Expansion Joints are Specialized for Your Needs

by : Anna Woodward

If you're reading this, the chances are that you know fair amount about this technology already. Metal bellows and expansion joints are vital components in a number of industrial processes.

They are created from advanced alloys using cutting-edge techniques that enable them to deal with the problems often encountered with fluid piping. In particular, they can help with the issue of expansion and constriction that contact with high temperatures can produce.

Metal bellows have many different applications beyond the specific purposes you may have for them. These products are used in factories throughout the world, and as such, the technology deployed is specialized yet versatile.

Metal bellows can be found in factories and processes run for the petrochemical industry, engines or turbines, foodstuff manufacturing, waste management, and even have medical uses. They are used to deal with a variety of fluid and temperature situations, from hot oil to wood pulp to baked beans!

Each environment and application has its own unique challenges, whether dealing with the consistency of the substances going through your pipes or the pressure required to transport them. Thus, each will require a different custom-made solution, and every set of metal bellows or metal expansion joints will be a finely-engineered product, produced by experts in direct consultation with the customer.

Whether you are a civil engineering firm, a wholesale manufacturer setting up a mass production process, a research lab, or an oil refinery, you will find that your product is tailor-made for you, so to speak, and while it will conform to industry standards, it will have qualities unique to itself.

The key thing, as with any working business relationship, is getting that comfort level with a company you can trust. In the real world, the price is always important of course, but always beware a false economy.

A failure of a single section on a piping system can bring an entire production process to a halt. Considering a mishap such as failure of your coolant pumps, you aren't just talking about the (already considerable) costs that an interruption to work will cause.

Calculating the cost of a clean-up job, factoring in revenue losses like misplaced business and expense of new materials, is something that no one wants to do. No-one wants to have to explain to a manager that a 10% saving at the outset resulted in a catastrophic problem which brought an entire factory to a halt!

And it's not just the product that's important: it's the human expertise that lies behind it. Even if you have a great deal of relevant competence in your own organization of fitting and setting up expansion joints, you will find that companies who run a comprehensive after-sales and support service will be far more useful to you than those who don't.

Expansion joints are there to take the extremes of pressure and heat in a piping system, so even with the best design, things can still go awry. If the worst happens and you do run into a problem, then it makes all the difference knowing that a skilled team of experts are just a call away.

That's why when a factory or business starts working with one supplier, they are to an extent bound to that contractor - everything is so specialized that prior knowledge is essential, when an issue develops. In time-sensitive business operations, there simply isn't time for a specialist to come in cold and work out what's going on from scratch.

That's why all businesses, and yours like the rest, need to choose very carefully what company to buy their expansion joints from. It's not just buying a product; it's also entering an ongoing working relationship.