More about Expansion Joints
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What are expansion joints, one may ask? They are devices that have a minimum of one airtight chamber or bellow to absorb any movement, noise, stress, noise and vibration while protecting pipe or duct fittings. These joints also allow any rigid mounting of pipes in restricted areas and do away with any complicated methods of keeping you from changing your piping. These joints are often made of rubber or plastic and can be used in a variety of sizes that can accommodate different pipe widths and duct sizes.
Over time, any number and kinds of elements can damage your piping. Take thermal expansion and contraction for instance. This, coupled with minimal shifting or vibrations, can cause you expensive repairs. When the environment around the piping shifts, the size of the piping will also change proportionately. This may be very minimal, but in a continuum of piping, it will cause much movement and bending of pipes. Thanks to expansion joints, the sections most at risk—the joints—are saved from movement and bending.
In some cases, expansion joints are manufactured from similar material as the piping, for instance, PVC. These PVC pipes comprise two tubes, one smaller than the other. Together, they form a device resembling a piston. When a pipe is attached to the PVC tubes, the piston contracts or expands, simultaneously as the piping makes adjustments for temperature fluctuation. To ensure such movement, focus on the expansion joint by bringing in changes of direction in the piping. The more recent models of joints are so designed that they ensure a high protection level while also preventing any leakage.
Rubber and plastic are not the only materials in which you can find good and reliable expansion joints. These days, metal expansion joints are also available. In this model, a coil is used to serve as protection from expanding and contracting between piping. It is now believed that if quality construction is the objective, then metal expansion joints are the best solution, as they are known to far outdo and outlive plastic expansion joints, particularly in cases where exposure to sunlight is a distinct reality. This is because plastic cannot withstand the sun’s ultraviolet rays.