Maintenance Tips to Keep Expansion Joints Working Properly
Depending on what type of metal you choose and what service environment your high pressure expansion joints are in, they can typically last quite a few years before needing to be replaced. They are made to last up to 10 years, but that doesn’t mean they do this on their own. Regular maintenance, like the tips listed below, should be done to ensure that everything is working properly and as it should.
When performing an inspection of your high pressure expansion joints make sure there are no visible cracks. Visible cracks can also show fabric from the inside of the expansion joint. This signals either the unit is drying out or degrading and needs to be replaced.
Perform a visual walk around inspection of your metal bellows expansion joints and check for a few things. Considering what metal expansion joints are used for you want to check and make sure there are no leaks. Check temperature readings along the joint to ensure they are within limits. Areas closest to the attachment are good indications of where pressure can possibly be lost, or where leaks can occur.
You should check the metal of your bellows and your high pressure expansion joints and make note of what they look like. If you start to see rust or corrosion then it may be time to replace. Some signs of corrosion or rust could signal that a different kind of metal will work better than the kind currently on there.
Just as you visibly inspect the metal, inspect the rubber as well. Check for a couple of things. Make sure that it is gummy feeling. Also check to make sure it is not sticky. These two things can signal deteriorated rubber and means it has been degraded. It could be time to replace.
Follow these tips to extend the life and ensure your metal bellows expansion joints last and can handle the job designed for them. Don’t skimp on regular maintenance and they won’t skimp on their work. Personnel should protect themselves while inspecting the above parts to ensure complete safety of all those involved.