Top Tips – How to Select the Right Expansion Joints

Expansion joints don’t always get the attention they deserve. They are critical components of piping systems for every industry. These flexible connectors allow for movement within the piping system. They can also minimize vibration and sound.

Expansion joint failure can result in process downtime as well as safety or environmental concerns, so ensuring the right joints are installed is essential.

Expansion joints are available in many different materials, including various types of rubber and stainless steel. They also come in multiple styles and configurations.  Knowing how to select the proper expansion joints for an application can prevent failures and extend the life of the joints.

In this article, we will review the proper course of action for correct expansion joint selection.  This process includes:

  1. Develop your criteria using the acronym “STAMPED
  2. Follow piping standards regarding misalignment
  3. Determine where personnel protection is needed
  4. Review expansion joint criteria prior to changing processes
  5. Engage experts to make existing systems more reliable

Selecting and installing the proper expansion joints is part of the cost of doing business. Expansion joints ultimately save the cost of replacing the more expensive pumps and piping systems. One company decided to forgo the specifications and installed a less costly expansion joint. The resulting failure resulted in a $1 million loss that could have been avoided for the cost of a $10,000 expansion joint.

By following these tips and leaning on technical expertise, industries can increase the safety and reliability of their piping systems while reducing downtime and repair or replacement costs. Click here to continue learning how to select the right expansion joint for your specific piping system.