Well, the expansion joint, as we have already mentioned, is defined by the type of bridge and the movements it experiences. It depends on factors such as the location of the bridge and the traffic it carries.
A bridge in a flat area is different from one in a mountainous region.
A straight bridge is different from a curved one.
A 20-meter bridge is different from a 200-meter viaduct.
The requirements are different for a bridge that needs to withstand temperatures of -20 degrees compared to one that doesn’t or one that needs to withstand 90 degrees, and so on.
All these design factors determine the type of joint and materials to be used. Engineers are guided by these factors when selecting the appropriate joint for each bridge they design.
While we mainly talk about expansion joints in the context of bridges, they are also used in other structures. For example, they are commonly used in parking structures or buildings. Airports have many expansion joints, particularly in areas with gaps, such as parking structures. However, the movements in these applications are usually smaller compared to bridges. About 90% to 95% of the expansion joints we sell are for road bridges and civil engineering projects, while a smaller portion is used for repairs, parking structures, or multi-story buildings.
It’s true that in non-bridge applications, one of the primary purposes of expansion joints is to mitigate noise.
Regarding installation, while I’m not the architect or the construction worker who actually installs them, I can provide some general information.