Pipe flanges are an important parts of piping systems. Some flanges are bolted together to form connections between pipes, while others–blind flanges–are used to cover or close the end of pipes.
One main advantage of using pipe flanges is that they make it easy to inspect, modify or clean pipes. Furthermore, using flanges means that you don’t have weld pipe spools, and they also make blasting, painting and NDO simpler and more convenient.
Pipe flanges, however, do have a few disadvantages. Their primary drawback is that they may be slightly more prone to leaking than other methods of connecting pipes. They also usually take up more space than their alternatives.
Types of Flanges
There are many types of flanges. Some of the most popular are:
Some specialty flanges include:
Let’s take a closer look at two of the types of flanges mentioned above: lap joint flanges and weld neck flanges.
Lap Joint Flanges
Used in conjunction with stub end fittings, lap joint flanges slide over the end of the pipe, allowing them to rotate freely around the stub end. This prevents any issues with aligning bolt holes and makes lap joints advantageous in applications that require frequent dismantling. However, lap joint flanges may not perform as well in high pressure applications, and a swivel ring flange or insert flange may be preferable in those situations.
Weld Neck Flanges
The weld neck flange gets its name from the fact that the neck portion of the flange is welded on to the end of the piping system. This design reduces stress at the base of the flange by transferring stress to the pipe. Weld neck flanges are often used in high pressure applications, though they may be relatively expensive due to their design, engineering and increased material.
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