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Universal Hinged Fabric Expansion Joints for a Chemical Plant in Delaware

May 7, 2024

Hinged Fabric Expansion Joints for a Chemical Plant in Delaware
U.S. Bellows designed these hinged universal fabric expansion joints for a chemical plant in Delaware. The expansion joints are 84″ in diameter and 60″ OAL. The fabric belt is made with PTFE while the rest of the components are from carbon steel. The expansion joints are designed for an operating temperature of 650°F at 1 psig and 1/2″ of angular movement. The units were 100% dye-penetrate examined was performed prior to shipment.


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Custom Designed Externally Pressurized Expansion Joints for a Flare Header Application at a Mississippi Refinery

April 9, 2024

Custom Designed Externally Pressurized Expansion Joints for a Flare Header Application in Mississippi

Type: Externally Pressurized Expansion Joint
Size: 133 11/16″ and 120.5″ Long | Both Have 42″ Pipe Dia.
Design: Inconel 625 | Carbon Steel
Material: 450°F at 108 psig & 31″ and 25″ Axial Compression
Testing: Hydro-tested at 167, PMI, 100% X-Ray, and Dye-Penetrant

U.S. Bellows custom designed these externally pressurized expansion joints for a flare header application at a refinery in Mississippi. One unit measures 133-11/16" long and the other measures 120-1/2" long and both are manufactured for a 42" pipe diameter. The bellows were fabricated from Inconel 625 and used in conjunction with a carbon steel pipe per A671-CC-60 CL.22. The carbon steel pipe is finished with a 2-coat paint system for corrosion protection. They are manufactured for a design pressure of 108 psig at 450°F with 31" and 25" of axial compression. All alloy material was PMI inspected. The units were hydro tested at 167 psig, 100% dye-penetrant tested, and the bellows and pipe weld seams were 100% X-ray tested prior to shipment.

Expansion joint applications are varied depending on the type of plant. Some applications include:

  • Exhaust systems for Aerospace, Trucks, Marine Piping
  • Solid waste incineration for Renewables and Biofuel plants
  • Waste Water Treatment plants for Municipal water districts as well as manufacturing plants
  • Kilns in Mining, Food, and Plastics plants
  • Geothermal Plants
  • Gas Turbines
  • FCC units
  • Heat exchangers
  • Steam distribution in Geothermal plants
  • Water cooling systems for Nuclear power plants such as inlet of condenser cooling water from lakes or large bodies of water
  • Thermal Oxidizer systems in polymer processing
  • Boller Duct Expansions
  • Vacuum Jacketed piping systems in LNG

We have built, supplied, installed, replaced, audited, repaired, and tested expansion joints for most piping systems applications. Our in-house expertise in handling different types of materials needed for expansion joints made of carbon steel, stainless, alloy steel, high nickel alloys, and aluminum spans over our 48 years of work. Welding specialties include TIG, pulse-arc MIG, SMAW, SUB-ARC, and Aluminium. Our qualifications for expansion joints are ASME Section IX, AWS D1.1, NS, and MIL-STD-248. Testing can specified to include any or all of the following depending on project and application requirements:

  • magnetic particle-dry method
  • Liquid penetrant-visible and fluorescent
  • Ultrasonic and radiography
  • Hydrostatic and Pneumatic testing

US Bellows, a subsidiary of Piping Technology and Products, is a member of the EJMA association which maintains a set of standards for quality expansion joint design and manufacturing. The standards are used as a worldwide reference for the proper selection and application of expansion joints.


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Fabric Expansion Joint for an Inlet Duct Application at a Gas Turbine Facility

February 6, 2024

Fabric Expansion Joint for an Inlet Volute Duct Application at a Gas Turbine Facility

 Type:  Fabric Expansion Joint
 Size:  143″ long x 61″ wide x 12″ face-to-face
 Material:  PTFE Fiberglass Reinforced Fabric Belt & 304 Stainless Steel
 Design:  -20°F to 600°F , +/- 100″ water column, 0.5″ Axial & 1″ Lateral
 Testing:  Dye-Penetrant

U.S. Bellows fabricated this rectangular fabric expansion joint for an inlet duct application at a gas turbine facility. The unit is 143″ long x 61″ wide x 12″ face-to-face. The fabric belt is made from reinforced PTFE fiberglass and the frame and liner from 304 stainless steel. It is designed for an operating temperature ranging from -20°F to 600°F with a pressure of +/- 100″ water column, with 0.5″ of axial compression and 1″ of lateral deflection. A dye-penetrant examination was performed on all the structural frame welds prior to shipment.

