5 Tips for Selecting the Right Exhaust Flex Joint

Flexible bellows, common known as expansion joints, are the elements that absorb movement in the piping system. The movements that they absorb are defined by lateral, axial, universal, and angular movements. The bellows are made to absorb either one or a combination of these movements.

Deciding on the right bellow to use can be challenging. You need to have in-depth knowledge to make the right decision. Your engineers can help make custom bellows by specifying the metal alloy, and technology to use in the process. According to a study by Brown University, a new material which is a mixture of carbon, nitrogen, and hafnium has the highest melting point at 7460 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, the new material would be useful in the manufacture of stainless exhaust flex joint.

The intent for making the flex joint is to use it as a versatile component. Some of these uses include sealing, temperature, evacuation and pressure as specified in custom bellow design process. Here are the checkpoints to consider when selecting the right exhaust bellows.

  1. Opt For Stainless Exhaust Flex Joint Manufacturer You Can Trust

Choose the bellow manufacturer who has your best interest at heart. For instance, a competent designer will have the best bellow forming machine. With this, you can take guesswork off your selection process.

Yes, deciding on the right stainless exhaust flex joint configuration or material can be challenging. Choose a manufacturer who’s ready and willing to help you out.

  1. Consider the Quality of Their Work

When making the purchase, you want a lasting stainless exhaust flex joint at an affordable price. However, for this to happen, you have to share any necessary information with your designer.

Remember, a pipe expansion joint is rarely a one-size-fits-all product. Designing the stainless exhaust flex joint to suit your needs costs less while delivering the best results.

Therefore, do your due diligence on what your needs are. Otherwise, the metal bellows and expansion joints will only cost you more than they should.

  1. Never Make Guess

If you don’t know the correct pressure or temperature, find out. In most cases, someone will always have that vital piece of information.

For instance, don’t assume you need a stainless exhaust flex joint rated 150 psig because the one you’re replacing has 150# class range. Making this simple assumption will get you into trouble or cost you more than necessary. Don’t let it happen.

The rule of the thumb is, higher pressure requires a thicker bellow material. Thicker bellow materials require bigger materials and higher labor costs.

  1. Go for Multi-Ply Bellows

Request your manufacturers to supply expansion joints made from multiple thinner layers of materials. Reason being, they’ll last longer than single-ply from thicker materials. Plus, multi-ply bellows are cheaper than single-ply bellows.

  1. Check the Bellow Design Data Sheet

Before making the purchase, request the exhaust expansion joint to give you the bellow design datasheet. Ensure the metal bellow you acquire has been manufactured per the Expansion Joint Manufacturers Association (EJMA) guideline.

Ensure the bellows have the correct design for temperature and pressure. The axial and lateral movements also need to be correct. The fatigue cycle should help you calculate the lifespan of your expansion joint. For instance, if the fatigue cycle is 350, and your expansion joint makes a complete cycle in a day, it will fail in less than a year. If the cycle doesn’t excite you, let the supplier know that you want better.

Remember, some unscrupulous dealer would want you to buy an expansion joint from them every year. As the informed consumer, you deserve better than this.


When looking for a metal bellow, it is important to work with a manufacturer or supplier that you can trust. The success of the entire process is dependent on your relationship with the designer. The designer needs to know the amount, direction and combination of all movements that the expansion joint will encounter.



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