The basic principles of edge welded bellows manufacturing hold true from one manufacturer to the next. First the diaphragms are stamped from strip material using compound dies. There are two different diaphragm designs needed, one male and one female, to facilitate the nesting properties of the bellows. After stamping, the diaphragms are cleaned to remove any grease or foreign material that could affect the life expectancy and cleanliness of the bellows.
Subsequent to the cleaning process, one male and one female diaphragm are welded together at the inside diameter to create a convolution. At Metal-Flex, we have the capability to use Plasma or TIG welding to complete this task.
Once the two diaphragms are welded together, chill rings are installed in each convolution. The rings hold the ODs of the convolution apart to allow multiple convolutions to be welded together creating a bellows core. Additionally, they serve to cool the weld, helping to make a clean and uniform weld bead.
Once the chill rings are inserted into the convolution, multiple convolutions are stacked in the correct orientation (male to female) on an arbor. The arbor aligns the convolutions to facilitate welding of the outside diameters. Once the outside diameter welds have been completed, the bellows core is ready for final assembly.
The hardware serves as the interface between the bellows core and the various types of equipment in which they are used. Because edge welded bellows are used in a vast array of industries, end flanges are required in many different shapes and sizes. At Metal-Flex we have a full machine shop and are able to provide custom flanges as well as adapting standard catalog flanges.