Hinged joints use a zero-length expansion joint with rigid axial, transverse, and torsional stiffnesses. The bending stiffness equals the bending stiffness of the hinge.
You define the hinge directions using restraints and connecting nodes. The restraint line of action is always normal to the hinge axis.
Manufacturers define hinged joints to take pressure thrust. Verify that the joint manufacturer is aware of the design loads in the hinges.
Some expansion joint manufacturers believe that the hinge friction can provide considerable additional resistance to bending. As the axial load that the hinge carries becomes large, the hinge friction effect increases. You can make approximations to this increase in bending stiffness by increasing the stiffness of the bellows proportionally to the axial load on the hinge. The expansion joint manufacturer can help in determining this.
Typical geometries for hinged expansion joints are shown in the following figures:
In the next example, the hinged joint is zero length and is defined between nodes 45 and 46. X is the hinge axis, meaning that all relative rotations are permitted between nodes 45 and 46 about the X-axis. Nodes 45 and 46 are fixed rotationally relative to each other in the Y-axis.
The following example shows the input data used for the hinged joint as shown above.