Docent Design & Manufacturing manufactures bellows, expansion-joints, and flexible duct systems is a critical part of aerospace engineering. Whether you’re sending a plane across the country, or a rocket to Mars, these components play a vital role in maintaining the functionality of your systems by:

  • Tolerating movement
  • Absorbing vibration
  • Compensating for thermal expansion
  • Promoting structural integrity, performance, and safety

We can custom manufacture these elements for engine exhaust systems, fuel lines, air conditioning, and ventilation and more for both aircraft and rockets.

What is Bellows & Expansion Joint Manufacturing?

Bellows, expansion-joints, and flexible duct systems are all crucial components used in various industries, especially aerospace engineering. These elements help:

  • Accommodate movement
  • Absorb vibration
  • Compensate for thermal expansion.

These components play a significant role in ensuring structural integrity, maintaining performance, and enhancing safety in aerospace applications.



Bellows are typically made of metal or elastomer. These are flexible, accordion-like structures that can expand and contract to accommodate axial, lateral, and angular movements. They’re commonly used in aerospace engineering to connect different components or sections, like:

  • Engine exhaust systems
  • Fuel lines
  • Thrust reverser assemblies

Bellows provide flexibility while maintaining a tight seal. This allows for thermal expansion and contraction without compromised performance or leakage.

Expansion Joints

Expansion joints are also known as expansion couplings or compensators. These parts are designed to absorb thermal expansion and contraction in piping systems. Expansion joints consist of multiple bellows connected together to form a flexible element.

In aerospace applications, expansion-joints are used in:

  • Aircraft air conditioning systems
  • Fuel systems
  • Hydraulic systems

These parts are used anywhere temperature variations can cause pipes and other components to expand and contract. By accommodating movement, expansion-joints prevent stress on the system and reduce the overall risk of damage or failure.

Bellowson machine
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Flexible Duct Systems

Flexible duct systems are essential for maintaining efficient and reliable air circulation in aircraft. In aerospace engineering, flexible duct systems must allow for easily routing airflow, tight spaces, and vibration isolation.

Flexible duct systems in aerospace are used for:

  • Air distribution in aircraft cabins
  • Ventilation systems
  • Environmental control systems

These ducts must withstand harsh aerospace environments, and they’re usually made from lightweight, flexible materials like reinforced silicone or composites.

Our Projects

Docent Design has worked a variety of companies, from local aerospace businesses to major private rocket builders on projects likle:

  • Custom Bellows & Bulge Forming Tools | We created custom tooling for bellows manufacturing that can be combined with already existing CNC forming equipment.
  • 2-Axis & 3-Axis Custom CNC Bellows Forming Machine | We created 30-ton, hybrid electric and hydraulic fully automated bellows forming equipment and machinery.
  • Bellows Roll Forming Machine | We created a power roll forming machine. When combined with custom tooling, this machine will form bellows convolutions to a smooth continuous form, as well as meeting tolerance requirements.
  • Bellows Handling and Fabrication Equipment | We created bellows handling fixtures and equipment for large bellows work.

Docent Design has made 10, 20, 30 and 100 ton models of custom roll forming machines. We are capable of forming bellows ranging from 2.5 inches in diameter to 36 inches, whether you’re planning to use materials as common as stainless steel or as durable as inconel.

Forming machine
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What Can I Expect When I Contact Docent Design?

As an aerospace engineering and bellows manufacturing specialist, Docent Design follows a streamlined, three-step process to ensure your needs are met. Whether you represent a small business or an industry giant, you can rely on us to deliver exceptional results.

  1. Assess the Problem
  2. Design the Solution
  3. Deliver the Product

Assess the Problem

At Docent Design, we understand that each client comes from a unique background and industry. We believe in taking an individualized approach to evaluate your specific needs. In some cases, clients may approach us without a clear understanding of their problem. We excel at identifying and assessing these issues.

Our team has conducted site visits across the nation to gain a comprehensive understanding of diverse challenges. We are committed to offering consultations and providing accurate pricing to assist you throughout the process.

Working on machine
Forming machine shop

Design the Solution

After conducting an initial assessment and providing a quote, we’ll develop a customized plan of action and design a solution tailored to your needs. With over 30 years of experience, we possess the expertise and knowledge necessary to deliver well-designed ideas that perfectly align with your needs, particularly in the demanding field of aerospace engineering.

Deliver the Product

Once we determine a course of action, we’ll move on to manufacturing and delivery. We prioritize the highest standards of quality and precision, ensuring that your final product will exceed your expectations.

When you choose Docent Design for your aerospace engineering and bellows manufacturing needs, you can trust in our commitment to excellence, attention to detail, and dedication to delivering outstanding solutions that drive success for your business.


Why Choose Docent Design & Manufacturing?

Docent Design & Manufacturing has established itself as a leading force in the dynamic field of aerospace engineering and design. We specialize in aerospace bellows manufacturing.

At Docent Design, our unwavering commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction is what sets us apart. We go the extra mile to understand and meet your unique requirements. Our team takes great pride in providing on-site troubleshooting and consultation, offering personalized support every step of the way.

Docent Design is backed by over 30 years of industry experience. We leverage breakthrough technology that empowers our clients with practical solutions to exceed their expectations. Our company has earned a stellar reputation for delivering cutting-edge solutions that propel industry giants to new heights of success.

From your initial concept to final production, Docent Design offers unparalleled technical expertise and hands-on experience to deliver custom solutions for your aerospace needs.

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