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Flexible Connections

19 Jan 2024  |
Flexible connections are commonly used for product and air transfer and shaft protection applications in a wide variety of industries.

What are flexible connections? – Flexible connections are applied to connect piping or machines, to compensate for movements, vibration, fluctuations in temperature or pressure.

Flexible connections provide a safe, long-lasting, and cost-effective means of making connections. They are an integral part of many industrial installations.

Flexible fabric connections

Flexible fabric connections are used for product and air transfer. Fabric connections are made to allow a high degree of compression and elongation. Flexible fabric connections are also used to connect misaligned piping or to connect two different sized or shaped pipes. Using a flexible connection is a good alternative to using a metal transition piece. Flexible connections can be made to be resistant to extreme temperatures, chemicals, oils, and abrasion.

Industrial flexible connectors

Stress caused by vibration, thermal growth, or movement of other piping elements can cause damage and lead to system downtime. Industrial flexible connectors are used to give ducts more flexibility and reduce the stress on the ducts. Industrial flexible connectors are either round or rectangular and are made of a spool piece, made from a flexible material that is connected with flange connectors on both sides. industrial flexible connections can be made to be resistant to chemicals and extreme heat depending on the material they are made of. Application for industrial flexible connectors are:

  • power plants
  • Lime and cement plants
  • Paper mills
  • Manufacturing plants
  • industrial piping installations
  • marine systems
  • Sewage Treatment Plants

Fabric connectors

Fabric connectors and sleeves are most commonly used for product and air transfer and shaft protection applications. Fabric connectors and sleeves can be manufactured with welded or stitched seams. To increase flexibility and strength, cuffed ends can also be added. Fabric connectors have multiple applications and use, namely in:

  • Transfer of product from the hopper to the wagon
  • Ductwork flanges
  • Hopper-feed bellows
  • Cement handling
  • Grain loading
  • Food processing

Flexible connections have a broad range of high-temperature fabric seals to cover a variety of applications, from simple spigot connectors to ductwork seals complete with flanges and insulation. In general, the goal of high-temperature seals or expansion joints is to utilize the heat resistance capabilities of glass cloths and ceramics. The incorporation of insulation bolsters into the design occurs at the higher end of the temperature scale. Produced with ceramic glass cloth or needlefelt enclosed in a woven glass cloth base layer. In concurrence with steel flow-liners, these remove the main seal from the direct flow ensuring maximum durability. With temperature ratings up to 600°c, most circumstances are catered for. Each standard seal is made from graphite woven glass cloth for temperature resistance, PTFE Foil to give a chemical barrier, and silicone coated woven glass cloth for a weatherproof outer cover and to help with pressure containment.

Fabric expansion joints

Fabric expansion joints, also called fabric compensators, are widely used in many projects because of their good comprehensive properties. Their uses lie mainly in dust media and gaseous media (air, exhaust gases). They work at temperatures that can reach 1000 – 1200 ° C and low pressures (0.1MPa). Fabric expansion joints are generally speaking elastic components that are suitable for absorbing pipeline expansions and vibrations or for compensating the installation of plant components. The design is decisively determined by the medium, pressure, temperature, size, and direction of the expansion to be absorbed. They can compensate for lengthy, crosswise, and devious movements. They are used in power plants, drainage and gas drying installations chimneys, desulphurization, chemical plants, refineries, and (steel) mills. When selecting fabric expansion joints, the flow speed of the medium is of great importance, which determines the selection of the appropriate fabric and the use of additional covers to protect the soft parts of the expansion joint. Fabric expansion joints are made of multiple layers of materials silicate, glass, aramid, or ceramic fabrics, which are selected depending on the temperature at which it will work compensator and depending on the medium with which it will come into contact.

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