Edge-Welded Bellows Applications

Edge-Welded Bellows

MW Components is proud to serve the aerospace, medical, semiconductor, oil services, vacuum, solar power, agriculture, commercial, and other high-tech markets for custom and standard edge welded metal bellows. Designing custom bellows for such technically diverse industries allows us to apply lessons learned from one application to another. Even though product design and custom requirements vary greatly across all industries, we find that the development of one product often leads to a better design approach for the next application.

MW Components designs and manufactures edge welded bellows in a full range of diameters and thicknesses ranging from 0.394” (10mm) to 26” (660mm) in diameter in materials 0.002” (0.05mm) to 0.036” (0.91mm) thick*. In order to address custom requirements, our design specialists review the following information before each job – allowing us to determine the exact custom capabilities needed to ensure your success.

Explore the most common applications and common bellows specifications below.

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Bellows Accumulators

Metal bellows accumulators are used in a variety of industries to store the energy of a liquid or gas. Edge-welded bellows technology is an ideal fit for this application, due to its media compatibility and stroke length capability. Edge-welded bellows can also be manufactured in a variety of materials to match the application’s media compatibility requirements. With the right material, metal bellows can operate from cryogenic temperatures to 1500°F. Edge-welded metal bellows also have the ability to travel ninety percent, allowing them to accomplish the same movement in smaller sizes and lighter weight assemblies.

Bellows accumulators can have pressure internal or external to the bellows assembly. Understanding the differential pressure between the inside and outside of the assembly also helps engineers to determine the proper size and length of the bellows accumulator. We have engineering design experience in a multitude of applications resulting in manufacturing a variety of accumulator sizes and shapes. With over eighty standard diaphragms to choose from, engineers have the ability to select the right size for the application. We are also capable of manufacturing bellows up to 96” in length.

Guides and over-travel stops can be integrated into the design. In order to prevent “squirm,” guides ensure that the bellows assembly is moving in the intended direction. Over-travel stops can prevent bellows expansion from over-pressure conditions. Special housings can be designed to contain pressure as well as allow input and output pressure ports to customer design needs.

Bellows Accumulator Specifications

  • Common Materials: AM350, 316L SS, Inconel®, Titanium, & Hastelloy® 276C
  • Thickness: 0.002″ and up every 0.001″
  • Standard Leak Rate: <1×10-9 std CC He/sec**
  • Outside Diameter Size Range: 0.358″ (9.0932mm) to 22.205″ (564mm)
  • Inside Diameter Size Range: 0.198″ (5.029mm) to 19.921″ (505.99mm)
  • Shapes: Round standard. Non-round is available. Contact us for details.
  • Length: Up to 96 inches (244 cm)

Leak rate may vary based on your selected material. Contact us for other dimensional requirements.

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Bellows accumulator

Bellows Actuators & Sensing Components

Bellows are used in actuator assemblies to transfer pressure or temperature into a linear motion. Edge-welded bellows allow a long stroke, excellent media compatibility, and high temperature and pressure capabilities. Edge welded bellows also provide extreme flexibility in the design to fit size, weight, and movement requirements and allow the movement to be driven by internal or external forces.

Bellows actuators can be used in valve applications, where pressure is internal or external to the bellows. Custom flanges, end pieces and hardware can be integrated into the assembly. With the extreme flexibility of edge welded bellows technology, axial movement and lateral offset are possible solutions. With sizes less than half an inch in diameter, bellows actuators can reduce the size of traditional actuators in hydraulic and pneumatic systems. Often known as pneumatic bellows and hydraulic bellows, edge welded bellows in these applications can save space and improve performance.

Bellows Actuator Specifications

  • Common Materials: AM350, 304L, 347, 316L SS, Titanium, Hastelloy, and Inconel
  • Thickness: 0.002″ and up every 0.001″
  • Standard Leak Rate: <1×10-9 std CC He/sec
  • Outside Diameter Size Range: 0.358″ (9.0932mm) to 22.205″ (564mm)
  • Inside Diameter Size Range: 0.198″ (5.029mm) to 19.921″ (505.99mm)
  • Shapes: Round standard. Non-round is available. Contact us for details.
  • Length: Up to 96 inches (244 cm)

Contact us for other dimensional requirements.

