Universal / Lateral Metal Expansion Joint

                  In Pipeline systems, such as the ones in Pharmaceutical, Chemical, Power, Glass, Petrochemicals, Oil and Gas, and Steel Industries, expansion and contraction of metal takes place, with variations in temperature. With this expansion and contraction of metal, there is variations in movement of the individual sections of the pipes.
                  If the movement cannot be absorbed by the piping system, then metal expansion joints are used to compensate the movements that occur. Apart from the thermal movement, other applications such as vibrations and noise in pumps, compensator, turbines, motors and vessels is also compensated by using metal expansion joints.
                  Depending upon the nature of movement that needs to be compensated ( axial, lateral or angular ), expansion joints are designed. Ocelflex’s Metal Expansion Joints are designed to absorb the movement, as well as withstand other operating conditions such as ,temperature, pressure and the inner media. Our design is in accordance with international standards such as E.J.M.A. and A.S.M.E..
Universal Metal Expansion Joint / Expansion Bellow
                  Universal Metal Expansion Joint is two single metallic expansion bellows being connected by a metal spool piece or centre pipe.

                  Although these are capable of absorbing all the three movements – axial, lateral and angular, however, it is mainly designed for greater lateral movement and angular rotation which a single axial expansion joint may not be able to provide. Because of the ability to provide greater lateral movement, these are also known as Lateral Expansion Joints.

                  Universal Expansion Joints should not be confused with Double Expansion joints, in which the centre pipe or spool piece is anchored to some rigid part of the installation by means of some anchor base. Instead the spool piece of the lateral metal expansion joints is not anchored, so that it can provide lateral movement when required by the system.

                  Optional Stainless Steel Covers or Inner Sleeve ( Inner Liners ) are available on request. An inner sleeve is generally used to protect against the turbulent flow of the inner media or if it is corrosive in nature such that it may damage the thin walled stainless steel expansion bellow.

                  Ocelflex manufactures Universal Metal Expansion joint in both tied and untied type. Tied Universal Expansion Joints are furnished with threaded control rods, to distribute the movement between the two bellows of the Expansion Joints and stabilize the common connector.

  • ⇨ Bellow Inner Diameter : DN 40 to DN 5000 ( 40 NB to 5000 NB, 40 mm to 5 mtrs)
  • ⇨ Bellow Length : 4" to 18" Long ( 100 mm to 450 mm ). Also available as per your specification
  • ⇨ Design Standard : Bellow : E.J.M.A. 9, A.S.M.E., End Fittings : Custom Made or Standardized
  • ⇨ Pressure & Temperature : Temperature : upto 700 C, Pressure : upto 30 Kg/cm2
  • ⇨ Additional Accessories : Lugs and Tied Rods, Inner Sleeve, External Protective Cover
  • ⇨ Bellow Material : Stainless Steel 300 Class ( AISI 304, AISI 316, AISI 321, AISI 316L, AISI 304L), Inconel.
  • ⇨ Inspection Documentation : Leakage Test Reports, Specification Inspection Report, Material Test Report.
Material & Standard
Fill Specification Sheet
Technical Details
Tied Universal Metal Expansion Joint / Expansion Bellow
                  Many variations are possible for using tie-rods when designing the Universal Expansion Joints. Depending upon the movement the application requires, the variations in the length and quantity of tie rods are calculated. One single tie rod can be used on either side of the universal stainless steel expansion joint, connected using lugs.

                  Or in some cases two sets of short control rods, each set spanning each expansion bellow separately can be used, instead of the overall rod, which is more commonly found. This type of arrangement is more common in universal metallic expansion joint where the expansion joint must absorb axial movement and where the control rods are used for stability and control and not for absorption of pressure loading. The photo on the right shows the design of the universal metal expansion joint with two sets of short control rod for each metal expansion bellow

                  This is more common when the expansion joint has either a large diameter or when there are more number of convolutions. When the expansion joint has a very large inner diameter, the flexibility of the overall rods may reduce the effectiveness of the control rod, so that the centre spool piece becomes unstable.

                  In case an application requires angular movement, then two tie rods are used, whereas those applications in which the Universal Expansion Joint does not require angular movement, three or more tie rods are used in sets per metal expansion below. Tied Universal Expansion Joint are normally used for restraint of pressure thrust forces. Universal Expansion Joint are used in Z-shaped Piping systems, to compensate for the lateral deflection caused.
Types of End Fittings for Universal Metal Expansion Joint / Expansion Bellow

Universal Metal Expansion Joint with
Fixed Flanged End

-  Either side the flange is welded to the Metal Expansion Bellow
-  Common flange Standards: BS – A Table, E table, F table, PN 16, PN 10, PN 25, ASA 150
-  Care should be taken to avoid torque during installation of the expansion joint
-  Manufactured either in tied or untied type metal expansion joints
-  Material: Mild Steel, Stainless Steel, or as per application required.

Universal Metal Expansion Joint with
Pipe / Weld End

-  Pipe ends can be either plain weldable pipe or with threading.
-  The expansion joint is welded to a pipe end, which can be used onsite to be welded to the application part.
-  Weldable end make the expansion joint installation easier.
-  Manufactured either in tied or untied type metal expansion joints
-  End Fitting can be either Mild Steel, Stainless Steel, or as per application.

Universal Metal Expansion Joint with
Loose / Rotating Flanged End

-  Also known as Van Stone Metal Expansion Joints.
-  The flanges are kept loose / rotating, over the metal expansion bellow making installation easier.
-  Manufactured either in tied or untied type axial metal expansion bellows.
-  End Fitting can be either Mild Steel, Stainless Steel, or as per application required.

Universal Metal Expansion Joint with
Vacuum Flange End

Types of Metal Expansion Joints / Expansion Bellows

                   Depending upon the nature of movement, and upon the piping system where the expansion joint has to be installed, there are different types of Metal Expansion Joints. Review the metal expansion joints below to choose the optimal design for your applications. Click on any to understand how the expansion joint works :

Understanding Expansion Joints Terminology & Definitions
                   Many parameters are to be considered to design an expansion joint. To understand these and other expansion joint terminology, refer the below links.
                   Depending upon your application and requirement, you can fill out the metal expansion joint specification sheet for us to understand your enquiry, and based on our experience we shall quote the most suitable metal expansion joint for your application, at the most competitive rates. In case you already have a sample, and would like us to manufacture a similar product, then you can send us the photographs, dimensions and/or drawings.

  • Expansion Bellows, Expansion Joints, Pressure & Temperature Parameters
  • Inner Sleeve, Multi Ply, No. of Convolutions, Material of Construction
  • Axial, Lateral and Angular Movement
  • Pipe Guides and Anchoring, End Fittings / Connections & Standards
  • E.J.M.A. standard and other designs