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World of Piping

Guide to Flanges
11/12/2016
FAUZ Engineering Ltd
usama.shahzad

Contents
Flanges General .......................................................................................................................... 3
Pressure Classes of Flanges ........................................................................................................ 5
Flange types ................................................................................................................................ 6
Definition and Details of Flanges - Flange Faces ..................................................................... 10
Definition and Details of Flanges - Gaskets & Bolts................................................................ 13

Flanges General
A flange is a method of connecting pipes, valves, pumps and other equipment to form a piping
system. It also provides easy access for cleaning, inspection or modification. Flanges are usually
welded or screwed. Flanged joints are made by bolting together two flanges with a gasket
between them to provide a seal.
Materials for Flanges
Pipe flanges are manufactured in all the different materials like stainless steel, cast iron,
aluminum, brass, bronze, plastic etc. but the most used material is forged carbon steel and has
machined surfaces.
"Lined flanges"
Sometimes internally equipped with layers of materials of a completely different quality as the
flanges themselves, in most cases, a flange is of the same material as the pipe.
Dimensions of Flanges
Each flange according to ASME B16.5 has a number of standard dimensions.
Welding Neck flange NPS 6, Class 150, Schedule 40, ASME B16.5 / ASTM A105

The flange above has 8 bolt holes, and a welding bevel of 37.5 degrees (red circle). All given
dimensions are in millimeters. The raised face (RF) does not need to be specified, because
according to ASME B16.5, each flange is standard delivered with a raised face. Only a different
design (Ring Type Joint (RTJ), Flat Face (FF) etc.), should be specified.
Disadvantages

Each flange connection can leak (some people claim that a flange connection is never 100
percent leak proof).
Flanged pipe systems need much more space (just think of a pipe rack).
Insulation of flanged pipe systems is more expensive (special flange caps).

Advantages

A new line can contain multiple pipe spools and can be manufactured in a workshop.
This pipe spools can be assembled in the plant without the need to be welded.
NDO (X-ray, Hydro test etc.) in the plant is not necessary, because this has been done in
the workshop.
Blasting and painting in the plant is not necessary, because even this has been done in a
workshop.
(Only paint damages during installation should be repaired).

Pressure Classes of Flanges


Forged steel flanges, according to ASME B16.5, are made in seven primary Pressure Classes:
150, 300, 400, 600, 900, 1500, 2500
The concept of flange ratings likes clearly. A Class 300 flange can handle more pressure than a
Class 150 flange, because a Class 300 flange are constructed with more metal and can withstand
more pressure. However, there are a number of factors that can impact the pressure capability of
a flange. The Pressure Class or Rating for flanges will be given in pounds. Different names are
used to indicate a Pressure Class.

For example: 150 Lb or 150 Lbs or 150# or Class 150, all are means the same.

Flange types
As already described before, the most used flange types acc. to ASME B16.5 are: Welding Neck,
Slip On, Socket Weld, Lap Joint, Threaded and Blind flange. Below you will find a short
description and definition of each type, completed with a detailed image.
Most common flange types

Welding Neck flange


Welding Neck Flanges are easy to recognize at the long tapered hub that goes gradually over to
the wall thickness from a pipe or fitting.
Details of Welding Neck flange

1. Weld Neck flange 2. Butt Weld


3. Pipe or Fitting

Slip On flange
The calculated strength from a Slip On flange under internal pressure is of the order of two-thirds
that of Welding Neck flanges, and their life under fatigue is about one-third that of the latter.
Details of Slip On flange

1. Slip On flange 2. Filled weld outside


3. Filled weld inside 4. Pipe
Socket Weld flange
Socket Weld flanges were initially developed for use on small-size high pressure piping. Their
static strength is equal to Slip On flanges, but their fatigue strength 50% greater than doublewelded Slip On flanges.
The connection with the pipe is done with 1 fillet weld, at the outside of the flange. But before
welding, a space must be created between flange or fitting and pipe.
Details of Socket Weld Flange

1. Socket Weld flange 2. Filled weld 3. Pipe


X = Expansion gap

Lap Joint flange


Lap Joint Flanges have all the same common dimensions as any other flange named on this page
however it does not have a raised face, they used in conjunction with a "Lap Joint Stub End".
Details of Lap Joint Flange

1. Lap Joint flange 2. Stub End


3. Butt weld 4. Pipe or Fitting
Stub End
A Stub End always will be used with a Lap Joint flange, as a backing flange.
Lap Joint Flange with a Stub End

Threaded flange
Threaded Flanges are used for special circumstances with their main advantage being that they
can be attached to the pipe without welding. Sometimes a seal weld is also used in conjunction
with the threaded connection.

