How to Choose Custom Fabric Expansion Joints for Industrial Applications
- Identify the application. Fabric expansion joints may be used in industries including energy, aviation and aerospace, chemical production, medicine, and more, in order to facilitate industrial fans, oxidizers, heat recovery systems, gas turbines, pumps, seals, exhaust, ductwork, compressors, system isolation, and more. Identifying the application is the first step.
- Identify movement and vibration requirements. Fabric expansion joints are especially advantageous when mitigating movement and vibration is a top priority. Other forms of flexible connectors like metal bellows expansion joints provide flexibility as well, but the inherent pliability of fabric connectors make them especially suited for installations that generate a high degree of axial, angular, lateral, or radial movement or vibration transmitted along ductwork.
- Identify whether the expansion joint is for a new installation or refurbishment. Fabric expansion joints can be used equally well for new installations or for refurbishing an installation. However, fabric expansion joints created added advantages in refurbishing. Refurbishing often requires fitting a new piece, the expansion joint, in line with existing pieces that are already in fixed positions. The high customization potential and lightweight of fabric expansion joints make the expansion joints greatly reduce the time, labor, and machinery needed when the expansion needs to fit where other machinery is already in place.
- Consult a custom fabric expansion joint manufacturer. Fabric expansion joints are commonly custom-made because of the wide range of variables involved in their applications. After identifying variables like movement and vibration stressors, new installations versus refurbishment, and other stressors like heat and air pressure, consult a custom manufacturer to identify the type of fabric expansion joint that meets the needs of the application. U-Belt Flexible Connectors are a particularly versatile variety of custom fabric expansion joints.