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Bellows actuator

Lifter Bellows

Lifter bellows are designed with custom face seals for semiconductor processing equipment. In order to move the silicon wafers being produced, the lifter bellows and actuator assembly produce a leak tight mechanism to transport the wafer. Our edge-welded bellows have low leak rates, custom designs, and flexibility for motion. Our goal is to ensure proper wafer placement and seating. With in-house design expertise, our engineers will build a solution to match the speed and size requirements of the application.

Lifter bellows assemblies are available in a variety of materials including AM350, 304L and 316L stainless steel. For applications requiring reduced weight, titanium is also available.

While we offer over eighty standard bellows diaphragms, custom diaphragms can be designed to customer specifications. Contact us for more information, including detailed dimensional requirements.

Lifter Bellows Specifications

  • Common Materials: AM350, 347, &316L SS
  • Thickness: 0.002″ and up every 0.001″
  • Standard Leak Rate: <1×10-9 std CC He/sec
  • Outside Diameter Size Range: 0.358″ (9.0932mm) to 22.205″ (564mm)
  • Inside Diameter Size Range: 0.198″ (5.029mm) to 19.921″ (505.99mm)
  • Shapes: Round standard. Non-round is available.
  • Length: Up to 96 inches (244 cm)
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Lifter bellows

Mechanical Feedthroughs

Edge-welded bellows act as a flexible seal when designed as a mechanical feedthrough, allowing movement of a tool within a sealed environment under vacuum or positive pressure. Linear and angular motion for “wobble stick” applications is also available. Metal bellows are also used within a bearing housing to translate rotation from an input shaft to a co-linear output shaft while sealing hermetically, eliminating the need for a dynamic seal.

Edge-welded bellows provide the greatest flexibility and motion of any bellows technology, reaching a 90% stroke length. Edge-welded metal bellows can be exposed to extreme temperatures and media with a wide selection of materials. Both the inside and outside of the bellows can be exposed to liquids and gases as well. By changing the diaphragm thickness or creating a multi-ply assembly, MW Components can reach higher pressure ranges than ever thought possible with a welded assembly. Bellows can be manufactured for positive pressures as well as ultra-high vacuum (UHV).

With a high level of expertise in design and manufacturing, MW Components can build the assembly to customer-specified prints. With expertise in specialty welding, lean manufacturing practices, and tight machining tolerances, bellows assembly services create a cost effect, reliable feedthrough solution.

Mechanical Feedthrough Bellows Specifications

  • Common Materials: AM350, 321, 347, or 316L SS
  • Thickness: 0.002″ and up every 0.001″
  • Standard Leak Rate: <1×10-9 std CC He/sec
  • Outside Diameter Size Range: 0.358″ (9.0932mm) to 22.205″ (564mm)
  • Inside Diameter Size Range: 0.198″ (5.029mm) to 19.921″ (505.99mm)
  • Shapes: Round standard. Non-round is available.
  • Length: Up to 96 inches (244 cm)
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Mechanical feedthrough bellows

Bellows Mechanical Seals

Mechanical seals with bellows technology have various benefits and applications. Edge-welded bellows technology allows for a variety of materials including stainless steel, Inconel®, and Hastelloy®. With these options, various liquids and gases can be measured as well as extreme temperatures.

Bellows mechanical seals can eliminate O-rings to increase compatibility and reduce potential leak paths. The metal bellows design allows for higher flow rates and less clogging than traditional spring seals. Bellows seal technology creates a uniform outside wall for uniform movement under hydraulic pressure.

