One of the critical benefits of hinged expansion joints is their ability to absorb and compensate for expansion and contraction in pipelines when used in sets of two or three. Without these expansion joints, the pipeline would be subject to higher stress, which could result in cracks or ruptures in the pipeline. Hinged expansion joints reduce stress in the pipeline sections allowing the pipeline to expand and contract freely.
Another benefit of hinged expansion joints can be their ability to absorb and dampen vibration in the pipeline. Metal bellows can be used in applications where the vibration is of high frequency and low amplitude, otherwise, it may be detrimental to the function of the bellows. Vibration can occur for various reasons, such as from the flow of materials, pressure fluctuations, or equipment operating nearby. Without a hinged expansion joint, the pipeline would be subject to excessive vibration, which could cause damage to the pipeline or equipment. The hinged expansion joint dampens these vibrations and prevents damage from occurring. US Bellows can help you decide if a Hinged expansion joint is a suitable solution to your vibration problem.
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The hinge mechanism in a hinged expansion joint allows for angular movement in the pipeline while containing the full pressure thrust, which is especially important in applications where the pipeline needs to change direction. The hinge allows the pipeline to bend and flex while maintaining a continuous flow of materials. This feature is particularly useful in applications where space is limited or where the pipeline needs to navigate around obstacles.
One of the key considerations when selecting a hinged expansion joint is the material of construction. The material used for the bellows and hinge must be compatible with the materials being transported in the pipeline, as well as the temperature and pressure conditions. Common materials used for the bellows of hinged expansion joints include stainless steel, Inconel, and Monel. Each material has its own unique properties and advantages, and the selection will depend on the specific application.
Installation of a hinged expansion joint is also crucial for ensuring its proper performance. The joint should be installed in a manner that allows for unrestricted movement, without any interference from nearby equipment or structures. The pipeline should be properly supported to prevent any sagging or stress on the expansion joint.
U.S. Bellows became a part of PT&P in 1997. PT&P has an exclusive advantage in providing expansion joints because it is the only global bellows manufacturer with profound proficiency in pipe stress engineering and manufacture of expansion joints and engineered pipe supports. Due to PT&P/US Bellows’ unparalleled knowledge in pipe stress, expansion joints, and engineered pipe supports, they have developed numerous custom designs to meet individual customer needs. Moreover, PT&P/U.S. Bellows is one of the 14 global members of the Expansion Joint Manufacturer’s Association, which determines the benchmarks for expansion joint engineering.