Contact Us: +1 (281) 241-9418 Toll Free: (855) 591-0906
Se habla español
left border  


Expansion Joints


Metallic Expansion Joints - Thin-Wall - Rectangular - Thick Wall - Slip-Type - Fabric Refractory Lined - Rubber Expansion Joints

U.S. Bellows, Inc. is comprised of the manufacturing resources of RM Engineered Products of Ladson, SC (acquired in 1995) and Ketema - U.S. Bellows, Inc. of San Diego, CA (acquired in 1997). Since the 1960s, U.S. Bellows has been designing and manufacturing engineered Expansion Joints for various industries and applications, including the following:

Fossil Fuel Power Plants Chemical & Petrochemical Stationary Engine Exhaust Pulp & Paper
Power Heat Exchangers Municipal Water Districts Aerospace Turbo Engine Exhaust
District Energy FCC Units Waste Water Treatment Truck Exhaust
Gas Turbines U.S. Navy Solid Waste Incineration Heavy Metal
Steam Distribution Kilns Environmental Applications Marine Piping & Exhaust
Geothermal Power Plants Furnace Sealing Bags HVAC, Building Heating &
Cooling Systems
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
Refinery Research & Development    


U.S. Bellows has the capability to fulfill any expansion joint requirement. Our location gives us the advantage for fast and convenient shipping around the world.

  • Located near the port of Houston
  • 35 acres of land
  • 450,000 sq. ft. of shop space
U.S. Bellows, Inc. facility


Over 30 years of engineering and manufacturing experience guarantees that our products will have the performance reliability customers desire. U.S. Bellows, Inc. manufactures bellows in a variety of methods including the following:

  • Roll Forming (24" to 180" dia.)
  • Expanding Mandrel/Punch Forming (2" to 120" dia.)
  • Hydro Forming
  • Rectangular & Fabric up to 40' x 40'
Manufacturing expansion joints


U.S. Bellows, Inc. has over 45 experienced engineers on-site to provide you with cost-effective, high quality solutions. Utilizing the latest design software and analysis applications, as well as in-house developed software, U.S. Bellows can design and manufacture specialized custom units as per your specifications. Finite Element Analysis and Pipe Stress Analysis software are used to simulate the loads and resulting stresses that may occur in a design system. These computer programs help determine engineering design
specifications to meet load/stress requirements.

finite element analysis
Gimbal Expansion Joint
Gimbal Expansion Joint in the Field
Gimbal Stress Analysis for 804,242 lb. Pressure Thrust of a 36" Gimbal Ring for a Gimbal Expansion Joint
36" Gimbal Expansion Joint after Completion
36" Gimbal Expansion Joint, designed for 680 PSIG and 540 degrees F, installed at a chemical plant


As a member of EJMA, U.S. Bellows, Inc. follows strict quality control procedures to ensure that its products meet industry standards. U.S. Bellows, Inc. is in compliance with the following codes and standards as applicable: ASME Section VIII, ANSI B31.1, ANSI B31.3, API 620, AISI, EJMA, and ICBO

Each Bellows and Expansion Joint is inspected thoroughly, both during the fabrication process and prior to shipping, to ensure the products are delivered to our customers in optimum condition. U.S. Bellows, Inc. offers the following Performance Assurance Programs:

Hydrostatic Testing Liquid Penetrant Inspection
Magnetic Particle Radiography Test
Ultrasonic Positive Material Identification (PMI) Test
Cycle Testing Pneumatic Testing
Burst Testing Spring Rate Testing
Helium Leak Detection  

Hydrotesting an expansion joint
Cycle test on an expansion joint
Burst test on an expansion joint
Hydro test on a 30" Rubber Expansion Joint designed for 150 PSIG and 221ºF
Cycle Test on a 12" dia. A240-321SS Bellows with 8 convolutions. The bellows has met the EJMA cycle life calculation of 1,000 cycles and failed in the root of the convultions at 1,285 cycles
Burst Test on a 20" Bellows as per US Army Specifications


U.S. Bellows, Inc. has extensive experience in designing and manufacturing all types of Metallic and Fabric Expansion Joints. In addition, U.S. Bellows can repair/fabricate replacement and equivalent Expansion Joints manufactured by other suppliers.

Thin Wall Metallic - Single Expansion Joint - Toroidal Expansion Joint

A Single Expansion Joint is a bellows element with end connections that allows movement in any direction or plane. However, the piping must be guided in the same direction of the movement. Single Expansion Joints are the least expensive type available.

Single Expansion Joint
Single Metallic Expansion Joints
Toroidal Expansion Joint
30" dia. Expansion Joint, with 2-plies 321 SS bellows, designed for 50 PSIG and 650ºF
24" dia. Single Expansion Joint, with 321SS bellows, liner and cover, designed for 50 PSIG and 651ºF
92" I.D. Toroidal Bellows Expansion Joint designed for 400 PSIG and 500ºF

Thin-Wall Metallic - Universal Expansion Joint

The universal expansion joint consists of two bellows separated by a pipe section or spool. This arrangement allows the unit to accept large amounts of lateral deflection. The amount of lateral
deflection capability can be adjusted by changing the length of the center spool.

