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All you need to know about Pipe Flanges

All you need to know about Pipe Flanges

In simple words, these are the connecting points for various valves and equipment. This blog gives you complete information about Pipe Flanges: how do they work, available types, their functions, and factors to consider when buying.

What do you mean by pipe flanges and their working?

Pipe flanges are a reliable way to connect one pipe from the other using different valves, equipment, and other components. In fact, it is the second-most used method of joining after welding. As easy as it is to join pipes through flanges, just as easy it is to separate them when the time comes. Thus, you can dismantle the materials without causing any destruction. So, one can say using flanges in the industry adds flexibility in the maintenance of the piping system by allowing easier access and dissembling.

Parts from which flange is made from:

  • Bolting
  • Gasket
  • Pipe Flanges

Mostly, the Flanges supplier in UAE offers specific gaskets and other bolting materials formed of the same or approved materials as the piping system you want to connect. The most common one is stainless steel flanges. However, you can find flanges in various materials so you can match them as per your specific requirements. 

The other common material in which flanges are available includes- Inconel, Monel, Chrome-Moly, and others segregated on the basis of their application. 

But if you are confused while choosing the best one for you, it is suggested that you analyze the system that needs the application of flanges and then think about the requirements carefully before making an order.

Reasons why you need flanges for your industry

Flanges are essential equipment in the transport, gas, water, and petroleum industry. It is also needed in chemical fertilizer and power generation. Moreover, you can also get them in different types and shapes. Also, they have diversified material options like low-alloy, low carbon steel, stainless steel, high-alloy steel, and non-ferrous steel. 

You can select the material depending on the environment it will work in and the type of liquid it will hold. Though there are particular applications of these flange fittings especially withstanding high-pressure piping applications, they have many benefits than traditional hydraulic fittings. For example, when you use this fitting in large OD applications, flanges are easily fixed to pipes and components. In fact, in many severe service applications, flanges are best for:

  • It helps reach that area where traditional fittings could not reach. Plus, they eliminate the requirement of adapters in the tube, hose line, or pipe. 
  • Another important reason for installing flanges is its easy assembling benefit. You can assemble it very easily in tight spaces where wrenches cannot be fit like in traditional flange. Also, they are more straightforward to assemble using moderate torque.
  • Flanges allow making a connection that facilitates easy maintenance inside rigid lines like metal tubes and continuous pipes. 
  • You can avoid the case of components getting loose after few rigorous hydraulic applications.
  • Flange does not include the condition of fittings getting damaged by the vibration, shock, high pressure, and surges present in the pipe, tube, or large hose. 

When you use flanges in large sizes, it allows you to ignore high-pressure circumstances and facilitates easy assembly. It is noticeable that the flange’s zero-clearance assembly, maintenance of tube, hose, and manifold; also, ease of disconnecting has made the system much faster. Thus, it can easily be concluded that a flange connection is the best option for connecting two vales, pipes, or hose ends. 

Different types of flanges are available in the market with their use

Not all industries use the same kind of flanges; thus, it is obvious that there are multiple types of flanges available in the market. Moreover, flanges are the most common region that avoids leaks and fire in the power plant. So, it is essential to get a flange that perfectly suits your need.

While choosing the suitable type of flanges for your industry operation, you can analyze them based on material type, flange facing types, types of connection, and pressure-temperature ratings. 

Here are some of the most popular types of flanges mentioned with their applications to help you decide on one:

  1. Threaded Flanges
    • It is a low-cost flange
    • It has a limited size of NPS 4-inch or below
    • These flanges can be RF or FF
  2. Lap Joint Flanges
    • The flanges give a better joining experience 
    • It is not suitable for small size expensive components 
    • It provides a rotation facility and is best for areas that require frequent dismantle 
  3. Reducing Flanges
    • Because of its high-pressure loss, you can use it in piping. 
    • It is an economical way to carry pipe transition.
  4. Socket-weld Flanges
    • The price of fabrication and flange is considerable
    • Socket welded flanges can come in RF or FF
  5. Slip-on Flanges
    • You can find these in large sizes also
    • Its cost is moderate and reasonable
    • This flange can both be RF or FF
  6. Weld Neck Flanges
    • It is an essential component in the process of fabrication
    • You can find these in any size and RF, FF, and RTJ type
    • You can look at the Weld Neck flange with pipe
  7. Expander Flange
    • You can use an expander flange to connect the pipes to valves, compressors, and pumps.
    • This flange is very useful in changing the size of the pipe run.
    • It can increase the line size
  8. Flangeolet / Nippoflange / Weldoflange 
    • These are mainly used in outlet area where large pipe connection joins the smaller points 
    • It is perfect for withstanding high-pressure piping
  9. Blind Flanges
    • You can use these to seal the end of pipes or vessel openings
    • You can also use it for testing the flow of liquid or gas inside the vessel
    • Blind flanges are also useful for easy access to the pipe

Different materials in which you can find flanges

There are five different types of materials in which flanges are made available so they can support operation even when exposed to vibration and heat. So, let’s have a look at it:

  • Stainless steel

This material can resist corrosion easily, offers durability, and provide ease of sanitation. Plus, it is perfect for an industry that deals in drinking water applications. However, these benefits come with a high price tag. So, even these provide long service life; you must replace them at a regular period for safety purposes.