Details of Threaded flange

1. Threaded flange 2. Thread 3. Pipe or Fitting


Blind flange
Blind Flanges are manufactured without a bore and used to blank off the ends of piping, Valves
and pressure vessel openings.
Details of Blind flange

1. Blind flange 2. Stud Bolt 3. Gasket 4. Other flange

Definition and Details of Flanges - Flange Faces


Different types of flange faces are used as the contact surfaces to seat the sealing gasket material.
Raised Face (RF)
It is referred to as a raised face because the gasket surfaces are raised above the bolting circle
face. This face type allows the use of a wide combination of gasket designs, including flat ring
sheet types and metallic composites such as spiral wound and double jacketed types.
The purpose of a RF flange is to concentrate more pressure on a smaller gasket area and thereby
increase the pressure containment capability of the joint

Raised Face height


For the height measures H and B of all described dimensions of flanges on this website
(http://www.wermac.org) with exception of the Lap Joint flange, it is important to understand
and remember the following:
In pressure classes 150 and 300, the height of raised face is approximately 1.6 mm (1/16 inch). In
these two pressure classes, almost all suppliers of flanges show in their catalog or brochure, the
H and B dimensions including the raised face height. (Fig. 1)
In pressure classes 400, 600, 900, 1500 & 2500, the height of raised face is approximately
6.4 mm (1/4 inch). In these pressure classes, most suppliers show the H and B dimensions
excluding the raised face height. (Fig. 2)

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Flat Face (FF)


The Flat Face flange has a gasket surface in the same plane as the bolting circle face.
Applications using flat face flanges are frequently those in which the mating flange or flanged
fitting is made from a casting.

Ring-Type Joint (RTJ)


The Ring Type Joint flanges are typically used in high pressure (Class 600 and higher rating)
and/or high temperature services above 800F (427C). They have grooves cut into their faces
which steel ring gaskets. The flanges seal when tightened bolts compress the gasket between the
flanges into the grooves, deforming (or Coining) the gasket to make intimate contact inside the
grooves, creating a metal to metal seal.
Ring Type Joint gaskets

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Ring Type Joint gaskets are metallic sealing rings, suitable for high-pressure and hightemperature applications. They are always applied to special, accompanying flanges which
ensure good, reliable sealing with the correct choice of profiles and material.

Tongue-and-Groove (T&G)
The Tongue and Groove faces of this flanges must be matched. One flange face has a raised ring
(Tongue) machined onto the flange face while the mating flange has a matching depression
(Groove) machined into its face.
Tongue-and-groove joints also have an advantage in that they are self-aligning and act as a
reservoir for the adhesive.

Male-and-Female (M&F)
With this type the flanges also must be matched. One flange face has an area that extends beyond
the normal flange face (Male). The other flange or mating flange has a matching depression
(Female) machined into its face.
The female face is 3/16-inch deep, the male face is1/4-inch high, and both are smooth finished.

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Definition and Details of Flanges - Gaskets & Bolts


Gaskets
To realize a leak-free flange connection gaskets are necessary.
Gaskets are compressible sheets or rings used to make a fluid-resistant seal between two
surfaces. Gaskets are built to operate under extreme temperature and pressures and are available
in a wide range of metallic, semi-metallic and non-metallic materials.
The principle of sealing, for example, is the compression from a gasket between two flanges. A
gasket fills the microscopic spaces and irregularities of the flange faces and then it forms a seal
that is designed to keep liquids and gases. Correct installation of damage free gaskets is a
requirement for a leak-free flange connection.
Bolts
To connect two flanges with each other, also bolts are necessary.

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