Pipe flanges are attachments to pipes that serve a wide array of purposes. For instance, they may help in attaching other items to pipes. Then they also serve as a cushion to bolster strength in the pipes. Finally, if you are looking to provide any blockage to a pipe, you are quite likely to deploy pipe flanges.
The user profile of pipe flanges is quite extensive. Suffice it to say that any entity that has something to do with pipes is likely to use these flanges. Thus, whether it is merely the pipelines running through your house or ones far more vast such as those that carry gas between countries or even continents, they are very likely to deploy flanges. Broadly, any situation where there is a relatively wide scale deployment of pipes would see flanges in operation.
Materials they are made of
Flanges for pipes are made with a wide variety of materials. These include plastic, stainless steel, bronze, aluminum, cast iron, and brass. The most common material deployed to make flanges for pipes is in fact forged carbon steel that has been thoroughly machined on its surface.
One important aspect to remember is that there are individual layers of materials that often line pipe flanges, giving them the name of “line flanges”. These materials differ considerably, based on factors such as the material of the tube itself and the item(s) they would carry within them.
As mentioned previously, any industry that deploys pipes extensively would see flanges for pipes being used. So whether it is the oil and gas industry, waterways especially water treatment and movement of water of varying temperatures such as hot water in our homes or offices, sewage lines, nuclear facilities, or even cryogenic industries, flanges witness extensive industrial application.
There are some advantages that come with deploying pipe flanges. We look at them below.
- They bolster the overall strength of pipes
- They make it easy to attach other items to pipes
- In case a pipeline needs to be blocked, flanges for pipes prove very handy
- Cleaning pipes and piping systems becomes a whole lot easier when you have these flanges
- Anytime you need to make modifications to the piping system you would be happy there were these flanges in place!
- Pipes need regular inspections from time to time to ensure that they are functioning well with no possible issues anywhere. Again, it is thanks to pipe flanges that such checks become much easier.
Kinds of pipe flanges
Flanges for pipes can be of many types. We look at some of them below.
Welding neck flanges – They are typically flanges with elongated hubs that taper off. These flanges commonly find usage in high-pressure situations, fending off dishing thanks to the tapered hub that reinforces strength.
Slip-on flanges – Unlike welding neck flanges, these flanges prove handy for low-pressure situations. They are very cost efficient and can easily be welded in their place that is typically at the end of pipes.
Blind flanges – These flanges prove very handy when the pressure in flow needs to be tested. They also make it simple to access pipelines once they have been sealed off. Blind flanges come in a lot of varieties allowing them to fit pipes of many sizes and can easily be used to close off pipe ends.
Threaded flanges – These are unique flanges that do not require welding onto pipes. Instead, as the name suggests, they are threaded to the bore and tapered off such that there is a seal formed between the pipe and the flange. From a utility perspective, they are ideal for low-pressure situations or small tubes and should not be used where there is high pressure or significant throughput.
Socket weld flanges – Like threaded flanges these are suitable for small pipes but with a crucial differentiator in that they can handle high-pressure throughput quite adeptly. Their design is similar to slip-on flanges but with greater strength, especially when internally welded.
Lap joint flanges – Like socket weld flanges above, lap joint pipe flanges are also similar to slip-on flanges with a key differentiator being a curved radius at the bore. They are suitable for low-pressure situations as well as for piping where disassembly is rather frequent.