About Us

Adsco has a long-established history of innovation, product development, and technical engineering expertise, tracing back to the company’s earliest days in 1877.

We were tasked with building the country’s first district heating system, in Lockport, NY.

To compensate for thermal expansion of the piping, Adsco engineers invented the first ever expansion joint.

To this day, our innovation continues to address the evolving needs of industry. From low-pressure exhaust duct systems, high-temperature large diameter, and ASME Section VIII applications, Adsco expansion joints have been proven to be the best solution for thermal expansion compensation.

A group of valves

Take a Look Into Our History

Adsco Lockport Ad
Adsco Vintage Advertisement November 1902

Big cities in America are laying pipe through the streets to provide water for fire protection, drinking, and sewage removal. Coal fired steam plants are built to power the pumps that move this water. The founders of ADSCO have an “aha” moment – they can use the spent steam from these plants to heat nearby buildings.

This marks the birth of the American District Steam Company – aka ADSCO – in 1877.

Meanwhile, Thomas Edison is building small-scale steam-powered demonstration plants to show off his vision for illuminating downtown office buildings. In a few years he will be building a number of Edison Electric Illuminating Company plants across the East Coast and Europe.

Luckily for ADSCO, Edison is using DC current. Because DC current at this time can only travel about a mile before it’s too weak to provide power, Edison will be building coal fired steam plants right downtown in the middle of the office buildings. Its terrible for downtown pollution, but perfect for the new “District Heating” concept.

ADSCO has another “aha” moment and solves a problem never before encountered. All the piping previous buried in the city streets saw very little change in temperature. Operating at ambient temperatures, thermal expansion of the pipe is not a problem.

However, steam creates a big problem. Not only will the pipe be thermally expanding from cold to very hot, the runs of pipe may be a mile long and in a very straight line. Without bends to take advantage of pipes limited but natural flexibility, the pipe will break.

ADSCO invents the very first expansion joint to compensate for thermal expansion in steel pipe, and a variation is still being made today.

It’s now 1884 and Nikola Tesla arrives on the scene. His first job in America is working for Thomas Edison, who is having trouble with his finicky DC generators. Tesla is assigned to fix the Dynamos, which he does. But while working for Edison he realizes the value of his AC current. It can travel hundreds miles. He and Edison, for a number of reasons, part company.

Teaming up with George Westinghouse, Tesla illuminates the 1893 Chicago World’s fair, proving AC current is the way to go. The “Current Wars” are in full swing! Since Edison still has the “name” and marketing muscle, he continues to build power plants right downtown. But Edison will eventually lose as Tesla’s power plants no longer need to be right downtown, and the concept of “District Heating” has been proven as the most economical way to heat the big city center buildings.

The slip type expansion joint is born.

With its long traverse, pressure rated, and in-service packable seals, the slip joint is the perfect product solution.

From its beginning, ADSCO was not only at the forefront of design, it was the forefront. That legacy continues today.

We have expanded the product offering to include not only state-of-the-art slip type joints, but a complete line of bellow, round and rectangular type joints as well.

In addition to serving district heating and cooling needs, we also specialize in the Fluid Catalyst Cracking Units (FCCU’s) for the petroleum industry, the ultra high-pressure heat exchangers for the chemical industry, and the pressure balanced turbine cross over joints for the power industry.

Learn more about how we can help your business.