Angular expansion joints

Angular expansion joints, also known as angular or gimbal expansion joints, are specialized components used in piping systems to accommodate angular movement or rotation between connected piping sections. Here’s an overview of angular expansion joints:

  1. Purpose: Angular expansion joints are designed to absorb angular movement or rotation between connected piping sections while maintaining the integrity and alignment of the piping system. They provide flexibility and allow for movement in multiple directions, typically in both horizontal and vertical planes.

  2. Construction: These expansion joints consist of a bellows element connected to the adjacent piping sections by hinge hardware. The bellows, typically made of metal (such as stainless steel), are corrugated tubes designed to flex and accommodate angular movement. The hinge hardware allows the bellows to pivot and rotate freely, providing flexibility in multiple planes.

  3. Flexibility: Angular expansion joints offer flexibility in multiple planes, allowing for angular movement or rotation in both horizontal and vertical directions between connected piping sections. The bellows element can pivot around the hinge points to absorb angular displacement while maintaining the alignment and integrity of the piping system.

  4. Compensation for Angular Movement: Angular expansion joints are specifically designed to compensate for angular movement or rotation in multiple planes between connected piping sections. This movement may result from thermal expansion, settlement of supporting structures, ground movement, or other dynamic forces acting on the piping system.

  5. Application: Angular expansion joints are commonly used in piping systems where angular movement occurs in multiple planes, such as pipelines connected to equipment with complex motion or in systems subjected to multi-directional thermal expansion or contraction.

  6. Installation and Maintenance: Proper installation and maintenance are essential for the reliable performance of angular expansion joints. Installation should follow manufacturer guidelines, including proper alignment and support of the expansion joint. Regular inspection and maintenance help identify potential issues such as leaks, fatigue, or corrosion, allowing for timely repairs or replacements.

Angular expansion joints provide an effective solution for accommodating angular movement in multiple planes between connected piping sections while maintaining system integrity and alignment. Proper selection and installation of these expansion joints are crucial to ensure the efficient operation and longevity of the piping system.

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