Expansion Joint Design Service

Measuring services from plans, on-site evaluations, estimates, and technical support

What is the expansion joint design service?

SOPREMA offers you a custom design service for expansion joints. Our team of experts takes the measurements from the plans or evaluates them on site. The products are thus prefabricated or custom-made to adapt to your needs. Our dedicated technical team is at your service from the design to the completion of your project.

How to Choose an Expansion Joint?

The structure of a building is subjected to different forces, permanent or variable over time, the extent of which can vary considerably.

These can be differential settlements of the soil, shrinkage and creep of materials, earthquakes, vibrations, etc. Therefore, in addition to preventing and minimizing the risks of damage due to movement, expansion joints should be used during the construction of buildings to absorb the repeated effects of structural movements and thus limit the risks of the waterproofing system cracking.

What Is an Expansion Joint?

An expansion joint, sometimes called a movement joint, ensures the complete waterproofing of the junction between two elements of roofing, walls, foundations, parking decks and other civil engineering works.

Therefore, its flexibility allows to absorb variations in material dimensions as well as the movements of the upper part of the building in reaction to ground movements in order to reduce deformations and to protect the structure.

The expansion joint allows movement in all three (3) axes (horizontal, vertical and shear) synchronously.

What Are the Points to Consider When Choosing an Expansion Joint?


Anticipated Movements of the Building

Under the effect of compound actions, horizontal, vertical and shear movements generate tensile and compressive forces. The expansion joints allow to absorb the stresses induced by these movements so that the materials do not reach the breaking limit. Shear is the most restrictive value to take into consideration when designing a building, as it is likely to cause the most risk of damaging the structure. This calculation can be carried out by a structural engineer.


The Width of the Empty Space Between the Two Parts of the Structure

Designers must incorporate empty spaces into the building structure to allow materials to contract and expand. These empty spaces will prevent and reduce the risk of damage due to expansion. Expansion joints are used in several situations:

  • In a continuity between a new building and an existing one;
  • In a continuity between different materials (e.g., a steel structure attached to a concrete deck);
  • For structural joints subject to movement between two surfaces: parking decks and tunnels.

Expansion joints are composed of a flange and a core. The width of the flange is identical; only the width of the core varies. The polyacrylonitrile weave (flange) is wider on the underside in order to offset the tension point imposed on the core.


The Type of Installation

Expansion joints can be installed in several ways; they can be installed using torch-applied or self-adhered membranes, cold adhered with adhesive (solvent free) or adhered with hot bitumen, or applied using liquid membranes. Before the installation, it is important to consider the requirements related to flames, solvents and odours, since these will determine the installation method to be used.



The infiltration of humidity and especially water can cause significant damage to building components. Water can penetrate through an expansion joint located above or below ground level. It is essential to choose an expansion joint that will ensure the continuous waterproofing of the entire structure, and this, for the entire life of the building. Thanks to an assembly process by vulcanization, SOPRAJOINT PLUS are monolithic, ensuring the continuous waterproofing regardless of the configuration. This safe and reliable process allows for uniform elongation by eliminating the use of adhesive or sealant for joint assembly.

The SOPRAJOINT PLUS Product Offering

SOPRAJOINT PLUS is a monolithic expansion joint made of EPDM-based synthetic rubber consisting of two (2) flanges coated on the surface and underface with a woven oxidized and stabilized polyacrylonitrile, with an expandable core

It can be adapted to various configurations and can fit in 90-degree, angled, cross, T-shaped and curved transitions, as well as continuously in other directions thanks to an assembly process by vulcanization.

  Dimensions* Simultaneous Movements in the Three Axes
Products Total Width Flange Width Core Width Horizontal Vertical Shear**
SOPRAJOINT PLUS 20 Dimensions* 355 mm (14 in) 160 mm (6,3 in) each 55 mm (2,2 in) Simultaneous Movements in the Three Axes ± 30 mm (1,2 in) ± 25 mm (1 in) ± 20 mm (0,8 in)
SOPRAJOINT PLUS 40 Dimensions* 390 mm (15.4 in) 160 mm (6,3 in) each 90 mm (3,5 in) Simultaneous Movements in the Three Axes ± 60 mm (2,4 in) ± 50 mm (2 in) ± 40 mm (1,6 in)
SOPRAJOINT PLUS 75 Dimensions* 435 mm (17,1 in) 160 mm (6,3 in) each 135 mm (5,3 in) Simultaneous Movements in the Three Axes ± 100 mm (4 in) ± 85 mm (3,4 in) ± 75 mm (3 in)
SOPRAJOINT PLUS 100 Dimensions* 500 mm (19,7 in) 160 mm (6,3 in) each 200 mm (7,9 in) Simultaneous Movements in the Three Axes ± 150 mm (5,9 in) ± 125 mm (5 in) ± 100 mm (4 in)
SOPRAJOINT PLUS 125 Dimensions* 560 mm (22 in) 160 mm (6,3 in) each 260 mm (10,2 in) Simultaneous Movements in the Three Axes ± 200 mm (7,9 in) ± 170 mm (6,7 in) ± 125 mm (5 in)



Mouvements simultanés dans les 3 axes

  Largeur totale Largeur du manchon Largeur du noyau Horizontal Vertical Cisaillement**
SOPRAJOINT PLUS 20 355 mm (14 po) 160 mm (6,3 po) chacun 55 mm (2,2 po) ± 30 mm (1,2 po) ± 25 mm (1 po) ± 20 mm (0,8 po)
SOPRAJOINT PLUS 40 390 mm (15.4 po) 160 mm (6,3 po) chacun 90 mm (3,5 po) ± 60 mm (2,4 po) ± 50 mm (2 po) ± 40 mm (1,6 po)
SOPRAJOINT PLUS 75 435 mm (17,1 po) 160 mm (6,3 po) chacun 135 mm (5,3 po) ± 100 mm (4 po) ± 85 mm (3,4 po) ± 75 mm (3 po)
SOPRAJOINT PLUS 100 500 mm (19,7 po) 160 mm (6,3 po) chacun 200 mm (7,9 po) ± 150 mm (5,9 po) ± 125 mm (5 po) ± 100 mm (4 po)
SOPRAJOINT PLUS 125 560 mm (22 po) 160 mm (6,3 po) chacun 260 mm (10,2 po) ± 200 mm (7,9 po) ± 170 mm (6,7 po) ± 125 mm (5 po)

*Expansion joints must be custom-made.

**Shear stress is the principal force that must be considered when designing a building or a structure. This calculation must be carried out by a structural engineer.

Benefits of SOPRAJOINT PLUS joints

  • Quick and easy to install
  • Compatible with many substrates, such as concrete, steel and wood
  • UV-ray and weather resistant
  • Resistant to tearing and elongation
  • Resistant to chemicals, such as alkaline products, acids, saline solutions, alcohols and acetone
  • Compatible with all types of installation
  • Part of a product line offering a wide variety of movements

Any questions?

Our experts are there to support you with your projects.

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