Fabric joints
Pipework and duct systems conveying fluids of all types represent applications for expansion compensators.
Such systems are continuously subject to risk of damage and breakage owing to the mechanical stresses caused by variations in temperature, pressure, movements and vibration.
Expansion joints are flexible connections whose purpose is to absorb the vibrations and to compensate for the movements between the sections of piping to which they are connected. Hence they are strategic components for the life of many industrial plants. The choice of the expansion joint is dictated by operating conditions which include resistance to temperature, pressure, chemical agents, piping movements as well as the need for heat and noise reduction. Textile expansion joints are used in the presence of gaseous fluids, typically air and fumes, with temperatures up to 1200 degrees centigrade.
They are easy to control, they are light to transport and handle, they are easy to install, they last for a long time and, above all, they are cost-effective.
TOPFLEX Industriale supplies textile joints with parallel flanges or vertical flanges (see our flanges), with or without holes, closed or opened with a closing kit. There is a standard production, every joint is produced according to customer requirements.
Design considerations
The following background information on the plant and application can have significant influence to the design life of the expansion joint.

In defining system media, the designer should specify the type of fuel, sulfur content, and any additives, cleaning agents or catalysts, which may be used in the system. Ph in the vicinity of the expansion joint should be specified, if known, especially if the media is extremely acidic or caustic. Abrasive components of the media such as flyash should be identified. Flyash buildup within a flue gas duct should be estimated, and the dead weight calculated to determine the maximum load on an expansion joint element. Plant operating procedures such as duct cleaning (wash-down or vacuuming) are also considered in the design.

Temperatures affect the selection of fabric expansion joint materials. The following temperatures for the system should be provided: normal operating temperature; maximum continuous operating temperature; design temperature; excursion temperatures and duration; ambient temperatures (the lowest, highest and average); dew point temperatures.

Fabric expansion joints are typically designed for low pressure duct systems with maximum rating at 1000mmH2O. MOVEMENTS. Various movements resulting from thermal expansion of the breeching, both Maximum Continuous System Operating Temperature and excursion temperatures should be specified. Contractions of the breeching due to cold winter shutdowns, mechanically induced movements such as fan and equipment vibrations, and structural deflections due to wind loads and seismic events must also be specified. Movements in various directions should be analyzed to determine if they occur simultaneously or if they can occur individually without a corresponding deflection in another direction. The designer to make certain that the expansion joint design is capable of absorbing a combination of the total maximum movements should specify maximum installation misalignment.


Correct operation of high temperature expansion joints requires that a portion of the system heat be dissipated to the external environment. Abnormally hot ambient conditions or an adjacent heat source, reflective surface, or duct insulation may create temperatures that exceed the limits of the gas seal membrane and should be considered when designing the system. An external cover may be desirable to help protect against failing objects or the accumulation of combustible materials such as coal or saw dust. Covers should be designed by the expansion joint manufacturer to ensure that proper air circulation requirements are satisfied.
Fabric joints
Technical data