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In a piping system a Expansion joints alternately known
as Bellows are like sealed springs. Sealed because it is required to
contain the fluid pressure which is flowing through it and spring
because it is required to respond to the movement of the connected
piping without offering appreciable stiffness to the piping system.
An expansion joint/bellow element employed in a piping
system is an assembly of generally more than one convolute in series.
The convolutes are designed strong enough to withstand the internal
pressure of the system, at the same time the typical contour of the
convolute assembly allow sit to flex under thermal movement of the
connected piping. As a result of this extreme flexibility the expansion
joint / bellow as such is highly incapable of absorbing any longitudinal
loads by its own there by requiring external attachments to transfer
these longitudinal loads to its connected piping for maintaining the
overall stability of the piping system under question.