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Advantages and Disadvantages of Bellows and Packed Slip Type Expansion Joints

Advantages and Disadvantages of Bellows and Packed Slip Type Expansion Joints

The following is a comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of both bellows and
packed slip type expansion joints.

Bellows Type Expansion Joints 

 Advantages  Disadvantages

• Bellow joints do not require access; i.e. They can be direct buried, however a telltale is recommended
• No maintenance is required.

• Bellows joints can fail catastrophically.
• No in place maintenance or repair can be performed - they must be replaced if damaged.
• Require that the system be shut down when a failure occurs.
• Chance of personal and/or property damage when failure occurs.
• Installer can easily misuse joints when correcting for pipe misalignment.


Packed Slip Type Expansion Joints

 Advantages  Disadvantages

• No catastrophic failure mode.
• Fabricated from materials similar to the pipe line.
• Rugged construction - the wall thickness of every part of the expansion joint is at least as heavy as that of the system in which they are installed.
• In the event that a leak occurs there is no need to shut the system down for repairs.
• Allow for safe packing injection under full line pressure.


• Must be located to allow access for inspection and maintenance.
• May require occasional addition of injectable packing.

 Contact Campbell-Sevey to learn more about how we can assist you with your expansion joint needs.

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