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Non-metallic expansion joints

The non-metallic expansion joints are flexible connectors designed to relieve tension in pipeline systems by absorbing the movement caused by temperature changes. They also act as vibration isolators, shock absorbers and, in some cases, misalignments correctors in ducts or adjacent equipment.

The flexible element of non-metallic expansion joints can be manufactured in a wide range of materials such as synthetic elastomers and plastics fluorinated insulating fabrics, depending on the design. The designs vary from a single sheet to multi-layer constructions placed on metal frames for operations under extreme conditions of temperature and/or corrosion.

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The advantages of non-metallic expansion joints are:

  • Tolerate large movements within a short length
  • Ability to absorb movements in several planes simultaneously
  • Ease of installation and maintenance
  • Can be constructed of materials resistant to corrosion
  • Resistance to noise and vibration
  • Low cost of replacement

For the manufacture of our expansion joints we use various types and qualities of fabrics impregnated with rubber and minerals that enhance their resistance to both temperature and chemical agents. According to the service condition they can contain inner sheets of pure PTFE or PTFE with special charges to improve their behavior. For high temperatures we use stainless steel wire mesh, which is chemical resistant and effective in high temperatures.

It is important to define the maximum temperature that the compensator can withstand, the pressure and pressure variations that it will experience, the chemical composition of the fluid, and the environment surrounding the compensator.

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Typical elements of a compensator from outside to inside, as seen in the figure, are:

1. Outer layer: It reinforces the expansion joint from the mechanical point of view and can be impregnated with elastomers to achieve greater resistance to external agents and to prevent premature aging.
2. Impregnated fabrics: Fully coated fabrics with special properties to ensure tightness. Impregnations improve the chemical resistance and also give the fabric high resistance to flame.
3. Sealing layers: Sealing elements that guarantee no leakage of gas or fumes.
4. Inner materials: Fireproof materials that allow temperature drop.
5. Insulating materials: Used in case of high heat load to achieve temperature reduction.
6. Wire mesh: Its function is to hold the insulating materials, preventing their release.
7. Deflector: Cover plate to prevent gases, fumes with dust or other solid waste from wearing the compensator. It also serves as a regulator of pressure and temperature, preventing the formation of turbulence, pressure loss, and sudden temperature changes in the compensator.

Non-metallic compensators are generally used in all industries, mainly:

  • Petrochemical industry
  • Thermal and nuclear power
  • Cogeneration
  • Construction and installation of steam boilers
  • Construction and installation of industrial furnaces
  • Cement Industry
  • Iron and steel industry
  • Construction of ship engines and dust and water treatment facilities