The Metraflex Co.
2323 W. Hubbard Street
Chicago, Illinois-60612, USA
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Metraloop Expansion Joint

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Pipes transporting hot or chilled water, steam and chemicals are all subject to varying internal temperatures as well as significant thermal expansion. While a flexible stainless steel hose and braid assembly is excellent for absorbing lateral offset and angular movement, it's not designed for axial compression or torque. Under compression, the braid is relaxed and its pressure rating lowered, while torque introduces complex stresses that quickly fatigue the hose. if flexible hose and braid are to be used as the stress-relieving, movement-compensating component of a piping system, it must be installed in a configuration that minimizes axial compression. that's where the metraloop joint comes in. Made of flexible stainless steel hose and braid, it accommodates lateral offset and angular movement. In a pipe run with axial expansion and contraction, a metraloop installed in a hanging down configuration with its legs perpendicular to axial movement (figure 1) can flex laterally. As long as the legs are designed with sufficient live length, the offset amount never exceeds the elastic limit of the hose, enabling it to flex indefinitely. compare that to the "l" shaped configuration of hose and braid (figure 2). One leg of the assembly is always subjected to axial force (except in a chilled water application, where the pipe is contracting). In addition to being less reliable, the "l" shaped configuration has an offset pipe that costs more and is more difficult to fit than metraloop. compared to conventional bellows-type expansion joints and hard pipe loops, metraloop exerts a fraction of the anchor load, requires far fewer pipe guides, and takes less space all significantly reducing overall project costs. there's no limit to the thermal applications that metraloop can handle. It can even be designed with lined hose for high velocity, double-braid for high pressures, and all stainless steel construction for media compatibility.
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