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.

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.

A few figures about our range of expansion joints

Documentation
50+
Years of experience
90+
Countries using Freyssinet joints
20,000
ml of expansion joints installed each year
16
Different products in the range
100
Standard models available
5
Approvals from national authorities
50
Years of lifespan
Documentation
The main advantages

Why choose Freyssinet expansion joints

01. A wide range of products

16 products designed for road and railway bridge decks, car parks and traffic areas of buildings, covering a movement capacity of 10mm to over 1200 mm. The optimum solution for your project will always be found in our range.

02. Adaptable to all structure types

Be they concrete, steel or composite, thanks to the anchoring mode of the joints.

03. Waterproof

All our joints are equipped with water drains, elastomeric profiles or/and collector membranes.

04. Durable

Robust and simple design. Fatigue resistance tested under millions of cycles. Connection to the structure by means of prestressed anchors. 50-year lifespan according to the approval.

05. Silent and comfortable

User comfort and noise reduction are performance criteria systematically taken into account in the design of our joints.

06. Easy installation and maintenance

Most of our joints are supplied in one-metre lengths to allow for line by line installation and easy replacement under traffic if required.

07. End-to-end services

Not only products. But the full range of knowledge and services, including inspection and design services, specification and manufacturing, installation and maintenance.
Services tailored to your needs

From design to maintenance

Road expansion joints

Expansion joints for road bridges ensure the continuity of the road surface and its load bearing capacity while guaranteeing the freedom of movement of the structure.

As a specialist in structures and bridges, we give top priority to the robustness of our joints.

Our expansion joints are designed to meet all of the following criteria

01. Watertightness

Collection of runoff water

02. Optimum wheel contact

For driver comfort and low noise level

03. Continuity to non-traffic areas

Footpaths, upstands, barriers, etc.

04. Barrier connection

05. Absorption of structural movements

Shrinkage and creep effects, temperature variations, deformations under live loads, seismic movements, etc.

06. Resistance to aggressive elements

Oil, gravel, salt, sand, etc.

07. Adaptability to various types of structures

Concrete, steel, composite

08. Easy maintenance and replacement under traffic

A simple and robust design

  1. Aluminium alloy or steel elements that ensure the strength of the joint. Short modules facilitate installation under traffic as well as maintenance and cleaning.
  2. Anchoring systems that connect the joint to the main structure.
  3. Continuous elastomeric elements inserted along the entire length of the expansion joint between the metal elements, to prevent the penetration of foreign bodies and to collect run-off water.

Our expansion joints comply with all main standards worldwide.

Road expansion joints

Our range of road expansion joints

Viajoint® (Bitumen joint)

It is suitable to any type of road surface, whatever the structure’s constitutive material. Viajoint® is installed in-situ and combines a bitumen-elastomer binder and aggregates supported by thin aluminium plate over the bridge deck gap. The joint filling mixture is flush with the running surface.

Viajoint® is an appropriate solution for longitudinal joint between parallel bridge decks.

Movement capacity: longitudinal movements of +/- 10 mm. Skew angles up to 50 gr.
  • Noise control and comfort of use
  • Corrosion resistant and waterproof
  • Rapid installation

N (Nosing joint)

Two edge elastomeric profiles anchored to the adjacent structures and connected by a flexible elastomeric seal which is not flush with the running surface of the road bridge. Metal inserts embedded in the edge profiles provide the necessary mechanical strength for the joint.
This assembly forms a single block system joint of 1 or 2 metres in length.

Movement capacity: single movement capacity of 65 mm. For skew angles under 70 gr, the movement capacity is reduced.
  • High shock absorption capacity
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Cost-effective solution

WRB (Nosing joint)

It comprises two extruded aluminium alloy profiles supplied in 3-metre lengths and laid face-to-face. These elements are anchored by a series of slightly inclined fasteners in reinforced micro-concrete beams bonded to the main structure by seam reinforcement bars. These fasteners include U-shaped anchors with a load transfer plate. These units are installed end-to-end to form the joint line. A continuous elastomeric seal completes this assembly.
  • Easy to install and particularly economical
  • Three axis movement capacity
  • Fully watertight

WOSd (Nosing joint)

It comprises two extruded aluminium alloy profiles supplied in 3- or 6-metre lengths and laid face-to-face. These units are installed end-to-end to form the joint line. They are anchored to the main structure by prestressed fasteners. A continuous, elastomeric seal clamped to the joint profiles, along the joint line, completes this assembly.
  • Easy maintenance and removal of the joint
    High durability using efficient tension control bolts
  • Corrosion protection and waterproofing
  • The absence of saw teeth allows for large skew angles
    and 3 degree movements

JEP (Nosing joint)

It comprises two extruded steel profiles, supplied in 3.50-metre length and laid face-to-face. These sections maintain an extruded elastomeric seal preventing debris and water ingress. The profiles are fitted with two wavy steel anchoring sections embedded in a resin mortar beam bonded to the main structures. These units are installed and butt-welded to form the joint line.

