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Design and Manufacturing since 1978

Metal Expansion Joints

Metal Expansion Joints

What is a Metal Expansion Joint?


Metal expansion joints, also known as compensators, are leading technology components with a high responsibility in the process line. In normal operation conditions, the metal expansion joint gets to absorb different displacements and dilations, pressures, temperatures, vibrations, among others.

We could define metal expansion joints as flexible components intended to the piping of fluids, that ensure the protection of the system.

Means to control the thermal expansion


Due to the phenomenon of the thermal expansion, the size of any component, and particularly the size of the metallic ones (very commonly used in the industry), differ meaningfully due to the thermal differences. Therefore, unless the flexibility of the assembly can get improved to absorb the expansion, the equipment or the anchor points must support important external loads.
There are different ways to control the thermal expansions in the pipings. However, most of the expert would rather use metal expansion joints due to their flexibility, that allows them to absorb displacements in any of the axis and avoid the great spaces taken up by the flexible lines.

Metal Expansion Joints Movements

Axial Movement

Axial movement is the change in dimensional length of the bellows from its free length in a parallel direction to its longitudinal axis

Movimiento axial en compensadores de dilatación metálicos

Angular Movement

Angular movement is the rotational displacement of the longitudinal axis of the bellows towards a point of rotation

Lateral Movement

Lateral movement is the relative displacement of one end of the bellows to the other end in a perpendicular direction to its longitudinal axis.

Movimiento lateral en compensadores de dilatación

Advantages of Metal Expansion Joints

  • Minimum installation cost.
  • Low installation space required.
  • Do not imply pressure drops increasing.
  • Minimum operation costs due to energy loss or isolation.
    No maintenance required.
  • Their inherent flexibility allows to absorb movements in multiple directions.

Applications of Metal Expansion Joints

  • Absorption of axial, angular or lateral displacements in pipes due to changes of temperature, earthquakes, subsidence, dynamic systems, etc.
  • Absorption of vibrations.
  • Connection to elastic frames or fragile elements (pumps, furnaces, etc.)
  • Vacuum installations.
  • Absorption of movements caused by thermal dilations in welded components.
  • Pipelines and exhaust systems in generator sets.

SACOME Metal Expansion Joints

SACOME SFO Metal Expansion Joint

Single Unrestrained

Single Unrestrained Metal Expansion Joints
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UST Universal Tied Metal Expansion Joint

Universal Tied

Universal Tied Metal Expansion Joint


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Compensador de dilatación metálico universal para movimientos laterales y angulares en un plano.

Double Hinged

Universal expansion joint for lateral and angular movements in one plane.
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SGT Metal Expansion Joint

Single Tied

Single Tied Metal Expansion Joint

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Metal Expansion Joint


Metal expansion joint for one axis angular movement
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SACOME Metal Expansion Joints

Double Gimbal

Metal expansion joint for angular and lateral movements in two planes
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SACOME USO Universal Unrestrained Metal Expansion Joints

Universal Unrestrained

Universal Unrestrained Metal Expansion Joint
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Compensador de dilatación metálico simple para movimiento angular en dos ejes.


Metal expansion joint for angular movements in two planes.
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High Pressure Metal Expansion Joint

High Pressure

High Pressure Metal Expansion Joint
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Design, Manufacturing and Tests in Metal Expansion Joints

Design, manufacturing and test procedures are a key factor for metal expansion joints manufacturers. In this technical article we explain briefly how are the most important factor to take into account.

Metal Expansion Joints Main Elements

There are many design alternatives, depending on the elements that make up the metal expansion joint or compensator.

Expansion Joints for Generator Sets Case Study

SACOME designs and manufactures complete systems of metal expansion joints with special designs and customized configurations, which make it possible to keep the pressure, stresses and movements throughout the service life of the equipment.

Engineering, Design and Manufacturing of Metal Expansion Joints

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