For straight clamps (and seals), the design requires a solid, non-expanding portion at each end followed by a transition area where the expansion gradually increases until it reaches full expansion height. In most instances, special inflato-boot or inflato-plug ends are used to promote cycle life. Unlike solid ends, inflato-style ends do not have a hard transition between the non-inflating (i.e. solid) and inflating portion of the clamp. Because of this, cycle life is greatly improved. If the design requires a connector out one or both ends, then extended ends may be required. Extended ends are also required if pressure plates are used.
To increase cycle life and reduce the stresses on the ends, pressure plates may be used.