Fabric expansion joints are used in a wide array of applications playing a crucial role in preventing damage to equipment, ensuring system reliability, and maintaining overall safety in industrial processes. Some examples of where they are used are:

    • Cement plants for ducts and exhaust systems associated with high temperature operations.


    • Mining industry for mineral and material handling including smelting.


    • HVAC systems for duct work to address any thermal movements or vibrations.


    • Marine and shipbuilding applications where exhaust systems, engine piping and other critical areas movement and vibrations must be managed.


    • Renewable energy facilities such a waste to energy or bioenergy plants in which the incineration operations are critical.


    • Paper and Pulp mills for ducting systems in drying and paper manufacturing processes.


    • Steel Mills for blast furnace systems and exhausting ducts


    • Chemical plants to handle dynamic forces associated with chemical reactions, temperature variations and corrosive environments.


  • Power plants: Fossil Fuel and Nuclear plants to manage vibrations and thermal axial expansion that could stress components and fixed equipment.


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Rectangular Expansion Joints Custom Designed for an Air Fan Ducting Application in Texas

January 8, 2024

Usbellows rectangular expansion joint 166850


 Type:  Rectangular Expansion Joints
 Size:  37-3/8″ Wide | 65″ Long | 16″ FTF
 Material:  304 Stainless Steel | Carbon Steel
 Design:  250°F Operating Temperature @ 5 psig
 Testing:  100% Dye-Penetrant

U.S. Bellows custom-designed two of these rectangular expansion joints for an air fan ducting application at a chemical facility in Texas. They are 37-3/8″ wide, 65″ long, and 16″ face-to-face. The bellows and liner were fabricated from 304 stainless steel, with the rest of the components from carbon steel. The units are designed for an operating temperature of 250°F at 5 psig. The expansion joints were 100% dye-penetrant tested prior to shipment.

Rectangular expansion joints have many applications in which they are used. They can be used in blast furnaces in steel processing facilities, APH Air preheaters in refineries, and for ducting in large systems in many industries in petrochem, mining, LNG and steel mills. We have built over 400 such units over the last couple of years of varying metallurgy ranging from carbon steel to stainless to inconel. We currently have inconel units in production for a large LNG facility to meet the newly established FERC requirements around spillage, environmental considerations, and, most importantly, safety.

Manufacturing expansion joints involves a precise blend of scientific principles and manufacturing craftsmanship. Rectangular expansion joints present distinctive challenges, particularly in relation to edge welding requirements. Without the necessary expertise, there is a risk of encountering issues such as sugaring—a form of oxidation that arises when an inadequate amount of purging gas is utilized during welding.

It’s worth noting that circumferential welds in typical round expansion joints, which are both welded and formed simultaneously, do not face the same concerns. In contrast, rectangular expansion joints undergo a two-step process where they are first formed and then welded, introducing unique considerations.

We conduct thorough in-house testing for all our expansion joints, encompassing a comprehensive range of assessments:

  • Burst Testing
  • Dye Penetration testing
  • Fatigue/Cycle Testing
  • Hydrostatic testing
  • Helium Leak testing
  • Ultrasonic Testing
  • Radiography Testing
  • PMI Testing
  • Pneumatic Testing
  • Magnetic Particle Testing
  • Leak Detection Testing.

Rectangular expansion joints represent a subset of the assessments conducted for typical round expansion joints. Specifically, for rectangular expansion joints, we perform leak, hydro, and pneumatic testing.


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Fabric Expansion Joints for a Carbon Gas Application at an Oil and Gas Facility

November 7, 2023

Fabric Expansion Joints for a Carbon Gas application at an Oil and Gas Facility

 Type:  Fabric Expansion Joint
 Size:  20″ Diameter & 18″ Length
 Material:  1-Ply PTFE Fabric Belt/Carbon Steel Framework
 Design:  -20°F/+600°F with a +/- 20″ Water Column, and +/- 1″ of Axial Compression & Lateral Offset
 Testing:  100% Dye-Penetrant

U.S Bellows fabricated these fabric expansion joints for a carbon gas application at an oil and gas facility in Louisiana. These units are 20″ in diameter and 18" in length. The 1-ply fabric belt is made from PTFE, and the framework is carbon steel. They are designed for an operating temperature of -20°F/+600°F with a +/- 20" water column and +/- 1" of axial compression and lateral offset. The welds of the units were dye penetrant tested prior to shipment.

