Expansion Joints vs. Metal Hose

Braided metal hose assemblies and expansion joints are very similar in characteristics, however it is the difference in construction that determines which type is best for particular applications.

Let’s take a look at each type and compare similarities so we know which one to select the next time we place an order: 

  • Braided metal hose assemblies
  • Expansion Joints

Braided metal hose assemblies

Braided metal hose assemblies are made from flexible, per foot corrugated hose typically constructed from a single strip layer. The quantity of corrugations per foot is what determines the flexibility of the hose, while the outer braided layer determines what its pressure bearing capacity will be.

Braided metal hoses are intended to suit one plane of movement: either lateral (side to side), or angular (one end bending, or moving, with respect to the other).

With braided metal hose, you want to avoid using it when there is an axial movement (compression or extension) involved because it could cause the braid to release, which would reduce the pressure bearing capability and cause the hose to be left vulnerable to squirm.


Expansion Joints

Expansion joints are designed to handle all three plans of movement:  Lateral, angular and axial. They can accommodate for pressure and movements without the need to have a braid in the construction. It’s their quantity of convolutions that dictate the movement and pressure bearing capabilities, along with material thickness, number of plies, and wall height (which gets determined by the design).

Multi-ply expansion joints are typically used for applications that may have some vibration to it. They also feature lower spring rates which reduce stress on piping components and can allow it to last longer.

So why is all this important? Choosing the wrong one can delay installation by a number of days or even weeks, depending on how long it may take for the new part to come in. So keep this reference handy and let us know if you need help choosing the right material for your application. We will do anything we can to help you keep your project on-time.

If you have any questions, feel free to send us an inquiry online or call us at 1-800-234-3033 and we will make sure to get back to you as soon as possible.