Ten considerations for selecting a retail building expansion joint system...

1 Joint Size
Joint openings may range from 1" (25 mm) to 24" (600 mm) depending upon movement criteria and other structural engineering considerations. Extremely wide openings of 48" (1200 mm) are not uncommon. Not all joint cover styles can work with all joint opening sizes. Start with styles that accommodate your application.

2 Movement Type & Amount
Movement types include thermal, lateral shear, wind and seismic. Thermal movement styles are typically designed for smaller openings and movement ranges up to +/- 50% of the nominal opening. Seismic styles are generally designed for larger openings and multi-directional movement up to +/- 100% of nominal opening size.
3 Loading Requirements
All horizontal cover styles will accommodate light pedestrian traffic. Many styles are appropriate for heavy pedestrian or light commercial loads, such as mail carts or hand trucks. For heavy loadings such as convention centers, parking garages or airports, heavy-duty systems are recommended.
4 Service Environment/No-Bump
Service environment defines the type of occupancy or functions occurring in the structure. Expansion Joints in healthcare facilities, for example, must accommodate patient beds, ambulatory assistance walkers and highly calibrated portable equipment. No-Bump models provide a safe, flush solution.
5 ADA Compliance
The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that no vertical offset exist without a tapered transition. Look for and specify ADA compliant expansion joint systems. ADA compliance may require that expansion joint covers meet certain plate thickness and beveling criteria.
6 Narrow Sightlines
Let's face it. Expansion joints are a necessary intruder into the architectural landscape. That's why MM has designed many styles with a narrow sight line. Narrow sight lines mean minimum visibility of the joint system. Look for the narrow sight line icon.
7 Fire-Rating/Life-Safety
National and international building codes require fire-rated joint systems where adjacent floors and walls are rated. Test standards have changed to address pre-conditioning (cycling), smoke penetration and field splices. Specify fire barriers and cover styles from a single source to insure code compliance.
8 Corner Conditions
Many factors dictate where expansion joints occur. Architects and contractors cannot simply relocate a joint for convenience. MM Systems provides hundreds of models and size choices including corner conditions for most floor, wall, ceiling and roof cover styles. Look for the corner condition icon.
9 Waterproof vs.Water-Resistant
Parking structures, plaza decks, open-air stadiums and the like all require expansion joint systems to be waterproof. Other applications may only require that cover systems be water-resistant or shed casual water. Know and specify the difference.
10 Colors/Finishes
MM Systems believes that expansion joint systems should be, well, architectural joint systems. Metal substrates include aluminum, stainless and brass. Elastomerics are available in 8 designer colors. As a licensed Kynar/Hylar applicator, MM can provide finishes on aluminum in virtually any color imaginable.

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