Universal Expansion Joint
Universal Expansion Joints
47" I.D. x 80" Universal Expansion Joint with SB-443 Round Corner Bellows
24" Tied Universal Expansion Joints Designed for 170 PSIG and 450ºF for a Chemical Plant in Africa

Thin-Wall Metallic - Hinged Expansion Joint

Hinged Expansion Joints contain hinges or pivots which allow the unit to bend in a single plane. These units are designed to restrict axial deflection, either in extension or compression. The hinge mechanism is typically designed to accept full pressure thrust.

Hinged Expansion Joint
Hinged Universal Expansion Joint
24" dia. Single Hinged Expansion Joints designed for 170 PSIG and 580ºF for a Water Facility in Pennsylvania
36" Singled Hinged Expansion Joint designed for 338ºF and 450 PSIG

Thin-Wall Metallic - Externally Pressurized Expansion Joint

Externally Pressurized Expansion Joints contain a bellows and an outer-shell. In this design, the pressure is applied externally to the bellows. These expansion joints will require anchoring of the piping system.

Externally Pressurized Expansion Joint
Externally Pressurized Expansion Joints for a steam plant in Kent, Ohio. The expansion joints, fabricated with 304 SS bellows and carbon steel shell and flanges, were designed for 150 PSIG and 350°F for a maximum of 4” compression.

Thin-Wall Metallic - Clamshell Bellows

clamshell bellows
14" dia. Clamshell bellows designed for 150 PSIG and 150°F

Thin-Wall Metallic - Gimbal Expansion Joint

Gimbal Expansion Joint Gimbal Expansion Joint Gimbal Expansion Joint Double Gimbal Expansion Joint
36" dia. Single Gimbal Expansion Joint, with testable Inco 625 bellows, SA516-70 gimbal rings, designed for 680 PSIG and 270 °F
24" dia. Double Gimbal Expansion Joint, with 321SS bellows, SA516-70 gimbal ring, designed for 130 PSIG and 300 °F
55” O.D. Double Gimbal Universal Expansion Joint for an FCC Unit. The expansion joint is equipped with floating rings and Inco 625 LCF bellows. It is designed for 50 PSIG and 1075 °F.

Thin-Wall Metallic - In-Line Pressure Balanced Expansion Joints

In-line Pressure Balanced Expansion Joints consist of three bellows - two In-line bellows on each side and one balancing bellows in the middle. They are typically used when axial & lateral deflections exist and anchoring is impractical for structural or economical reasons. An In-line Pressure Balanced Expansion Joint is a solution to difficult design problems.

In-Line Pressure Balanced Expansion Joint
In-Line pressure balanced expansion joint
24” In-line Pressure Balanced Expansion Joints designed for 175 PSIG and 610 ºF for a petrochemical plant in Venezuela. The bellows are composed of Inco 625 LCF material and the flanges and liners are constructed from SA516 Grade 70 material.

Thin-Wall Metallic - Elbow Pressure Balanced Expansion Joint

The mechanism of the Elbow Pressure Balanced Expansion Joint is similar to that of the In-line pressure balanced expansion joint, except these joints are used in piping systems where there is a change of direction. They are generally used to handle a large amount of lateral movement and a moderate amount of axial movement. The pressure thrust is contained within the tie rods of these expansion joints.

Elbow Pressure Balanced Expansion Joint
Elbow Pressure Balanced Expansion Joint
Elbow Pressure-Balanced Expansion Joints designed for 150 PSIG and 450ºF to allow lateral and axial movements in a 42" steam line
72” Universal Pressure Balanced Expansion Joint designed for 30 PSIG/full vacuum and 200°F

Thin-Wall Metallic - Refractory Lined Expansion Joint

Refractory Lined Expansion Joint
Gimbal Hinged Refractory Lined Universal Expansion Joint
Refractory Lined Expansion Joint Refractory Lined Expansion Joint
Refractory Lined Expansion Joint
In Process: 56” O.D. Gimbal Hinged Refractory Lined Universal Expansion Joint for a CAT Cracker Application, designed for 57 PSIG and 1300°F
In Process: 55” O.D. Gimbal Hinged Refractory Lined Universal Expansion Joint for a FCC Unit, designed for 60 PSIG and 1020°F
36" Double Hinged Expansion Joint, with 2-plies Inco 625 Bellows, 3/4" thk A479-304 Abrasion lining per UOP specifications, designed for 50 PSIG and 1000 °F
70” Tied Universal Expansion Joint with a 4” thick Refractory Lining per UOP specifications, designed for 51 PSIG and 1460 °F
44" Universal Refractory Lined Expansion Joints designed for 30 PSIG and 1400°F with Inco 625 LCF bellows and a 4" thk refractory lining per UOP specifications

Thick Wall Metallic Expansion Joint

Thick Wall Expansion Joints are used primarily in heat exchangers and large diameter piping systems where Thin Wall Expansion Joints cannot be used. The bellows are typically fabricated from A516 Grade 70 material, with the thickness ranging from 3/16" to 1". Other materials are available to meet different temperature requirements.

