Expansion joints: What are they and how do they work?

An expansion joint system is simply a transition across an expansion joint opening.


In other words, it is a cover, a bridge or an insert. It may be a simple cover plate, engineered system, insert or even a compression seal.

Thermal expansion joint
ATC Series

Many systems, however, are engineered to fulfill a variety of additional functions.

  • Some of these functions include:

  • Fit a predetermined opening size.

  • Absorb building movement, thermal or seismic.

  • Be compatible with various surface finishes.


Support a given load (floor condition only).


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