Expansion joints are movement joints that mimic living muscles by expanding and contracting as per the requirement. This movement helps contribute to the stability of the structure, and can also be used to counter seismic activity. Another purpose of theirs is to create gaps in buildings that can be later filled with stronger materials to enhance their durability. These joints can withstand almost all occurrences of harsh weather – from strong winds to freezing temperatures. The reason behind their extremophile behaviour is the sturdy metals that are used to forge them. Here are some reasons why the right metal is always important for making these joints. All of the reasons are agreed upon by renowned expansion joint manufacturers.
Metals are Generally Not Weather-Tolerant
Various changes in temperatures, such as extreme heat, can cause the metals in the building to expand. In such situations, the joints are meant to contract and counter the expansion. However, in cases where the joints are made from temperature-sensitive materials, they may not do so and may expand with the temperature as well. This can create dangerous situations, such as causing the building to topple over. On the other hand, if materials drop below the freezing point, the contract. If the right metal is not used in the joints, they may become brittle and crack. In some cases, construction teams choose to use anti-vibration rubber pads to counter the building’s motion in extreme weather. However, these are used in combination with the expansion joints and not solitarily.
Frequency of Joint Placement
In some cases, where sturdy joints are not used, an increase in the frequency of the joints can balance the scales. Unfortunately, this does not save the construction team any money and can in fact lead to losses. Therefore, it is important to buy strong joints which can be used at a lower frequency and thereby save your team a lot of money.
As mentioned above, these expansion joints are meant to help the building cope with seismic activity. This is not an easy task and requires the metals used to be extremely elastic. This would help the joints function normally without cracking under the immense forces of the Earth’s shaking.
As you can see, choosing movement joints made from the right metal is very important, as this can make the difference between a standing building and one that isn’t. You must visit a reputed expansion joint manufacturer to purchase the ideal joints for your project.