Thick-Wall Expansion Joint
Thick-Wall Expansion Joint
44" thick wall SA516-70 flanged and flued Expansion Joints
108" dia. Thick Wall Expansion Joint, with 2 convolutions

Rectangular Expansion Joint

Rectangular metal expansion joints are used for a variety of applications in power, petrochemical, refining, chemical, and steel industries. Due to the wide range of pressure, temperature, and duct size requirements, each rectangular metal expansion joint is custom-engineered to provide an economical design that will not sacrifice the integrity of the entire system.

Rectangular Metallic Expansion Joint
Rectangular Metallic Expansion Joint
Camera Corner Metallic Expansion Joint
71"x143" Round Corner Rectangular Expansion Joint with A240-321 Bellows for an oil refinery In India
28"x 66" Rectangular Expansion Joint with 321SS bellows and Mitered Corners for a chemical plant in South Carolina
Camera Corner Rectangular Bellows

Slip-Type Expansion Joint

Slip Type Expansion Joints are used to accommodate large axial movement. They are available in various materials for different temperature and pressure requirements. Design details must include selection of packing and sealing materials, as well as the media that flows through the expansion joint. All applications require machine surfaces to minimize abrasive wear. Others may require "wiper" mechanisms to prevent potential clogging in between the two slipping pipes.

Slip-Type Expansion Joint
Hydro Testing a Slip Type Expansion Joint
30" Slip Type Expansion Joint, designed for 150 PSIG and 412°F for installation in the hydrocarbon flaring system of a refinery
Hydro-testing being performed on a 6" Slip Type Expansion Joint

Fabric Expansion Joint

Fabric Expansion Joints are often used in ducts which carry hot gases at low pressure. The major design parameters are temperature, pressure and flow rates of the media going through the duct. Layers of different fabrics, insulation, and metal foils can be combined to accommodate different temperatures and pressures in the system. The fabric belt may require periodic replacement.

Fabric Expansion Joint
Rectangular Fabric Expansion Joint
48" dia. Fabric Expansion Joint with Three Layers
21’ x 14’ I.D., Fabric Expansion Joint for a Power Plant in Puerto Rico

Rubber Expansion Joint

Rubber Expansion Joint
Rubber Expansion Joint
30" dia. Rubber Expansion Joint, with EPDM Reinforced Tube and Cover, Telescoping Linear A516-70 Flanges, Designed for 150 PSIG and 221°F

Stock Bellows

U.S. Bellows has created a system of stock bellows for your quick-turn/emergency requirements. We have over 300 stock bellows on the shelf, ranging in size from 1" to 24" in diameter. Using our stock bellows, U.S. Bellows can quickly assemble and ship a variety of expansion joints.

Stock metallic bellows
metallic bellows

Technical Data Sheets - Multi-ply Stainless Steel Bellows

  • 50 PSIG
  • 85 PSIG
  • 150 PSIG
  • 300 PSIG

    Round Expansion Joint Specifications

    Round Expansion Joint Data

    Rectangular Expansion Joint Specifications

    Rectangular Expansion Joint Specifications


    On-Site Field Services

    U.S. Bellows, Inc. has extensive experience providing on-site services for Expansion Joints which include the following:

    • Installation Guidance
    • Field survey and inspection
    • Problem resolution and repair
    • Replacement Expansion Joints for any Quick-Turn or Emergency Situation

    We provide you with the most comprehensive program available. U.S. Bellows is available on a 24x7 basis to fulfill any emergency/quick-turn requirement that might arise. With a system of stock bellows, U.S. Bellows can quickly assemble and ship products for any quick-turn/emergency situation.

    Quick-Turn Expansion Joint  
    Expansion Joint
      Metallic expansion joint replacement  
    Repaired metallic expansion joint
    42" x 26" Fabric Expansion Joint, with telescoping liners, and a 2" thk insulation pillow


    Friday, 5:30pm: U.S. Bellows received an emergency call regarding a deformed 48" expansion joint


    Saturday: The 48" replacement expansion joint is manufactured and ready for shipment.


    Sunday: The new expansion joint is installed on-site.




    Contact Us: +1 (281) 241-9418 Toll Free: (855) 591-0906 Fax: +1 (713) 731-8640
    Our Parent Company: Piping Technology Pipe Supports, Pipe Clamps, Pipe Hardware & Insulated Pipe Shoes
    Fellow Subsidiaries: Sweco Fab: ASME Vessels, Pig Launchers, Duct Work, Strainers & Spectacle Blinds
     Pipe Shields: Pre-Insulated Pipe Supports, Slides, Guides & Anchors

    Fronek Anchor/Darling
    : Snubbers, Sway Struts & Sway Braces

    Copyright © 2018  U.S. Bellows, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy