The Kadant Blog

Kadant Unaflex Continues to Remain Essential During the Pandemic

Like many industrial businesses, Kadant Unaflex is classified as a Critical Infrastructure Industry Partner as defined by the Department of Homeland Security and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Because of this Kadant Unaflex has been deemed essential and has remained open during the COVID-19 response.

What deems a company essential? An essential company is one that plays a critical role in the manufacture and supply of a product or service that our deemed critical for a functional society. Industries such as electrical power generation, water and sewer services, healthcare, food services, and defense are many of the top tier essentials. To keep these top essentials running efficiently there is a large set of companies that produce the products that keep them running.

Kadant Unaflex supplies products that are critical to the manufacturing processes for these essential needs. Its expansion joints and industrial hoses ensure fluids and suspensions carried through elaborate piping systems get to the correct process location. Not only are expansion joints used on the front end, getting material to the correct station, but also on the back end where expansion joints provide necessary movement tolerance for the systems in these plants.

To understand the significance of expansion joints, it is necessary  to look at the intricacies of piping and ducting systems. For instance, inside a power generation facility there are hundreds of pipelines that carry fresh water or steam in and out of the main process. The temperature differences in these media cause thermal growth or shrinkage as they move. The ducting systems bring in the fresh air, or inlet air, for the combustion units that provide the heat and steam that run power plants. The high temperature exhaust from that combustion then must be expelled from the plant after the ducting systems have channeled it through the many scrubbing and cleaning units required to make the exhaust clean enough to enter atmosphere. This same air handling process happens in many industrial plants throughout the world. These pipe and ducting systems are susceptible to failure and loss of production should one of them rupture or begin to leak.  Expansion joints allow system movements caused by thermal expansion and pressure variations to be controlled and minimize their effect on the rigid pipe and duct systems. In a pharmaceutical facility this protection may be even more vital when dealing with toxic chemicals.

Some mission critical areas in which Kadant Unaflex expansion joints are utilized include the defense and space exploration sectors.

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