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Nine Day Turnaround for Large Pressure-Balanced Metal Expansion Joint

Metal Expansion Joint

Overpressurized bellows prior to repair. (left) 42” diameter A240-321 stainless steel bellows welded onto the ducting. (right)

With the increasing gap between rising maintenance costs and limited budgets, a solution proven to be a valuable option for expansion joint repair is to refurbish existing plant equipment. For one of the world’s largest producers of ethylene and propylene oxide, refurbishment was a solution that offered maximum results at minimal cost.

The problem

As the plant was producing ethylene using a steam cracking process, the bellows installed in the vertical run pipe and 26-foot expansion joint sustained a sudden shift in convolution pitch, causing instability and deformation of their 42-inch bellows under pressure. The overpressure caused yielding and rupture of the bellows in the expansion joint.

The completed expansion joint assembly measures 26 feet and weighs 11,000 pounds.

EagleBurgmann EJS Solution

With the exception of the bellows, most of the expansion joint was not damaged. The plant had not budgeted for the cost to replace the entire unit, so EagleBurgmann EJS developed a solution that minimized cost without having to sacrifice reliability or safety. To make the repair, 42-inch diameter A240-321 stainless steel bellows were welded onto the ducting. These bellows are designed for 27 psig at 1100˚F.

Final assembly was completed, and the refurbished expansion joint was delivered within nine days of arrival at EagleBurgmann EJS.

Value Added Service

Often, a plant may have little to no technical information about their installed expansion joints. As part of the refurbishment service, EagleBurgmann EJS reverse engineers the expansion joint to provide complete drawings and bellows calculations according to the current EJMA standard.

EagleBurgmann EJS expansion joint refurbishments include:

The expansion joint was then painted and shipped out to the customer within five days of receiving it, saving downtime and allowing for a more cost-effective repair process.

  • Inspection of expansion joint
  • Engineered drawings
  • Bellows design analysis calculations
  • Replacement of all bellows
  • Inspection and replacement of worn or damaged liners, tie rods and nuts, as required
  • Pre-set of expansion joint (as requested by customer)
  • Complete sand blasting and surface coating per required customer specification
  • Daily status progress reports and in process digital pictures
  • Our facility is accessible to customer observation and third-party inspections

For more information on EagleBurgmann EJS expansion joint refurbishments and other services, contact info.us@eagleburgmann.com.

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