikes and weld spatter.

  • No movement of the expansion joint (compression, extension, offset, rotation and especially torsion) due to piping misalignment, for example, shall be imposed which has not been anticipated and designed into the movement capability of the expansion joint. If such movements are imposed, they can result in system malfunction, damage to the bellows or other components in the system. Specifically, cycle life can be substantially reduced, forces imposed on adjacent equipment may exceed their design limits, internal sleeve clearances may be adversely affected, and the pressure capacity and stability of the bellows may be reduced.

  • Any field pre-positioning shall be performed in accordance with specific instructions which include both the direction and magnitude of the movement.

  • Anchors, guides and pipe supports shall be installed in strict accordance with the piping system drawings. Any field variances from planned installation may affect proper functioning of the expansion joint and must be brought to the attention of a competent design authority for resolution.

  • The expansion joint, if provided with internal sleeves, shall be installed with the proper orientation with respect to flow direction.

  • After the anchors or other fixed points are in place and the piping is properly supported and guided, the expansion joint shipping devices should normally be removed in order to allow the expansion joint to compensate for changes in ambient temperature during the remainder of the construction phase.