Stourflex provides and advises on a full range of tied and untied rubber bellows for use on heating and chilled water systems, industrial pipelines carrying water, oil, chemicals or gases.
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Rubber bellows are used in piping applications to compensate for vibration from pumps and reciprocating machinery. They reduce the vibration and noise produced by the rotating element.
Why are they used?
Rubber bellows are used to absorb noise and thermal movement. They are also used to remove vibration between equipment such as cooling water pumps, diesel engines, condensers, chillers and their mating pipe work.
Rubber bellows are also known as rubber expansion bellows and have the capability of compensation for small amounts of axial, lateral and angular pipe work movement. This makes them suitable for small installation misalignments. However, they are not to be used like a metal expansion joint to compensate for thermal pipe movement, and instead a specifically designed stainless steel expansion joint should be used.
They play a critical role in any pumping system, providing the necessary flexibility to absorb the system movements associated with vibration.
They are used in a range of industries including petrochemical, pharmaceutical, food and drinking water, general heating systems, oil, and marine sectors.
Rubber bellows will be designed to take into account the dimensions and flowing medium of the pipeline, along with the temperature and pressure rating required for the bellow. Other factors that will be considered are the movement capability that’s required as well as the material and drilling standard of the end flanges.
Inspection and maintenance
Rubbers bellows play an important part of any heating or chilled water system so they need to be regularly inspected as part of your maintenance program. It can also be advisable to keep a number of spares at hand to reduce the risk of a lengthy shut-down should they fail.
Rubber bellows should never be painted as this can reduce their service life. During inspection it’s important to check for any sign of hairline cracks. Aging and elevated temperatures are the most common cause of exterior surface cracking. Hairline cracks in rubber bellows can be a sign that they bellows are reaching the end of their service life and should be replaced.
The Stourflex range of rubber bellows
At Stourflex, we stock a range of tied and untied rubber bellows in a variety of sizes and lengths. They are also used to reduce noise and vibration from pumps and reciprocating machinery. JP01, JP02, JP03 and JP04 rubber bellows come with a synthetic fibre reinforced body and a steel-reinforced collar. They are fitted with zinc-plated carbon steel swivel flanges.
We also stock twin-sphere union-ended rubber bellows that consist of nylon reinforced body with E.P.D.M. liner and cover fitted with galvanized malleable iron female B.S.P. union ends, that reduce noise and vibration. They are suitable for use on chilled water and low-pressure heating systems.
Quality parts and outstanding service from Stourflex
Stourflex is a leading supplier of pipework expansion joints and pipeline equipment. We provide technical advice and support, site surveys and after-sales support to our clients. Our extensive experience enables us to provide a complete range of quality-approved products. We also produce innovative designs for complex engineering problems.
With our easy ordering service and commitment to customer service, we make it easy to access the parts you need quickly.