Expansion joints are designed to enable continuous traffic between two structures. They should be able to carry traffic loads, absorb vibration, accommodate shrinkage effects, produce minimal traffic noise and handle temperature variations. Expansion joints and covers are installed on either concrete or steel structures, such as bridges, bridge sidewalks, parking decks, transportation platforms, walkways and other areas where public safety is a concern.
It is important to purchase expansion joints which are durable and offer little to no maintenance. A safe solution for pedestrians, vehicles and cyclists is to install a slip resistant steel plate to cover the expansion joint(s). This will give the structure added durability and traction.
There are many different styles and types of expansion joints. Here are examples of different styles:
- CIPEC Expansion Joints: CIPEC expansion joints consist of metallic elements, such as aluminum or hard drawn steel, an anchor system and a sealing section. CIPEC joints provide excellent traffic comfort, longevity, low noise levels, high resistance to corrosion and adaptability to all surface structure types. They are also easy to install on new or old structures.
- JEP Expansion Joints: The JEP expansion joints are composed of two sections of drawn steel delivered in three-metre lengths and placed facing each other. The JEP joints are installed within the thickness of the surface layer and are easy to install because there are no recesses or drillings in the structure.
- WR Expansion Joints: The WR expansion joints are similar to the JEP expansion joints because they are composed of two sections in three-metre lengths and are placed facing each other. The WR joints are composed of aluminum and are anchored by a series of attachments.
- WOSd Expansion Joints: The WOSd expansion joints are composed of two aluminum sections which face each other and are anchored by fasteners. These joints are easily removed and easily accessible.
- Wd Expansion Joints: The Wd expansion joints also face each other and are composed of triangular teeth made of cast aluminum. They are anchored down and delivered in one-metre lengths. Wd expansion joints are designed for heavy traffic and due to the triangular teeth, there is no gap; reducing traffic noise.
- WP Expansion Joints: The WP expansion joints have teeth delivered in one-metre lengths facing each other. The metallic elements within the joints are anchored to structures using controlled tightness fasteners.
Expansion Joint Covers
Once the actual expansion joints are installed, a cover plate should be retrofit over the top. This provides safety for the public as opposed to having the expansion joint revealed. Many municipalities retrofit with a slip resistant and corrosion resistant galvanized steel plate which provides traction for pedestrians. Slip resistant expansion joint covers are available from SlipNOT® and can be custom fabricated to meet requirements. Non-slip expansion joint covers are available with beveled edges, center crown, countersunk holes and corner chamfers per specifications. These covers should be installed on bridge sidewalks, parking decks, transportation platforms, walkways or other areas where public safety is a concern.