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MATERIAL DATA PAPER

EXPANDED PIPE
THE BEST TRANSITION DESIGN FOR EXPANSION JOINTS WITH OVERSIZE BELLOWS
Many expansion joints with internal sleeves are designed with over-
size bellows to eliminate any reduction in diameter. This is important
to consider if the media contains abrasive particles that could erode
surfaces that redirect the media. A full bore sleeve is also important
to use for process conditions that could be affected by turbulence or
pressure drop. In addition, a full bore sleeve minimizes the possibil-
ity of flow induced vibration in high flow rate applications like safety
relief valve piping.
Welded Ring Transition
The transition for producing the oversize bellows attachment can be
achieved in a variety of ways. A simple fillet welded ring transition
can be used. However, this design presents sharp angular surfaces
to the flow stream. These sharp surfaces are subject to erosion and
the shape is not the best profile to minimize turbulence. This design
is not recommended for high temperature service (over 800°F) or for
any service where the pipe is subject to radiographic examination
since the circular fillet welds cannot be evaluated by radiography.

For high temperature applications such as FCC process and flue


gas lines and applications that require low turbulence like ethylene
transfer lines, a tapered transition is best. This can be achieved with
a welded cone or by expending the process pipe to form a smooth
Welded Conical Transition
“S” shaped transition. Senior Flexonics Pathway’s standard transi-
tion is expanded pipe.

Senior Flexonics Pathway Expanded Pipe Transition


The expanded pipe transition is superior to the welded conic
transition in many ways. The use of an expanded “toriconical”
comer rather than a sharp welded corner will greatly reduce the
stress concentrations at the junction. This is the area of highest
pressure and thermal stress. Experimental results have shown Typical
that the measured maximum longitudinal stress due to pressure Expanded
in a welded comer is more than twice the stress in an expanded Pipe
corner.’ In addition, welds are “metallurgical notches” that have
historically been the starting point for catastrophic failures. For
Profile
this reason, welds usually require special examination to identify From
inherent defects. These concerns are eliminated by the use of Pathway
expanded pipe transitions.

‘ Brownell, L.E. and Young, E.H., Process Equipment Design, John Wiley and
Son, 1959 pp. 116-118.

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