With precision stamping and proprietary welding techniques, MW Components manufactures edge-welded bellows within tight tolerances in its Ormond Beach, Florida facility. Bellows mechanical seals can be manufactured with O-ring grooves, flanges, and carbon-face seals to make the best possible connection to customer assemblies. Our mechanical seals are 100% visually inspected throughout the manufacturing process and confirmed with mass spectrometer testing. We can offer various sizes and stroke lengths to satisfy custom demands. Applications in the aerospace, oil, gas, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, water and paper industries are common markets for bellows mechanical seals, due to their reliability, tight tolerances, and compatibility with harsh media in pump systems.

Bellows Seal Specifications

  • Common Materials: AM350, 316L SS, Inconel®, & Hastelloy® 276C
  • Thickness: 0.002″ and up every 0.001″
  • Standard Leak Rate: <1×10-9 std CC He/sec
  • Outside Diameter Size Range: 0.358″ (9.0932mm) to 22.205″ (564mm)
  • Inside Diameter Size Range: 0.198″ (5.029mm) to 19.921″ (505.99mm)
  • Shapes: Round standard. Non-round is available.
  • Length: Up to 96 inches (244 cm)
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Bellows mechanical seals

Vibration Dampeners

Bellows are used to isolate vibration from one end of the bellows to the other while sealing hermetically. With custom mounting and sizing available, edge welded bellows create an all-metal conduit to minimize or eliminate the effects of vibration from one point in a system to another. Edge-welded bellows technology allows for high pressure and temperature applications.

Vibration Dampener Specifications

  • Common Materials: 347, AM 350 and 316L SS
  • Thickness: 0.002″ and up every 0.001″
  • Standard Leak Rate: <1×10-9 std CC He/sec
  • Outside Diameter Size Range: 0.358″ (9.0932mm) to 22.205″ (564mm)
  • Inside Diameter Size Range: 0.198″ (5.029mm) to 19.921″ (505.99mm)
  • Shapes: Round standard. Non-round is available.
  • Length: Up to 96 inches (244 cm)
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Vibration dampener bellows

Volume Compensators

With changes in pressure or temperature, metal bellows can be used to compensate for the volumetric changes of the liquid or gas through expansion and contraction. Whether a liquid is heated or a cryogenic tank is being filled, edge-welded bellows can bridge the gap between thermal or pressure differentials to ensure that the system remains operational. We can integrate custom machined components or standard threads and fittings. For outdoor or industrial environments, we will incorporate a housing for the bellows for protection.

Edge-welded bellows technology can be pressurized internally and externally. For example, in sub-sea vehicles, bellows can be combined with sensors to compensate for the differential pressure of the seawater and hydraulic fluid. Edge-welded bellows can be manufactured in miniature sizes and offer a high stroke length. Light-weight materials can be used to minimize overall system weight. Let us know the pressures expected to be measured, and our engineering staff can assist with a designed to your specifications.

We can also offer liquid filling services to compensate for external pressures. With a variety of materials, sizes, and configurations, our edge-welded bellows can be designed to meet your requirements.

Vibration Dampener Specifications

  • Common Materials: 316L SS, AM 350, Titanium
  • Thickness: 0.002″ and up every 0.001″
  • Standard Leak Rate: <1×10-9 std CC He/sec
  • Outside Diameter Size Range: 0.358″ (9.0932mm) to 26″ (660mm)
  • Inside Diameter Size Range: 0.15″ (3.8mm) to 25.5″ (648mm)
  • Shapes: Round standard. Non-round is available.
  • Length: Up to 96 inches (244 cm)
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Volume compensator bellows

Stainless Steel Bellows Assembly

We offer over 90 standard diaphragm sizes. View the entire die list here and quickly choose the best fitting bellows for your application.

Design Support from Experts

We understand that the manner of construction, thickness of the walls, and the materials used to make metal bellows are all integral to the flexibility and performance of the metal bellows. Our experts offer engineering and design assistance to provide the metal bellows or couplings that will perfectly support your application.

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Access to Industry Leading Machinery

MW can provide custom print-to-part manufacturing. Our state-of-the-art equipment allows for the machining of special materials and tight tolerances.

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