Ideal solution for specific issues: replacement of existing joints, lane by lane installation, renovation work requiring very short traffic interruptions or when execution speed is of primary importance.
  • Three axis movement capacity
  • Robust and watertight
  • Easy to install

WM (Cantilever joint)

One-piece cantilever saw-teeth joint, comprising metal elements designed to accommodate moving loads at the gap. The inserts are elastomer-coated on surfaces not subject to abrasion, to protect against corrosion. The running surface is made from corrosion-resistant cast iron. The waterproof membrane, although very close to the road surface to enable removal of debris, does not come into direct contact with vehicle tyres. The elements are one metre long.

The triangular saw teeth ensure road surface continuity, user comfort and a significant reduction in joint noise.
  • Robustness and high durability
  • Easy maintenance and reduced traffic disruption
  • Corrosion protection and waterproofing

WD (Cantilever joint)

Pairs of separate cast aluminium alloy elements with triangular saw teeth. These one-metre units are installed end-to-end to form the joint line. They are anchored to the main structure by prestressed fasteners. A continuous elastomeric seal placed between the joint elements, along the joint line, completes this assembly.

The triangular saw teeth ensure road surface continuity, user comfort and a significant reduction in joint noise.
  • Robustness and high durability
  • Easy maintenance and reduced traffic disruption
  • Corrosion protection and waterproofing

WP (Cantilever joint)

They consist of a pair of individual steel elements with parallel saw teeth. These 1-metre units are installed end-to-end to form the joint line. They are anchored to the main structure by high prestressed fasteners.

The triangular saw teeth ensure road surface continuity, user comfort and a significant reduction in joint noise.
  • Robustness and high durability
  • Large movement capacity up to 1,400 mm
  • Easy maintenance and reduced traffic disruption

SX (Mat joint)

They absorb the movements imposed by the main structure through deformation of the elastomeric sections. Each section comprises vulcanised moulded elastomeric elements of 1 or 2 metres in length (depending on the model) bonded to metal inserts designed to accommodate moving loads and distribute stress in the fasteners. This assembly forms a single block system joint of 1 or 2 metres in length.

High shock absorption capacity, without equivalent in the mat joints’ category, owing to the flexibility and damping properties of the high-quality rubber implemented.
  • Corrosion resistant and fully watertight
  • Anti-skid grooves on upper surface
  • Very effectively adapts to transverse,
    vertical and rotational movements

ISOSISM® SFX (Mat joint)

They are supported by a mat joint which absorbs the movements imposed by the main structure through deformation of the elastomeric sections. This joint consists of elastomeric elements moulded, vulcanized and bonded to steel inserts designed to accommodate traffic loads and distribute loads in the fasteners.

Perfect road surface continuity, with anti-skid grooves on upper surface, for optimum user safety.

Versatility, to work with different average gap sizes simply by adapting the movements.
  • User comfort
  • Easy installation and maintenance

    Reduced traffic disruption
  • Corrosion protection and waterproofing

LW (Modular joint)

It is a modular expansion joint consisting of a succession of edge beams, watertight elements (elastomeric seals), movement-controlled metal centre beams, supported by moveable cross beams bridging the structural gap.

The capacity varies from 80 to 1200 mm depending on the model, but larger movement capacities can be provided on request.
  • Robustness and waterproof
  • Comfortable for all users (cyclists and vehicles)
  • Noise reduction

Download our technical datasheets on road expansion joints

Documentation

Select the right joint type and model

* : small capacity
** : medium capacity
*** : high capacity
Traffic absorptionDurabilityWater
tightness
Transversal capacityUser comfortNoise levelEase of maintenance
 — Viajoint***************
 — N**************
 — WRB*****************
 — JEP*****************
 — WOSd***************
 — WM*******************
 — WD*******************
 — WP*******************
 — SX*****************
 — SFX******************
 — LW***************

 

Download DWG drawings of our road expansion joints

Documentation

Discover our references

Railway expansion joints

Freyssinet railway joints are specifically designed to prevent ballast or other components from seeping into the joint gap at either end of the deck, regardless of displacement. Our four main products, developed in close coordination with rail operators and backed by 40 years of experience, cover movements up to 900 mm.

The added value of Freyssinet solutions

  • T-joint for small budget and small stroke < 40 mm
  • Under ballast joint for medium stroke < 150mm
  • TW joint for medium stroke < 150mm
  • Ballast retaining joint for stroke > 150mm

  • Height-adjustable joint for ballast retaining joint
  • Adjustable joint opening for under ballast and ballast retaining  joints

  • Simple and robust design
  • Metal parts protected by galvanization or metallisation (except for TW elastomeric joint)

Tailor-made design and manufacturing to cover all uses and the most extreme operating conditions.

