An Introduction To Flanges

April 16, 2014 in Blog, Valves and Fittings by

FlangesFlanges are an integral part of piping systems. Let’s take a look at what they do, what they’re made of, and some of their advantages and disadvantages.

What is a flange?

A flange is one method of connecting pipes, valves, pumps and other equipment in piping systems. They’re usually welded or screwed, and flanged joints are built by bolting two flanges together with a gasket between them to create a seal.

What are they made of?

Flanges are made of many different materials. There are cast iron flanges, aluminum flanges, brass flanges, high pressure steel flanges, etc. However, the most popular material for flanges is forged carbon steel. The material that the flange is made of is often selected to match the material of the pipe it will used with.

Additionally, like pipes and fittings, flanges can be internally coated with other materials in order to give them unique and useful properties. These flanges are called ‘lined flanges’.

Types of Flanges

There is an assortment of different flanges to choose from. Some of the most frequently used ones include:

  • Weld neck flange
  • Slip on flange
  • Socketweld flange
  • Lap joint flange
  • Threaded flange
  • Blind flange

Some specialty flanges include:

  • Orifice flanges
  • Long welding neck flanges
  • Weldoflange / Nipoflange
  • Expander flange
  • Reducing flange

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Flanges

There are no standards that dictate whether flange connections should be used or not, but flanges do have pros and cons that should be weighed when considering them for a project.

Flanges provide easy access for inspection, modification and cleaning. They can also eliminate the need for the pipe spools to be welded. Furthermore, they make blasting, painting and NDO in the plant unnecessary, because all of this can be done in the workshop.

However, flange connections also have their drawbacks. Some say that flanges are slightly more prone to leaking. Furthermore, flanged pipe systems generally need more space.

If you consider the pros and cons and decide that flanges are right for your project, please contact us for a quote. We can supply a large variety of ansi flanges for whatever your project might call for. Plus, we can ship your order internationally and get it to you fast.


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