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Metal Expansion Joints


Thermal growth, equipment movement, vibration or pressure pulsation may generate movement in a piping system. When this movement is not absorbed by the piping system itself, an expansion joint is the perfect solution.

An expansion joint is a device primarily formed by flexible bellows used to absorb movements in a piping system while containing pressure and a medium running through it.


The basic advantages to be gained from using Expansion Joints are:

  • Little space required for installation
  • Absorption of movements in multiple directions due to their inherent flexibility
  • They require no maintenance
  • They reduce load and temperature loss to a minimum

There are three basic movements that can be absorbed by an Expansion Joint:

bellows axial movement diagram

Axial Movement

Axial movement is the change in dimensional length of the bellows from its free length in a direction parallel to its longitudinal axis.
bellows angular movement diagram

Angular Movement

Angular movement is the rotational displacement of the longitudinal axis of the bellows toward a point of rotation.
bellows lateral movement diagram

Lateral movement

Lateral movement is the relative displacement of one end of the bellows to the other end in a direction perpendicular to its longitudinal axis.

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