US Bellows and its subsidiaries have served as leading global suppliers of carbon black worldwide. Material from these plants is made to exacting standards for tires, coatings, ink, batteries, plastics, and numerous other specialty high-performance applications. Carbon black is produced from the thermal decomposition of heavy petroleum raw materials, such as coal tar, ethylene cracking tar, or FCC tar. It is widely utilized owing to its various beneficial characteristics, including surging tire tread wear and rolling resistance, effectively absorbing ultraviolet (UV) light and converting it into heat, improved thermal conductivity, and superior UV protection. Several processes, such as oil furnaces and thermal, are mainly used to manufacture carbon black. In addition to providing expansion joints, we have provided the following products from our portfolio of manufactured in our facility in Houston, Texas:

  • Constant Spring Hangers
  • Metallic Expansion Joints
  • Pipe Shoes, Guides, and Anchors
  • Insulated Supports
  • Paddle Blinds and Spacers
  • Pipe Hangers Hardware
  • Slide Bearing Plates
  • Instrument Supports
  • Variable Spring Hangers


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Fabric Expansion Joint Designed for a High-Temperature Duct Application

August 8, 2023

Usbellows fabric expansion joint 170218

Type: Fabric Expansion Joints
Size: 67″ Long x 67″ Wide x 14″ Tall
Material: 3-Layer Fabric Belt with Kaowool Insulation
304 Stainless Steel Angle Flanges
Design Operating Temp: 2012°F at +/- 100″ Water Column
1″ of Lateral Deflection
Testing: 100% Dye Penetrant Testing & Q.C. Inspection

Fabric pipe expansion joints are often used in ducts that carry hot gasses at low pressures. The major design parameters are the temperatures and flow rates of the gasses and the amount and abrasiveness of solids suspended in the gasses. This fabric expansion joint utilizes a bulky flexible material, also called an Insulation Pillow, to shield against high temperatures protecting the belting material. Refractory is also used in the construction of this joint but is designed so that it does not interfere with movement. Our experienced engineers know that every element of this expansion joint plays a role in its rating for certain temperatures and the number of hours of operation. View Fabric Expansion Joints Product Section.
Fabric expansion joints are key in the systems supporting power and refining plants focused around renewable carbon-neutral product offerings. We have worked with the new entrants in the marketplace but also helped our long-term clients transition their older fossil fuel-based assets to green technology. These plants include biochar from biomass processing, carbon black, clean hydrogen, styrene, and cement.


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Pressure Balanced Tee Universal Expansion Joint for a Boiler Feed Pump Turbine Exhaust

July 11, 2023

Pressure Balanced Tee Universal Expansion Joint for a Boiler Feed Pump Turbine Exhaust

U.S. Bellows, Inc. custom-designed a pressure-balanced tee universal expansion joint for a boiler feed pump turbine exhaust within a power plant for a major electric utility provider in the midwest with its founding roots in the 1880s, almost 140 years ago. Today they serve over 1.7M customers in the US, focusing on electricity generation, electric power transmission, and electricity distribution.

The expansion joint is 96" in diameter and 288" OAL and is designed for 2" axial movement and 1/8" lateral movement at both 15 psig and Full vacuum (-14.7 psig) at 315 deg.F. The bellows, liner, and turning vanes are 304 stainless steel. The remainder of the assembly is fabricated from carbon steel. The expansion joint was dye penetrant examined, and a chemical cleaning of the interior surfaces was performed to remove any oil and grease. U.S. Bellows also conducted a stress analysis and a pneumatic test at 23 psig.

Our U.S. Bellows division is a member of the Expansion Joint Manufacturers Association – EJMA. EJMA is recognized as the world’s leading authority on the proper selection and application of metallic bellows-type expansion joints for safe and reliable piping and vessel installation. As a proud member, we design and manufacture our expansion joints to meet or exceed the guidelines and practices set forth by this association.


