WHAT IS A TEXTILE EXPANSION COMPENSATOR?
(also called ” Textile Expansion Joint “ or ” Non-metallic Expansion Joint “)
Textile expansion joints are mainly used to contain gaseous fluids.
Due to the nature of the materials, it is possible to design specific shapes and sizes, generally without the limitations imposed by the tools or molds, and almost all of them can be manufactured as:
- Circular or rectangular: offer the simplest method of joining, however the nature of their construction Restricts its use at high temperatures. For multi-layer expansion joints (more than 3 or 4), the flange construction limits the available movement, requiring deeper flanges and a larger connection clearance.
- Band type or flanged: provide the most effective closure both from the point of view of manufacturing and union. Materials are subjected to minimal stress until moved under operating conditions, and airflow over the outer shell of the closure is largely uninterrupted. The frames can be slightly more complex than for flanged expansion joints, but this is offset by the ease of repair or replacement of the flexible element. In general, band-type expansion joints offer longer life than flanged-type expansion joints.
Technical characteristics of textile expansion joints
- Made in several layers of fiber fabrics.
- The manufacture of textile compensators and the choice of different materials and layers depends on the working conditions (fluids, temperature, pressure, external environment, etc.)
- Some of the usual layers in its preparation:
- Elastomeric: Neoprene, EPDM, Silicone and fluorinated elastomer
- Reinforcement: Nylon, Glass fabric, Aramid, Metal mesh
- For multiple layers:
- Support layer: Wire mesh, Fabric with metal reinforcement
- Insulating layer: Glass fabric, Glass felt, Mineral wool, Silicate fabric, Silicate felt, Ceramic felt
- Chemical barrier: Fluorinated plastics (eg PTFE), Fluorinated elastomer, Metallic foil
- Outer cover: Reinforced – Elastomer, Fluorinated plastic
Uses of textile expansion joints
Mainly to solve 4 main situations:
- Expansion and contraction of the duct due to changes in temperature
- Isolation of components to minimize the effects of vibration and noise
- Movement of components during process operations
- Installation or removal of large components, and assembly tolerances or adjustments
Widely applied in the industry:
- Chemical and Petrochemical Industry
- Thermal Power Plants
- Nuclear Power Plants
- Construction and installation of steam boilers
- Construction and installation of Industrial Ovens
- Cement Industries
- Siderometallurgical Industries
- Food Industry
- Construction of Engines and Ships
- Dust and Debugging Facilities
- Pipe alignment
Advantages of using textile expansion joints
- Heat resistance of up to 1,200ºC
- Pressures up to 1 bar
- Perfect tightness
- Thermal insulation (energy saving)
- Resistance to chemical products
- Resistance to vibrations
- Noise damping
- Deformation in all directions
- Ease of transport, handling and assembly
- Diversity of shapes and dimensions
- Large moves in short length – this requires fewer compensators, thus reducing the overall number of units and providing additional savings
- Ability to easily accommodate simultaneous movements in more than one plane – this allows the technician designing the duct to accommodate compound movements in fewer (and simpler) compensators.
- Very low forces are required to move the compensator – the low level of elasticity allows it to be used to isolate stresses on large and relatively light equipment. A concrete example is the exhaust gas turbine, where it is essential to minimize the forces of duct expansion in the turbine frame.
- Corrosion-resistant materials of construction – modern technology materials allow use in aggressive chemical conditions.
- Noise and vibration resistance – compensators provide a high degree of noise isolation and vibration moderation
- Ease of installation and maintenance
- Lowest replacement cost – the fabric of the compensator assembly can be replaced simply and cheaply
- Freedom of design – fabric expansion joints can be tailored to fit the canal in which they are applied, beveled, transitional or irregularly shaped, thus allowing the design technician maximum variety of options.
- Thermal changes – the self-insulating properties of the fabric allow a simple transition from heat to cold