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Factors to Consider When Selecting Expansion Joints

Expansion joints are structures that provide a gap between two surfaces. They are commonly used in bridges, piping systems, and other structures. They serve to absorb pipe vibration, reduce cracking, and keep adjacent surfaces intact. They can be manufactured from a wide variety of materials. The material of choice for an expansion joint depends on the amount of movement that it will withstand.

The most important aspect of an expansion joint is its flexibility. This means that the material should be able to return to its original shape when the joint is compressed. For instance, an asphalt-infused fiberboard, foam, or sponge rubber will work well. However, these materials may not last as long as a stronger alternative.

Another factor that determines which material to use for an expansion joint is the level of pressure it will have to withstand. Typically, a rubber expansion joint will have greater elasticity than a metal one. If you are constructing a structure that will withstand high pressures, you might consider reinforced molded rubber. Alternatively, you might choose a fabric expansion joint, which is a breathable material that has a small thickness.

A few other factors to consider when selecting the best expansion joint include the size and the location of the structure. The expansion joint needs to be able to accommodate vertical and horizontal movement, as well as multidirectional movements. It is also a good idea to choose a material that is flexible enough to be installed without breaking.

To ensure that an expansion joint can handle the full range of expected movements, it is best to select an expansion joint system that can stretch to the largest possible opening. The system should also have the ability to maintain its integrity as the gap contracts. In addition, an expansion joint should be able to stretch to the widest possible distance, which helps to prevent buckling. This expansion joints is especially important if the joint is not mounted. The positioning of the flanges is also an important consideration.

If you want to increase the elasticity of an expansion joint, you might consider using a braided stainless steel hose or a flexible liner. These types of systems have excellent performance in high-pressure environments. They can be positioned in areas that experience high temperature or abrasion, and they will help to maintain the structure’s alignment.

It is also a good idea to use an expansion joint that will be able to prevent the spread of contaminants. If a building is used for a pharmaceutical plant, for example, it might be necessary to protect the pipes from contaminating media. You might also want to consider installing a fire-stopping system. A fire-resistant expansion joint should be certified to UL 2079, which includes ASTM E1966 and E119.

The most obvious benefit of an expansion joint is that it will help to separate two consecutive pours. The joint also functions as an air or liquid passageway. It also provides a safety buffer when heavy vehicles pass.