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Bellows are the expansion joints that are commonly used in pipe systems. The experienced industrial engineers or experts always suggest installing bellows in the piping system. However, if someone is not well-versed with technology, may not understand the significance of bellows in a piping system. Since these bellows are used in the piping system which may carry high temperature, high-pressure fluids, the bellows act as a pipe to pipe connecting device. There are several stress-induced factors that impact on a piping system. The bellows are designed to sustain the influence of such factors and also they enable the expansion of a piping system. As not everyone is well-versed with the significance of bellows in the piping system, this post literates about the same. This post discusses why it is important to use bellows in piping systems and the suitable type of bellows for the same.


Stress Influences on the Piping System

In order to understand the significance of bellows in a piping system, it is essential to understand what factors impact on a piping system. The following pointers will help you understand the same.

  • Internal fluid pressure: The piping system often carries highly pressurized fluid. Many times, the fluid is at a high temperature which further increases the pressure inside the pipe. This fluid pressure is directly exerted on the pipeline’s inner walls. This pressure may cause damage to the system in terms of cracks, bursts, and full system explosions.
  • Pipe Assembly Weight: The weight of the pipe itself exerts stress on the system. Also, components like couplings, bearings, flow control transmitters, process controllers, temperature, and pressure measuring equipment exert an external load on the piping system.
  • Movement Restrictions: Often the piping systems are not seamless due to manufacturing limitations. They are supported by sections and channels which ultimately restrict the movement of the system. Installation of these restrictions may create an obstruction in the fluid flow which builds up backpressure inside the pipe system.
  • Thermal Expansion: Compressed fluids are prone to thermal expansion. The fluids tend to heat up as it flows through the pipe. The friction between fluid layers and pipe walls causes thermal expansion which further exerts immense pressure on the piping system

Now that the stress influences on the piping system are discussed, the bellows are used in this system to sustain these forces during piping expansion.

Role of Bellows in Piping System

Bellows secure these piping systems from above mentioned internal or external forces in the following ways.

  • Bellows are installed at vulnerable places in the piping system. Bends, elbows, and connecting points of two pipes are the most vulnerable places in a piping system. Since the pressure inside a piping system always fluctuates, these locations are prone to explosion. Therefore, the bellows are installed to sustain pressure and withhold the joints and bends.
  • Bellows prevent abrupt damage of a pipeline due to vibrations, impact, fluid thudding, etc. They absorb vibrations and mechanical shocks of the piping system.
  • The bellows prevent misalignment, angular deflection, axial travel, and sudden movement of mechanical equipment installed in piping systems.

In order to use bellows in the piping system for the mentioned purposes, it is important to use the correct type of bellows to achieve efficient results. Rubber bellows, Teflon bellows, and metal bellows are common types of bellows that are available in the market. Depending on requirements, the bellows must be chosen. Nabell is one of the trusted suppliers that offer premium quality bellows in various specifications.

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