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13 Foot Universal Expansion Joint Custom Designed with Incoloy Bellows and Manufactured in the USA for Service in a Chemical Plant

June 6, 2023

Usbellows universal expansion joint 150651v2


 Type:  Universal Expansion Joint
 Size:  157″ Long x 28″ Diameter
 Material:  Incoloy 825 |  321 SS | 304 SS
 Design:  Operating Temp: 842°F a t 190 psig
Movement 8.875″ Lateral Deflection
 Testing:  Dye Penetrant Examined | 100% X-Rayed Bellows
Longitudinal Seams | PMI Examined | Hydro-tested

This 13′ long universal expansion joint was custom designed for a chemical plant that manufactures products such as amines, glycol, polyurethanes (isocyanates and polyol), butanols, polyethylene, and hydrogen peroxide. The bellows were fabricated from Incoloy 825, the welds and liner from 321 stainless steel, and the cover tie rods from 304 stainless steel. The 157″ long unit is 28″ in diameter. It is designed for an operating temperature of 842°F at 190 psig and 8.875″ of lateral deflection. Prior to shipment, the units were 100% dye penetrant tested, and the bellows longitudinal seams were 100% X-rayed, PMI examined, and hydro-tested.

Piping Technology and Products and its subsidiaries are the only global provider of engineered supports and expansion joints in the world. Our manufacturing facilities and processes are set up to support the manufacturing of different materials should the project need it. For this project, the client requested the bellows be made of a combination of Incoloy and stainless steel. We have the experience to work with an extraordinarily broad range of materials, including high-strength steel, a full range of stainless steel, super alloys, thermoplastics, and insulation isolation materials.


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Rubber Expansion Joints Designed for Water Cooling Loops at a Chemical Plant

May 9, 2023

Ptp rubber expansion joint 152915 (1)

Type: Neoprene Expansion Joint
Size: 3×10, 6×10, 8×12, 10×14
Material: Neoprene Twin Sphere Rubber Tubing with 304 SS Flanges & Covers
Design Operating Temp: 225°F at 225 psig | 1-3/8″ – 1-3/4″ of Lateral Offset
Testing: Hydro-Tested | PMI on all Rubber Joint Root-Rings

These neoprene expansion joints were custom-designed for water cooling loops at a chemical plant in Louisiana. They have a neoprene twin sphere rubber tubing with 304 stainless steel flanges and covers. U.S. Bellows fabricated five of each of the following dimensions: 3×10, 6×10, 8×12, and 10×14. They are designed for an operating temperature of 225°F at 225 psig and 1-3/8″ – 1-3/4″ of lateral offset. The units were hydro-tested and PMI on all rubber joint root-rings prior to shipment.

Besides chemical plants, other plants that utilize rubber expansion joints are air scrubber systems, sewage treatment, wastewater treatment, and water treatment plants. Combined cycle power plants also often utilize rubber spool-type expansion joints. No matter the application, our team of experienced engineers and designers can help to resolve your expansion joint needs. Please contact us via our 24×7 emergency service or send an email to


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81″ Diameter Pressure Balanced Tee Expansion Joints Custom Designed for a Chemical Plant

February 7, 2023

81” Diameter Pressure Balanced Tee Expansion Joints Custom Designed for a Chemical Plant

Type: Pressure Balanced Tee Expansion Joints
Size: 352″ OAL | 81″ Dia. | 90″ Centerline to Bevel End
Material: 304 Stainless Steel | CS
Design 392°F at 15 psig | 6″ Axial Compression
Testing: 100% Dye Penetrant | Air Soap and Bubble test

U.S. Bellows custom designed pressure balanced tee expansion joints for a chemical plant in Texas. The units are 352″ overall length, 81″ diameter, and 90″ center line to the bevel-end of the tee. All assemblies were completely fabricated from 304 stainless steel. They are designed for an operating temperature of 392°F at 15 psig, with 6″ of axial compression and 1.25″ of lateral deflection. The expansion joints were 100% dye penetrate tested and air soap and bubble tested prior to shipment.

We can also design and manufacture refractory lined expansion joints for these types that are able to expand and contract as conditions move from hot to cold. These units can be installed in refineries, power plants, and various green energy facilities where no other option is practical. Our team of engineers and manufacturing staff are ready and willing to assist in helping solve any design and/or manufacturing challenges. We can also refurbish existing units to help decrease the time operations are shut down. We assure you that our 24×7 web-based emergency and quick-turn-around service can help when you need it most.
View Expansion Joint Product Section.


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