Flanges are commonly found in piping lines where they serve as connectors for pipes, pumps, valves, and other related components. They are considered like joints in the skeletal system. The advantage it serves is how they make cleaning and maintaining the operating system more manageable. But what assurance do we have that the right type of flange serves its purpose in a piping system? 

Knowing the variety of flanges sold in the market, you are given several options to choose from. They may seem hard to identify their differences than their common denominators. To be able to run an operating system smoothly, an operating system should be fixed with the right type of components. Considering their variations in size, color, material, and application, there is a suitable flange for every need. 

Flanges Overview
Flanges are commonly seen in pipings or pipelines. They may not be that visible during operations but they are responsible for connecting two components together to make a system function. Flanges are either welded or screwed depending on the type of operation they serve. 

As connectors, they allow efficient transportation, transformation, installation, and operation throughout the system. They secure the safety of operations regardless of the required pressure and temperature. 
Unlike other connectors, flanges function separately from the whole operating system. That is what makes them easy to maintain, disassemble, clean, and repair. They don’t affect the whole system because they are solo-acting joints. Flanges are made of different materials or a combination. What makes them different is their capability to keep up with the required pressure and temperature of operations. Common materials found on their composition are as follows: 

  • Bronze
  • Stainless steel
  • Cast iron
  • Plastic
  • Aluminum 
  • Brass

Most Common Applications of Flanges
Flanges play a significant role in a variety of industries. Three of which are plumbing, electronics, and mechanics industry. Beyond these applications, engineers use flanges to secure the seal of a cylinder or a chamber of safer operations. 

In a plumbing system, flanges are used in putting two components together. They are either welded or screwed to avoid bursting during extreme operations. The way they are connected to the components make them susceptible to high-pressure operations which are common in manufacturing, petrochemical, and food industries. The disk-like device serves as a tight shut-off seal avoiding leakages and bursts. 

Regardless if liquids or gases experience a potential build up due to high-pressure operations, they are not stressed alleviating cases of potential operating problems. In a plumbing system, they are found in between valves. During the regulation or halt of materials, the control of the flow remains normal. That is why we suggest that flanges should be paired with the best valves, (check out XHVAL globe valves) in the market for uninterrupted plumbing operations. 

Flanges serve a significant purpose in cameras and other technological devices. These devices may not require high pressures and high temperatures but flanges exhibit a tight-shut feature. The hold they provide keeps the harmful particles distant from the electrical built of electronic devices. In cameras, for example, flanges are used to connect the lens with the body of the camera. 

In the field of mechanics, flanges are commonly used to connect two sections involving a spacious yet enclosed area. In automobiles, for example, they seal the connection between the transmission and the heart of the engine. Considering that both are composed of moving parts, they are the most susceptible to damage because of the small particles that may get through. Flanges prevent the transmission and the engine from being damaged by providing a tight seal from inside and out.

Common Types of Flanges
Different types of flanges serve different applications and composed of different materials. They facilitate easier maintenance and replacement operations. 

Socket Weld Flange 
These types of flanges are used in connecting pipes which involve a single fillet. They are welded on the outer part of the flange. Socket weld flange is commonly applied in high-pressure pipes which are usually small in size. 

Weld Neck Flange
Weld neck flange or high-hub is a type of flange are usually found in piping systems or in process plants. They are responsible for transferring the stress from the flange to the pipe avoiding cases of bursting. 

Slip On Flange
Slip-on flanges play a significant role where a ring is placed on the ends of a pipe acting as connectors or joints. From the name itself, the holes of the SOF are bigger than the pipe allowing them to slip through the piping line. 

Lap Joint Flange 
This type of flange is most commonly mistaken as the SOF or the slip-on flange because of the same properties they possess. Compared to other flange types, lap joint flange has minimal pressure holding ability. They can be used on different pressure levels and is even available in a full-size range.
Flanges serve in different industries considering their outstanding features. They may seem simple in design but they play a significant role in every application. Without flanges, operations are more susceptible to bursting. Moreover, they cannot keep up with the rise and fall of pressure levels without flanges.