Compensators are used in pipelines, pipe installations. Intended to absorb minor movements (axial, lateral and angular) and vibrations. They take up displacement of the connected parts of the pipeline that occur as a result of thermal expansion of the pipeline. They reduce stress in the pipeline and facilitate pipeline installation. They absorb vibrations and dampen noise in industrial installations and industrial machines. Yet, they have to feature high chemical resistance to substances flowing through the pipeline, pressure resistance and temperature resistance as well.
Generally, a bellow expansion joint is the most popular one. It has a corrugated, flexible bellow and appropriate connection – e.g. flange. Depending on bellow material, compensators are classified into:
- rubber compensators,
- steel compensators,
- PTFE compensators,
- fabric compensators,
- elastomer compensators.
The selection of the right compensator must account for parameters typical for hose selection such as medium, working temperature and pressure, but first of all a type of movement must be considered (axial, lateral and angular), as well as axial, lateral and angular flexibility of the expansion joint i.e. force that must be applied to obtain motion/deformation.