What Are Flanges?
A flange is commonly used as a junction or breakout for pipes or tubes.
Flanges are mechanical connections that are very basic in design and have been used effectively in high-pressure pipe applications for many years.
Flanges are designed to meet a wide range of application requirements, including high temperature and corrosion resistance.
Pipe flanges are utilized for a variety of applications, including disassembling piping systems, temporary or transportable installations, transitions between different materials, and connections in situations that are not favorable to cement solutions.
Understanding Flange Connections
An interchangeable flange connection consists of a set of flanges, gaskets, bolts and nuts, washers, and other parts.
Flanges act as seals to make sure that nothing leaks out of the pipe or conduit. They're made out of metal and are available in many different types of materials including stainless steel and cast iron.
The main purpose of a flange connection is to make sure that there's no leakage when two sections of tubing or pipe are connected. They also prevent air from leaking into or out of the piping system through a connection point.
Flange connections can help facilitate other types of connections including unions, elbows, reducers and more depending on the type of flange being used.
A flange is comprised of two main parts: the flat face, which faces outwards when a flange is installed, and the countersunk area, which is recessed beneath the flat face.
The flat face: The flat face is where the pipe is welded to or bolted to the flange.
The countersunk area: The countersunk area contains an opening that is used to bolt things onto a flange or into the pipe or tubing connected to it.
The "flanged" edge of tubing has an increased thickness compared to its wall, so it can handle being bolted down without breaking or deforming under pressure over time.
The opening on a flange can be any number of shapes or sizes depending on what it needs to connect to and how much pressure it will be exposed to by various objects mounted on it at various points during its lifetime.
Common Type of Flanges
There are four main types of flange connections.
- Slip-on flanges:
Slip-on flanges are used when you want to attach a section of pipe quickly without having to remove other sections first.
- Socket weld:
Socket-weld pipe flanges are used on smaller high-pressure pipes. These flanges are put on by inserting the pipe into the socket end and welding a fillet around the top of the flange to make sure it stays in place. Because of this, the pipe will have a smooth bore and a better flow of fluid or gas inside.
Unlike slip-on, threaded pipe flanges have tapered threads in the bore. They are used with exterior threaded pipes. These have the advantage of not requiring welding. They are commonly used for small diameter, high-pressure pipes.
- Weld Neck:
Weld neck pipe flanges are placed by welding the pipe to the flange's neck. This permits stress to be transferred from the flange to the pipe. This decreases stress concentration at the hub's base. It's common for weld necks to be employed in high-pressure applications.
Published by Kevin Lashley