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Expansion Joints

There are four standard gasket colors: Black, White, Gray and Greige. Custom colors are also available although minimum quantities and extra charges may apply.

There are several, but the following have the greatest impact on the selection process and are ranked accordingly.

  1. Structural joint opening. This is nearly always established by the structural engineer and determines the size of cover needed.
  2. Anticipated movement. Again, determined by the structural engineer and normally specified as plus or minus ‘x’ when ‘x’ may be a dimension, i.e., 10mm, or a percentage of joint opening, i.e., 50%.
  3. Type of building. The anticipated use of the building will help determine the type of cover system chosen. For example, a hospital will require covers that are easy to keep clean and also have a flush top surface since wheeled equipment is an aspect of normal building occupation. This would lead to the selection of a gasketed cover system. We recommend that the selection process start with the choice of floor cover as this is affected the most by such building usage. Wall covers are then simply matched to the floor cover selected.
    CAUTION: rolling loads can have a significant impact on the function of a cover system. If heavy-wheeled equipment is expected, such as in airports, covers labeled “heavy duty” should be selected.
  4. Aesthetic considerations. Once the above criteria are established, the final piece of the puzzle is appearance. Historically seismic joint covers have been known to ruin even the most carefully designed interior finishes scheme. Fortunately, C/S has developed a complete range of covers with reveals that help conceal most of the cover plate regardless of the joints.

Every cover system in the C/S portfolio has a fire barrier assembly designed to work with it. These fire barriers are tested at UL to ensure full code compliance. Assemblies are available in standard 2-hour ratings but also 1,3 and even 4-hour ratings in some cases. Due to the high cost of UL tests, not all structural configurations have been tested. Some discretion may be needed to determine if a standard configuration applies in the case of a non-standard application.

It is very important that these transition details are worked out thoroughly since bad transitions can ruin even the best joint cover schemes. However, any competent joint manufacturer should be willing to assist you with these details during the design phase of the project.
CAUTION: Transitions in exterior covers, particularly between roof and wall covers, are critical to the water tightness of the exterior envelope.