universal expansion joints / universal bellows

Universal Expansion Joints consist of two bellows elements joined together by a common spool piece so it is also called as Double Bellows Expansion Joint or Universal Bellows.

universal expansion joints
Double Bellows Universal Expansion Joints
universal expansion joints
Rectangular Universal Expansion Joints

An Universal Expansion Joint is generally used where more lateral movement is to be absorbed which is beyond the capacity of a single Axial Expansion Joint and when there is a limitation on the amount of lateral forces allowed by the connecting pipe system.

The products are capable of absorbing axial movement, lateral deflection and angular rotation or any combination of these. The amount of lateral deflection that can be absorbed by a double bellows expansion joint is directly proportional to the length of the spool piece between the two bellows elements. The amount of axial movement and angular rotation an universal expansion joint can absorbs depends on the characteristic of the elements such as ply thickness, number of plies, number of convolutions, pitch of convolutions, depth of convolutions, material of construction of the bellows elements etc.

universal expansion joints
Universal Expansion Joints with Tie Rods
universal expansion joints
Universal Expansion Joints with Flange Ends

When internally pressurized, universal bellows exerts a thrust force on the anchors adjacent equipments as a result of pressure. In this type of expansion joint force is equal to the mean effective area of the bellows times the internal pressure. As there are no tie rods in this expansion joints to absorb the pressure thrust it must be entirely absorbed by the anchors. So the anchors must be sufficiently designed to withstand the full thrust forces. Due to lack of tie rods and the nature of these joints to impose the thrust loads on the anchors, double expansion joints are mainly restricted to low or moderate operating pressure applications.

Various Types of Universal expansion Joints

Weld Ends (Type 2102)

Fixed Flanges (Type 2101)

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 universal expansion joints universal expansion joints universal expansion joints or universal bellows
 universal expansion joints


  • Absorbs large axial movements, lateral deflection and angular rotations, or any combinations of these
  • No change in flow direction required for installation.
  • Strong anchors are required.
  • Proper pipe guides are required.
  • Several anchors and pipe guides are required for long sections.
  • Universal Expansion joints are restricted to low or moderate pressures.