The Industrial Use Of Flanges

Flange represents a steel element in the form of a ring and serves to secure the interconnected pipe pieces, fittings vessels, apparatuses, components, units as well as control valves, gates and etc. All the types of flanges can be clearly divided into nine types, according to the execution of the sealing surface. Industrial flanges can be neatly divided into categories based on the nominal size, pressure and specific method of fixation, i.e. attachment.

The functional characteristics of flanges

Flanges play a crucial role in assembling of pipelines of various diameters, technological equipment and complex of individual nodes. At first glance, flanges production is something straightforward, not involving plenty of industries. However, considering the example of a Birmingham-based company AlexanderComley, one will notice that custom stainless steel flanges, bespoke flanges and butt weld fittings uk production is demanded by moneyed oil, gas, petrochemical and even defense industries.  The production of tubesheets, tightly connected with flanges manufacturing, is the second demanded service according to AlexanderComley marketers.

Bespoke flanges may be produced in the form a separate parts, as well as components of more complex systems. The flange is typically attached to a source element by the means of welding or in tandem with the other flange by bolting.

All the kinds of flanges, anyway, serve for securely attachment of separate sections of pipelines, installation of fittings, being an essential element for creating a sealed connection that easily withstand such negative factors as water hammers, horizontal dynamic loads, thermal expansions, rigid temperature regimen and etc.

Seasoned industrial companies produce flanges of large diameter for petrochemical plants, where they utilised in repairing, laying large trunk lines and other pipeline equipment. To date, the flanges are made from various grades of steel to ensure its safe usage in various temperature environments, ranging from -270 to 1860 degrees Celsius and higher. Being a vital element in the node connecting and piping equipment, an average flange is carefully tested before installation. Another important aspect is choosing the flange according to operating pressure to prevent critical issues (leakages, flows) and even piping damaging.

Industrial Flanges: Spheres Of Application

Flanges represent the connecting elements used for pipe fittings, attached to the base part by means of special compounds. In most cases, flanges are produced in the form of a ring or disk with stepped cross-section, which in turn has openings for the studs or bolts. However, the main mission delegated to flanges is ensuring the tightness of the flange or the strength of a connection.

To date, the existing pipelines are primarily mounted with the following flange types:

  • flat steel flanges with raised connection ledges;
  • flanges with annular cylindrical ledges or hollows designed for installation of gaskets
  • flat steel flanges without coupling ledges.

The main technical parameters of any type of flange are considered to be diametric height of connecting ring part, the number and diameter of holes for bolts and studs, as well as the thickness of the connecting ring part of the item. Furthermore, regardless of its type, the flange must be rigid enough. This is necessary in order to ensure uniform distribution of specific pressures at the junction of the annular surfaces to create certain pressure during mounting.

The manufacturing technologies of standard and bespoke flanges largely depend on the size of the item, capacity of the manufacturing plant and the requirements for the quality of the metal in a particular pipeline. Accordingly, the flanges are oftentimes made from metal sheets or forgings. For the production of flanges usual or centrifugal casting is used. With regard to producing the flanges made by the means of hammers and presses, then the geometric shape of the workpiece should necessarily allow its extraction from the stamp.