A flange is a ring or collar, usually provided with holes for bolts, and screwed or welded over the end of a tube or pipe to permit other objects to be attached to it. Flanges are often used in plumbing, pipelines and construction zones. Flanges are very useful because they can be adapted to the needs of a project. If a pipeline needs to change course, for example, the flange can be removed and changed to accommodate the new pipeline channel. Flanges are also valuable because they serve as reinforcement for pipes, making them much stronger than they are on their own.
There are many different types of flanges but below are a few of the most common:
Anchor flanges: Anchor Flanges are used to anchor pipe – often when crossing streams or ravines. They are a double hub piece of steel that is put into a special holder that is part of a piling to support the pipeline and resist loading. The anchor structure is welded to the pipe and usually embedded in concrete. Anchor flanges actually contain axial thermal expansion – that is axial thrust in pipelines. The assumed design temperature change is 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The thrust is transferred to the anchor foundation -in which the anchor is mounted. These flanges are used at crossings and points with changes in pipeline direction.
Expander flanges: An Expander Flange is a type of welding neck pipe flange used to increase pipe size at the flange connection. Expander flanges are also known as a cost-effective alternative to using a separate reducer-welding neck flange combination. Some advantages of the expander flange are that its compact size saves space when compared to reducer-welding neck flange and that only one butt-weld is needed for installation making it very cost-effective.
Split flanges: A split flange is easily installed on pre-existing piping. It is made up of two interlocking pieces that fit securely together using nuts and bolts or welding it into place. Because it is made of two parts, split flanges are used to reinforce weakened areas of piping, or to add an attachment in places conventional flanges cannot.
Like most other industries, flanges have standards that they must meet in order to be sold and used it the field. Flanges manufactured in the United States are judged by ASME standards. Flanges that are made to ASME standards are usually made from forged materials. Flanges are important pieces of equipment that are used on most every construction site, pipeline and plumbing job in the world. These are just a few types of flanges to give you an idea of what to look for and how diverse flanges are. There are many flange manufacturers that provide very high-quality products. When choosing a manufacturing, be sure that the sales representative is knowledgeable about their inventory and the capabilities of their flanges.