Allows the bridge structure to be jacked up without dismantling.

Project management by Freyssinet including design, technical support, manufacturing, testing, implementation, on-site adjustments and quality management.

Our range of expansion joints for railway bridges

T-joint

The T-joint is a supported joint for gaps < 150mm and stroke of +/-20mm. It consists of a steel plate in contact with the deck on one side and the bridge abutment on the other side with a perpendicular (T-shaped) welding plate. The plate can also be equipped with expansion anchors. It is installed at a fixed point on the deck, with a length appropriate to the gap to be bridged.
  • Long design life, robustness
  • Various corrosion protection options
  • Easy to install, maintenance free

TW joint (3 types)

The TW joint, used as a sub-ballast joint, is made of rubber, vulcanized to the internal metal structure. It is anchored to the slab by chemical anchors so that movement is achieved by deformation of the rubber parts for the TW60/130 and by sliding of the components for the other types. Accessories available: plastic caps and centering rings for fixings; drain tubes, flashings.

Longitudinal movement absorption:
- 50 mm (± 25 mm) to 100 mm (± 50 mm) in service condition, 50 mm to 150 mm in seismic condition.
Vertical movement absorption:
- 40 mm for TW60/130 model, 50 mm for other models.
  • Longitudinal movement absorption
  • Vertical movement absorption
  • Watertightness

Sub-ballast joint

This joint is designed for medium expansion length railway structures (60 to 100m), where the variation of the space between the deck and the abutments is such that the ballast layer must not be interrupted.
It consists of
    (1) a metal cover fixed to the deck (2) a metal part called a "knife" on which the cover slides (3) a metal plate fixed to the back wall which holds the knife.
Different types of corrosion protection can be proposed.
  • Longitudinal movement absorption: 0 to 150mm
  • Vertical movement absorption: from -10mm to +10mm
  • Jacking of the structure without dismantling

Ballast retaining joint

Designed for large expansion length railway structures, where the variation of the space between the deck and the abutments is such that the ballast layer must be interrupted.
It includes
    (1) a metal angle with a sequence of stiffeners, fixed on either side of the joint (2) an adjustable vertical plate, according to the profile of the ballast (3) an elastomeric joint cover to prevent ballast from entering the joint (4) a chain of metal springs supporting the joint cover (5) pre-stressed anchors nailing the angles to the structure.
Different types of corrosion protection can be proposed.
Longitudinal movement absorption: from 0mm up to 900 mm.
Vertical movement absorption: from -50mm to +50mm.
  • Railway bridges with expansion > 150m
  • Prevents ballast from entering the joint gap
  • Setting possibilities: 200mm in height,
    100mm longitudinally

Carpark and building expansion joints

Expansion joints represent a major asset in the durability of buildings: they allow the relative movement of each element of the structure while ensuring the continuity and water tightness of car parks and circulation areas.

Freyssinet carpark and building joints are particularly suitable for the following traffic areas:

  • Covering slabs for car parks, particularly top-level parking areas where waterproofing is required
  • Fire service access, delivery or handling areas,
  • Depots, railway and bus stations, access ramps to halls or car parks, shopping malls, etc.

Our range of products, branded under the name Cimac®, cover all needs:

Traffic type

Thickness of surfacing material

< 100 mm

Thickness of surfacing material

>100  mm

Light-duty vehicles (axle load up to 20 kN) with no speed limitationCimac LV 

Cimac HV+

Heavy-duty vehicles (axle load up to 130 kN) at limited speed (<50 km/h)Cimac HV

*Cimac HV+ allows the installation of cobblestones up to 10x10x10 cm.

Main advantages of our expansion joints

  • up to 50 mm for horizontal displacements
  • from -10mm to +10 mm for vertical displacements
  • from -20mm to +20 mm for transversal or rotational displacements

  • Simple and robust design – Two aluminum alloy profiles connected by an elastomer profile
  • Aluminum profile for corrosion protection
  • Prestressed anchorages
  • No deep groove

  • Two barriers against water leakage, including one not exposed to traffic
  • Continuity of the waterproofing system

Adapted to concrete and steel structures

No free-moving metal parts

« Enquête de technique nouvelle » SOCOTEC n° 180268080000003

Cimac joints consist of the following components:

  • an aluminum extruded profile
  • pre-stressed anchors
  • a continuous elastomeric profile connecting the metal elements and a dedicated membrane underneath to ensure the continuity of the waterproofing system
  • standard accessories such as intersection joints or T-joints.

Installation

For new structures, the joints can be anchored in a recess or on supporting elements by fixings pre-placed during the construction of the support.
For existing structures where such provisions have not been made, drilled, controlled tightening fixings can be used.

Download our CIMAC expansion joints CAD drawings

Documentation

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