March 2023

Heat Transfer

Practical application of expansion joints for heat exchangers

Expansion joints are used throughout industry for various purposes.

Acharya, B. N., Pal, N., Contributing Consultant; Daru, K., Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.; Panchal, A., PVA Systems

Expansion joints are used throughout industry for various purposes. One main purpose is to compensate for relative movements in heat exchangers and piping caused by temperature differences in shell-and-tube parts of the equipment or piping—without the use of expansion joints, it would be impossible to install such equipment or piping in those service conditions. These expansion joints are also used to isolate vibration or mechanical movements from rotating machines to stationary equipment or machines, and to allow vertical movement of equipment connected to piping placed on load cells. This article focuses on flanged and flued (thick) expansion joints used in a shell-and-tube heat exchanger

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