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Expansion Joint Movements

In many applications, expansion joint movement can severely affect the life of an part. If an expansion joint is not built to withstand the movement variable within the application, the joint will most likely fail. Rather than taking the risk, it is important to understand the directional movement within the application, and then identify the type of joint that will withstand that movement best. Learn more about the expansion joint movements below.

Axial Compression

A dimensional reduction in the face-to-face parallel length measured along the longitudinal axis.

Axial Extension

A dimensional lengthening in the face-to face parallel length.

Lateral Deflection

Movement or relating displacement of the two ends of the joint perpendicular to its longitudinal axis.


Mechanical oscillations in the system.

Angular Movement

A combination of axial elongation and axial compression (measured in degrees).

Torsional Deflection Movement

Twisting of one end of the expansion joint with respect to the opposite end about its longitudinal axis (measured in degrees).

Concurrent Movement

The combination of two or more of the expansion joint movements.