Wondering what bellows are used for in modern engineering? There’s no one answer to this question, and these components have a wide range of applications. Metal exhaust bellows and expansion joints have countless applications in the exhaust industry, but perhaps most interestingly, the exhaust gas system of a ship’s engine. The exhaust gas system of a marine engine has five main components: the exhaust gas pipes, the exhaust gas boiler, the silencer, the spark arrester, and the expansion joints. Here are just a few fascinating facts about the role of bellows and expansion joints in the exhaust gas system of a ship’s engine.
First, it’s important to understand that the engine’s exhaust gas system goes through a significant amount of temperature variations through typical operation. It’s impossible to create the whole piping system in one big piece, so multiple sections are connected using expansion joints to complete the system in its entirety.
When the engine comes to a standstill, the exhaust piping’s temperature can vary greatly. As per Boyle’s law, pressure accumulates when piping is subjected to high temperature fluids, which is why standard bellows, exhaust bellows, and expansion joints are used. Multi-ply bellows generally consist of two to three tubes, but can have as many as five tubes depending on the application. Many piping systems use custom bellows to ensure proper handling of pressure and stress. While expansion joints are typically used for tubing and piping systems, bellows are utilized as a method of connecting the exhaust gas pipes to the funnel.
When choosing specific expansion joints, keep in mind that they’re considered for their elasticity, which can limit the forces and other motions of the exhaust gas outlet flange of the turbocharger, which is regularly stated for turbocharge makers.
Finally, the expansion joints are then placed at various locations in the system and become spread in the exhaust gas piping system of the overall marine engine.
Ultimately, as of July 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are 178,400 people working in the Oil and Gas Extraction industry in the United States. However, while oil and gas may provide the fuel that powers modern marine vessels, these ships’ engines couldn’t function without high quality steel expansion joints and exhaust bellows. For more information about determining what bellows are used for, contact Triad Bellows.