If the project you are working on requires the use of single expansion joints or custom expansion joints, you want to make sure that you get the right one. Not all exhaust flex joints are created equal but these tips can help you get the right one for your needs and the job at hand.
- Go with a manufacturer you know and trust. This may seem like advice that works in a lot of areas, not just selecting the right exhaust flex joints and it is. There are times, however, when using tools or equipment from a lesser known company may be ok. This is not one of those times. When you have a good designer to work with you, you remove some of the trial and error in your selection of the right configuration for your exhaust bellows for engines. There are a few options such as what material you will use so having a good company or designer by your side can make a difference.
- Do not make “guestimations.” There are a few measurements that you will need to know when you are looking for the right exhaust flex joint. Those include the temperature and the pressure. If you are at all unsure, you need to have the measurements done. Making assumptions about the expansion joints you need can have consequences that are costly. Just because the last high pressure expansion joint you bought had one set of specifications does not mean you should go by that when you buy another one. To be safe, take the measurements for pressure and temperature yourself.
- Look for a multi-ply construction for your bellows. When you get expansion joints that have been made with more layers of thinner metal, you will have an exhaust flex joint that will last a lot longer than those that were made with a single layer of a thicker material. The good news about buying expansion joints that were made with multiple layers is they do not cost much more than the single layer options.
- Get your data sheet for the exhaust flex joints. The designer or company that has manufactured the expansion joints should not have any problem giving you the data sheet for the item. This should contain information about how it conforms to the standards set down by the Expansion Joint Manufacturers Association (EJMA)
- Make sure your expansion joint has been made for the temperature and pressure you specified. You should also check to make sure the movements both lateral and axial have been calibrated correctly. In determining how long the expansion joint will be able to perform at the right level, you will also need to look at its fatigue cycles. How do you do this? Take a look at the data sheet. If you have an expansion joint that has been made from one layer of metal, look at how it is calibrated. If it is supposed to last for 300 cycles and you know you will run a cycle each day, you know you have only 300 working days with that expansion joint. That is really not long enough. You should want to find a distributor who will provide tools that last a lot longer than that. This is one of the reasons that it is so important to go with a designer or manufacturer whom you know and trust.
Getting the right exhaust flex joint can make a lot of difference with the project you are working on. While finding the right one for your needs may not be rocket science, it does take some time and effort. The good news is this time and effort spent here will definitely pay off in the long run.