What are expansion joints?
Designed to span gaps between structural elements, expansion joints are necessary to absorb movement, accommodate shrinkage and creep effects, deformation under vehicle load and changes in temperature on concrete, steel or composite structures, particularly on bridge decks and traffic areas of buildings.
Applications: bridges, footbridges, railway bridges, buildings
Each structure is continuously affected by vehicle load, wind conditions and temperature. We can consider them as ‘living’, moving structures, continually exposed to external forces, which impact their life span.
When designing a bridge, an engineer takes these external forces and effects into account, ensuring the bridge has both bearings to allow movement and defined restraint at its support, and expansion joints strategically placed to allow traffic to pass over movement gaps.
When designing a new structure, the engineer will consider how it will react to external factors. A specification is calculated and passed to a joint manufacturer, who will establish the best expansion joint to suit the application. The specification will process information such as type of structure, expected movements, gap, whole life and expected service life. Material and type of fixity of the joint should also be considered to allow easy maintenance and replacement.
It is important to use a specialist manufacturer that can offer a wide range of joints to find the ideal solution to match the requirements.
When it comes to replacing a joint, there are additional specifics to consider:
- the reasons for the failure of the original seal should be investigated first,
- the gap, as built, does not always reflect the needs of the structure at the time of replacement,
- the joint gap may dictate the type of joint required,
- differences in levels across the joint can result in vertical differential movements which must be considered to ensure the joint is not deflected by traffic passing over it,
- the fixing of large movement joints should be carefully considered, and pull-out tests carried out, as the reaction on the edge rail increases, which can lead to failure of the adjacent pavement under traffic loads.
It is important to use a specialist contractor that is able to thoroughly inspect the structure and substructure, analyze traffic constraints and other requirements, advise on the best solution and ensure expert installation.
Why choose Freyssinet expansion joints
01. A wide range of products
02. Adaptable to all structure types
05. Silent and comfortable
06. Easy installation and maintenance
07. End-to-end services
From design to maintenance
Specification and design services
As part of our integrated approach, we can provide:
- full and detailed assessment of the structure
- bespoke design of the most performance-efficient and cost-effective joint.
Guarantee of the quality of the manufacture
Freyssinet Products Company ensures a close link between the specifications defined for the expansion joints and their manufacture by carefully selected partners. We ensure the product complies with the specifications before the product is shipped to your site. We are ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 certified for the expansion joint activity.
Full installation or technical supervision
The quality of the joint installation is as important as the selection of the joint and its quality.
Freyssinet can propose the best sequence of joint installation and/or replacement to minimize project schedules and disruption to traffic. Associated services, such as concrete repair, traffic management, hydro demolition, waterproofing and resurfacing can be provided.
Copyright: Aline Boros
Inspection and maintenance
Our joints are designed for long life with minimal maintenance. Regular inspection of their condition and proper preventive maintenance will further extend their life. Please contact us for recommendations and services in this area.
Our different type of expansion joints
Road expansion joints
Railway expansion joints
Carpark and building joints
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