Flange Pipe Fittings

The smooth functioning of any pipe system relies entirely on the right choice of the pipe fittings used therein. The variety of applications that use pipes and pipe fittings is vast, from residential properties to every conceivable kind of industry. Also, the list of applications is forever expanding thanks to the fact that an increasing number of manufacturing processes require pipe systems with fittings that are flexible and strong, with excellent flow rates and high resistance to hazardous chemicals.

One of the most common types of pipe fitting is the flange. Flange pipe fittings are reliable and cost-effective mechanical connectors used in high-pressure piping applications. Flanges can be made to meet a wide range of requirements for a wide range of applications, such as resistance to corrosion and high temperatures. Here we will take a look at some of the reasons flange pipe fittings are so popular, as well as some of the most common applications, materials, benefits and difficulties.

What are flange pipe fittings?

Used for connecting pipes, pumps, valves and other piping system equipment, flange pipe fittings are usually screwed together, and a flanged joint is created when one flange is bolted to another with the gasket between them creating a seal.

What materials are they made from?

Flanges are typically made from a wide variety of materials, including cast iron, aluminium, brass and high pressure steel. The most common material, however, is forged carbon steel. The choice of material for the flange is often made in conjunction with the choice of material for the pipe. Also, as with pipes and other fittings, flanges can be coated internally – or lined – with various other materials for various other specific purposes.

What different types of flanges are there?

Of the many different kinds of flange available, the most commonly used include: the threaded flange, the blind flange, the slip-on flange, the socket weld flange and the lap joint flange. Speciality flanges include the orifice flange and the expander flange.

What are the benefits of a flange pipe fitting?

One of the main benefits of using flanges is that they allow you easy access to systems, for purposes of regular inspection, regular cleaning or modification. For this reason, flanges are
typically used in overground applications such as pumping stations, treatment works or fire mains.

Flanges can also remove the necessity of welding pipe spools.

Added to which, the moment-carrying capacity of flange fittings is greater than that of other kinds of connectors. This can be a significant benefit for systems where there is evidence of lateral buckling or pipe-walking due to variations in pressure and temperature (for example, deep water lines).

On the downside, some maintain that flange connections do have more of a tendency to leak. Also, flange-based pipe systems tend to take up more room.

If you need any help weighing up the pros and cons of using flange fittings in your system, or for any queries relating to pipes and pipe fittings, give Arc Alloys a call on 01384 79695. or E-mail: sales@arcalloys.com