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A brief introdction to flange

Date: 2021-04-02  Views:

A flange is a protruded ridge, lip or rim, either external or internal, that serves to increase strength (as the flange of an iron beam such as an I-beam or a T-beam); for easy attachment/transfer of contact force with another object (as the flange on the end of a pipe, steam cylinder, etc., or on the lens mount of a camera); or for stabilizing and guiding the movements of a machine or its parts (as the inside flange of a rail car or tram wheel, which keep the wheels from running off the rails). The term "flange" is also used for a kind of tool used to form flanges.

A flange can also be a plate or ring to form a rim at the end of a pipe when fastened to the pipe (for example, a closet flange). A blind flange is a plate for covering or closing the end of a pipe. A flange joint is a connection of pipes, where the connecting pieces have flanges by which the parts are bolted together.

Although the word 'flange' generally refers to the actual raised rim or lip of a fitting, many flanged plumbing fittings are themselves known as flanges.

Common flanges used in plumbing are the Surrey flange or Danzey flange, York flange, Sussex flange and Essex flange. Surrey and York flanges fit to the top of the hot water tank allowing all the water to be taken without disturbance to the tank. They are often used to ensure an even flow of water to showers. An Essex flange requires a hole to be drilled in the side of the tank.

There is also a Warix flange which is the same as a York flange but the shower output is on the top of the flange and the vent on the side. The York and Warix flange have female adapters so that they fit onto a male tank, whereas the Surrey flange connects to a female tank.

A closet flange provides the mount for a toilet.

Piping components can be bolted together between flanges. Flanges are used to connect pipes with each other, to valves, to fittings, and to specialty items such as strainers and pressure vessels. A cover plate can be connected to create a "blind flange". Flanges are joined by bolting, and sealing is often completed with the use of gaskets or other methods. Mechanical means to mitigate effects of leaks, like spray guards or specific spray flanges, may be included. Industries where flammable, volatile, toxic or corrosive substances are being processed have greater need of special protection at flanged connections. Flange guards can to provide that added level of protection to ensure safety.

There are many different flange standards to be found worldwide. To allow easy functionality and interchangeability, these are designed to have standardised dimensions. Common world standards include ASA/ASME (USA), PN/DIN (European), BS10 (British/Australian), and JIS/KS (Japanese/Korean). In the USA, the standard is ASME B16.5 (ANSI stopped publishing B16.5 in 1996). ASME B16.5 covers flanges up to 24 inches size and up to pressure rating of Class 2500. Flanges larger than 24 inches are covered in ASME B16.47.

In most cases, standards are interchangeable, as most local standards have been aligned to ISO standards; however, some local standards still differ. For example, an ASME flange will not mate against an ISO flange. Further, many of the flanges in each standard are divided into "pressure classes", allowing flanges to be capable of taking different pressure ratings. Again these are not generally interchangeable (e.g. an ASME 150 will not mate with an ASME 300).

These pressure classes also have differing pressure and temperature ratings for different materials. Unique pressure classes for piping can also be developed for a process plant or power generating station; these may be specific to the corporation, engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contractor, or the process plant owner. The ASME pressure classes for flat-face flanges are Class 125 and Class 250. The classes for ring-joint, tongue and groove, and raised-face flanges are Class 150, Class 300, Class 400 (unusual), Class 600, Class 900, Class 1500, and Class 2500.

The flange faces are also made to standardized dimensions and are typically "flat face", "raised face", "tongue and groove", or "ring joint" styles, although other obscure styles are possible.

Flange designs are available as "weld neck", "slip-on", "lap joint", "socket weld", "threaded", and also "blind".