Why Does an Expansion Joint Need to Absorb Heat?


Expansion joints are an innovation that changed the face of construction. Before they were built into large structures like concrete slabs, building faces and pipelines, these systems would crack under stress.

Expansion joints are assemblies designed to safely absorb the contraction and heat-induced expansion of construction materials. You will find them between areas of bridges, skyscrapers, railroad tracks, sidewalks, ships, piping systems and other structures. These systems contract and expand over time from cooling and warming during seasonal changes as well as from other heat sources. The ability of the expansion joint to absorb this heat allows structures to remain intact and avoid cracking under changes in temperature. These joints are also called “compensators” because they compensate for thermal activity and are very important to the safety of a construction framework.


ZEPCO: What We Do

Most people have no idea what an expansion joint is or why it is needed. Even still, they are used in everyday applications all around us…if you know where to look!

An expansion joint is a mid-structure separation used to relieve stress on building materials. The cause of that stress can be thermal expansion, wind damage, or earthquakes.

In order for buildings to withstand the elements that they face, there has to be something to keep them from toppling over. This is where expansion joints come in. These mini-structures ensure that the building is safe from whatever comes.

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