Our Blog - Bellows Sytems
MTU 16v4000 Exhaust Bellows supplied for a Luxury Mega Yacht

Main Engine Exhaust Bellows for MTU 16v4000

We offer best in class quality and customer services.

Our multi-ply bellows are used in engine exhaust for marine main propulsion engines, onboard generators, and auxiliary power units. The engines we support include,

  •       Caterpillar
  •       Cummins
  •       Detroit Diesel
  •       Fairbanks Morse
  •       MAN Diesel
  •       Wartsila
  •       MTU and more   

Our products are used in commercial Tug boats, Barges, Pleasure Boats, Luxury Yachts, Container Vessels, LNG and Oil Tankers.

In addition, we supply direct to major Shipbuilders and Shipyards, Coast Guard and Naval Surface Vessels, Combat ships and Submarine.

Our welding and NDT processes are compliant with AWSD17.1, AWS D17.2, NAVSEA Technical Publications (Tech Pub 271 and 248)

We also provide quick turnaround repair services on exhaust bellows and expansion joints to vessels calling into port of Houston or Galveston. Call us today to find more about our repair services.

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Why Choose Bellows Systems?

Why Choose Bellows Systems?Bellows Systems is a single source for industry’s most complete line of METAL BELLOWS, EXPANSION JOINTS & EXHAUST MANIFOLD SYSTEMS!

We specialize in multi-ply, long life expansion joints and can provide engineering assistance for any of your expansion joint/ metal bellows needs. Bellows Systems also help our clients build integrated systems and assemblies.

  • Custom Engineered Solutions
  • Best in Class Customer Service
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Precision Welded Tubing and Tubing Assemblies in Aerospace & Defense

Precision Welded Tubing and Tubing Assemblies in Aerospace & Defense

Precision Welded Tubing and Tubing Assemblies

Bellows Systems manufactures precision welded tubing and tubing assemblies for aerospace ducting, Rocket and Missile Components.

Our aerospace qualified welding processes include,

  • AWS D17.1, Specification For Fusion Welding Of Aerospace Applications.
  • AWS D17.2, Specification For Resistance Welding For Aerospace Applications.
  • AMS 2685, Welding, Tungsten Arc, Inert Gas (GTAW Method).
  • Numerous other current and legacy MIL standards
  • Aerospace and Defense customer specifications.
  • How can we help with your precision welded tubing
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A complete lineup of Piping Expansion Joints and Piping Bellows by Bellows Systems Inc

A complete lineup of Piping Expansion Joints and Piping Bellows by Bellows Systems Inc

Piping engineers are continuously faced with problems involving thermal movement, instability, limiting forces on equipment, and absorption of vibrations. The piping design must balance the economics of pipe loops and offsets, space, and fabrication against the cost of expansion joints.

Bellows Systems has made piping engineers lives easier by providing cost-effective, engineered bellows and expansion joint solutions for their piping designs. Its Kopperman Division established in 1894 is one of the oldest manufacturers of expansion joints.

Piping bellows and expansion joints may be used to absorb direct axial expansion or contraction, to absorb equipment vibration, to provide limitation of forces applied to critical equipment and to improve line stability through reduction and control of loads on pipelines.

We offer a complete lineup of piping expansion joint design options and standard sizes ranging from as small as 1” to 48” pipe OD. We can fabricate bellows from single-ply wall thickness of 0.004” to 0.072” and multi-ply designs with up to 6 layers for different pressure classes and vibration loading. Our high-pressure expansion joints can optionally be constructed with root reinforced bellows designs with integral root rings or equalizing rings

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Dual Bellows type universal expansion joints

Dual Bellows type universal expansion joints

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Two different dual bellows type universal expansion joints,

  • 36” ID x 41” long with flanges for a compressor station in Texas, CAT GCM – 34 Exhaust.
  • 41” ID x 26” long with weld ends for a refinery in South America.

Dual universal expansion joints are the simplest type of universal expansion joint. They are typically used in low-pressure applications, such as exhaust ducting. They can absorb both axial and lateral movement in the piping.

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Dual Expansion joints

Exhaust Bellows : Dual Expansion Joint for 825 SGTB Superior Engine

18” Dual Expansion Joint for a 16 cylinder White Superior 825 SGTB Engine

Bellows Systems has been manufacturing exhaust manifolds and exhaust bellows and expansion joints for Cooper-White Superior engines for over 40 years. Our exhaust manifold products cover the entire range of superior engines and include both,

  • Water jacketed (Wet) Manifolds
  • Insulated (Dry) Manifolds

    Our products with robust design have been in maintenance-free service for over two decades. As an example, the wet manifold designs for G825 series engines incorporate 4 ply nickel alloy bellows with liners on the inner jacket. This ensures the expansion joints last the life of the manifold. 

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    What are Multi Ply Metal Bellows and where are they used?

    Multi-ply bellows are made up of a multiple telescoping tube (or plys) of sheet metal. The telescoping tubes are formed (Expanded mandrel or hydraulic) together to form each convolution.

    Why are they better than single-ply bellows?
    • They offer redundance in the event of inner ply failure.
    • The offer much lower stiffness.
    • Leak detection measures can be incorporated to detect ply failure hence providing time to change out the existing expansion joint.
    • Much higher cycle life per corrugation.
    • Corrugated length can be much shorter to achieve similar movement and cycle life performance to that of a single ply bellows.
    What are the drawbacks?
    • They have higher meridional bending stress.
    • They have less resilience to corrosion due to the individual wall thickness.
    • Higher ply count can result in slightly higher manufacturing cost.
    • Increased in-plane and column instability compared to a similar single ply construction.
    • Difficult to repair in the field due to the much thinner ply thickness.
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    What are Single Ply Metal Bellows and where are they used?

    Single ply bellows are made up of a single tube (or ply) of sheet metal of a defined thickness.

    Why are they better than multi-ply bellows?
    • The Expansion joint offers a simple construction and lower manufacturing.
    • They offer a higher pressure capacity compared to multi-ply expansion joints of a similar combined thickness
    • They more stable and less susceptible to in-plane and column squirm.
    • They are more resilient to corrosion due to their thicker wall.
    What are the drawbacks?
    • They are generally stiffer than multi-ply bellows, which means they need more axial force per unit compression.
    • They have lower cycle life compared to a multi-ply bellows of similar wall thickness.
    • Preventive leak detection is not possible in many cases.
    • Longer convoluted lengths / taller convolutions are required compared to multi-ply bellows to provide similar movement compared to multi-ply bellows.
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    High Temperature piping Expansion Joints

    Hinged and Gimbaled piping Expansion Joints for a Natural Gas Fired Heater

    High-Pressure High-Temperature piping Expansion Joints for a Natural Fired Heater at a US AFB.

    • Design pressure of 1,300 Psi and design temperature of 1,250 F.

    • Hydrotest at 1,900 Psi

    Bellows Systems designed and manufactured one hinged and two gimbal expansion joints for a recent project. The gimbal type expansion joints included one with an external cover and removable insulation.
    The bellows materials included Inconel 718 alloy construction with integral root rings and collars. Hinge and Gimbal structural components included 304 SS and 347H SS.

    Hinged bellows were designed to be capable of 7 degrees of angular rotation at design temperature and pressure.

    Bellows Systems is your go-to source for the standard to the most challenging bellows and expansion joint applications.

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