  • Aluminium

The manufacturers often use hardened aluminum to cover the stainless steel flanges. This is because if the entire flange is made using aluminium, it can cut down the component’s weight. But if lighter flanges mean you can save a lot of fuel and apply less pressure, then this material may be a good choice for you. 

  • Carbon steel 

Carbon steel is the winner when all you want is toughness and less sanitation requirement. Not to mention, many homes contain carbon steel to supply natural gas. In industries, you will see carbon steel flanges in shipping vessels and fuel lines. It can easily withstand heat and vibration. However, remember, during installation, full attention must be paid to tight connections. 

  • Plastic

The lighter among all is the plastic flange. Thus, it is obvious it cannot withstand much pressure and heat unless you buy a flange that is made of high durable grade material. If you do not want to spend a lot on flanges, plastic flanges may be the best option. Also, you will get the same service life as that of carbon and stainless steel. 

  • Nickel alloy

The characteristics of Nickel alloy are the same as that of stainless steel. It provides strength to the material of the flange and still prevents corrosion. Plus, the cost of this flange is considerably low, keeping in mind the premium experience it provides. 

New World Horizon is one of the leading Flanges suppliers in UAE and offers premium flanges supplied all over the globe. Check out their products here.

What are the applications of flanges in different industries?

A flange is used to connect valves, pumps, pipes, and other equipment needed to carry modification, inspection, and clearing processes. It is possible by either the welding or screwing process. In many cases, the engineers have to close off a cylinder or chamber very securely. It is important to secure it with care because the substance inside must differ from the outside substance in pressure or composition. 

The engineers ensure this by fastening two materials using bolts on a lip. This lip is called a flange. 

Mechanics

The mechanics always prefer using flanges and bolts when it comes to connecting two large enclosed areas. The best example to support this thought is how mechanics connect the engine and the transmission inside an automobile. In this case, both the transmission and the engine contain various quantities of moving parts that can easily get affected by the workings of dust or other minute materials present inside. However, when engineers connect the outer casings of the engine and transmission using the method, it protects the inner workings of both. 

Plumbing

When the two sections of the metal pipes are connected together using the process of welding or soldering, it becomes susceptible to high pressure. However, a way to connect two sections of pipes more safely is by using flanges that you can connect using bolts. Just look for the best option available in JIS 5k 10k flanges and connect your piping system with it. This way, even if the insides of the pipe build up high pressure through gases and liquid, it holds them without any issue. 

Electronics

In the electronic area, flanges have a very specific purpose in cameras and other devices. Here, there is no problem of build-up pressure from gasses and liquid, but this does not mean there is no need to hold the material in place tightly. On the contrary, it is essential to hold it tightly because of the harmful particles that might enter. The flanges used here mainly connect two materials, i.e., the glass of a lens and a part of the camera. 

Factors to consider to buy the right flanges for your industry

Whether the flange you are buying will provide the functions you need for easy operation goes back to the decision of whether the flange you bought was right or not. The first factor that determines it is whether the flange fits in the pipe joint rightly so it can perform the function properly. However, even if you make only one small mistake, it can result in a loss for a considerable period. So, make sure to consider the following points:

  • Types

As now you know, there are tons of types in which flanges are available, so make sure to identify the tops by judging whether it’s a lap joint, threaded one or socket weld, etc. Next, identify the bottoms, whether it contains a flat face or raised face, by determining whether a small raised section is present on the flange face or not. 

  • Thickness

The next important thing to consider when buying flanges is the thickness. It is vital because it determines how much pressure it can withstand. In other words, the thicker the flange is, the more pressure it can withstand. 

  • Bolt Holes

Bolt Holes are components that determine the pressure class and the size of the flange. When looking after this factor, you need to consider three factors the pitch circle diameter, amount of bolt holes, and the size of the bolt holes. An interesting fact to know here is the thicker the bolt will be, the more strength it will hold. Thus, it can easily withstand high pressure.

  • Size

The Flanges suppliers in UAE also give an option in sizes when it comes to buying the perfect one for your vessels. You can classify these sizes into different categories: DIN, JIS, and ANSI. Plus, it also depends on the pressure required and the accurate measurement of the flange. So, make sure you put pressure on the inner and outer diameter, bolt hole diameter, number of bolt holes, and bolt circle. 

  • Materials

The last and the most important factor to consider is material. It is important to choose the right material for your flange, keeping in mind the elements it will face in its application. For example, pressure, moisture, corrosion, and temperature. The different materials you can choose from include stainless steel, steel, copper-nickel, and carbon steel.

Conclusion

It can become very difficult to make the right choice when it comes to flanges because of the multiple variables and functions available in the market. However, after reading the information provided above, you can be assured of not making the wrong choice. But make sure you choose the right flange supplier for a long-term benefit.