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A pipe flange is a disc, collar or ring that attaches to pipe with the
purpose of providing increased support for strength, blocking off a
pipeline or implementing the attachment of more items. Pipe flanges are
usually welded or screwed to the pipe end and are connected with bolts.
A gasket is inserted between the two mating flanges to provide a tighter
seal. Pipe flanges are either custom with dimensions provided by the
customer or they are manufactured according to published
specifications. Several organizations and associations have published
specifications that provide dimensional information as well as pressure
specifications at different temperatures.

What are Flanges & Types of Flanges?

A flange is a forged or cast ring of steel designed to connect sections of
pipe or join pipe to a pressure Vessel, pump or any other integral
flanges assembly.
Flanges are joined to each other by bolting and joined to the piping
system by welding or threading.
The basic types of flanges are; Slip on, Blind, Weld Neck, Threaded,
Socket Weld, Lap Joint and Orifice.
Flanges are designed to the following pressure ratings; 150lb, 300lb,
400lb, 600lb, 900lb, 1500lb and 2500lb.
The most common facings machined on flanges are:
(a) Raised face, 1/16 inch for 150lb and 300lb, ¼ inch for 400lb
and heavier.

(b) Flat face, for 150lb and 300lb only, other may be flat face on request.
(c) Ring type joint, may be applied to all pressure ratings.


Slip-On Flange
The flange is slipped over the pipe and then welded both inside and
outside to provide sufficient Strength and prevent leakage. This flange is
used in preference to weld necks by many users because of its lower cost
and the fact that less accuracy is required when cutting pipe to length.
Blind Flanges
This is a flange without a bore and is used to shut off a piping system or
vessel opening. It also permits Easy access to vessels or piping systems
for inspection purposes. Blind flange can be supplied with or without
hubs at the manufacturers option.

Weld-Neck flange
This is designed to be joined to a piping system by butt-welding. It is
relatively expensive because of its long neck, but is preferred for high
stress applications. The neck, or hub transmits stresses to the base of the
hub to the wall thickness at the butt weld, provide important
reinforcement of the flange. The bore of the flange matches the bore of
the pipe, reducing turbulence and erosion.
Threaded Flange
This is similar to a slip-on flange in outline, but the bore is threaded,
thus enabling assembly without welding. This obviously limits its
application to relatively low pressure piping systems. The flange may be

welded around the joint after assembly, but this is not considered a
satisfactory method of increasing its applications.
Socket Weld Flanges
This is similar to a slip-on flange in outline, but the bore is counterbored to accept pipe. The diameter of the remaining bore is the same as
the inside diameter of the pipe. The flange is attached to the pipe by a
fillet weld around the hub of the flange. An optional interval weld may
be applied in high stress applications. Its biggest use is in high pressure
systems such as hydraulic and steam lines.
Spectacle Flanges
This is a pressure retaining plate with one solid end and one open end
connected with a web or tie-bar. In normal operation, the open end forms
the seal between two flanges and permits normal flow of fluid through
pipe work. If the solid end is swung into position it effectively blanks of
the pipe and halts the flow.
Lap-Joint Flanges
This is again similar to a slip-on flange, but it has a radius at the
intersection of the bore and the flange face to accommodate a lap stub
end. The face on the stub end forms the gasket face on the flange. This
type of flange is used in applications where sections of piping systems
need to be dismantle quickly and easily for inspection or replacement.
Orifice Flanges
The function of an orifice flange is to provide access to a line for
metering of gases or liquids. An orifice plate is clamped between a pair
of flanges when installed in a line and the whole assembly is referred to
as an orifice flange union. Jack-screws within the assembly facilitate

removal of the orifice plate. The orifice plate, the metering device,
consists of a thin plate with a concentric, square edge, circular hole in
the center. Two pressure tap-holes are drilled in each flange to measure
pressure difference through the orifice.
Groove & Tongue Flanges
The Groove and Tongue faces of these 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 facings are standardized in both large and small
types. They differ from male-and-female in that the inside diameters of
the tongue-and-groove do not extend into the flange base, thus retaining
the gasket on its inner and outer diameter. These are commonly found on
pump covers and Valve Bonnets.
Tongue-and-groove joints also have an advantage in that they are selfaligning and act as a reservoir for the adhesive. The scarf joint keeps the
axis of loading in line with the joint and does not require a major
machining operation.
General flange faces such as the RTJ, T&G and the F&M shall never be
bolted together. The reason for this is that the contact surfaces do not
match and there is no gasket that has one type on one side and another
type on the other side.
Long Neck Flanges
These flanges are unique due to their simple connectivity with other

Flat Face Flanges

The Flat Face (FF) 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
Flat face flanges are never to be bolted to a raised face flange. ASME
B31.1 says that when connecting flat face cast iron flanges to carbon
steel flanges, the raised face on the carbon steel flange must be removed,
and that a full face gasket is required. This is to keep the thin, brittle cast
iron flange from being sprung into the gap caused by the raised face of
the carbon steel flange.

Raised Face Flanges

The Raised Face (RF) type is the most applied flange face, and is easily
to identify. It is referred to as a raised face because the gasket surfaces
are raised above the bolting circle face.
Specifications covering the manufacture and dimensions
of flanges:
ASTM specifications regulate approved raw materials for which flanges
can be made and specifications.
For stainless flanges are:
ASTM A.182 - Forged or Rolled Alloy Steel Pipe Flanges & Fittings for
high temperature service.

The standards govern the dimensions and tolerances to which fitting are
ANSI B. 16.5 - Steel Pipe Flanges and Flanged Fittings (½ inch
to 24 inch nominal diameter)
MSS SP.6 - Flange Facings
MSS SP.25 - Marking of flanges
MSS SP.39 - Bolts and Nuts for Flanges
MSS SP.44 - Large Diameter Pipeline Flanges. (Over 24 inch Dia.)
API-605 - Large Diameter Flanges for petroleum Usage. (Over 24 inch

The ASME Code is not a standard as such but section VIII provides the
procedure for calculating dimensions
For all pressurized vessels flanges.
The following are not flange specifications but they influence the
manufacture of forged steel flange
ANSI B. 31.10 - Code for Pressure Piping
ANSI B. 31.3 - Petroleum Refinery Piping
ANSI B. 31.4 - Oil Transportation Piping
ANSI B. 31.5 - Refrigeration Piping Systems

ANSI B. 31.7 - Nuclear Power Piping

ANSI B. 31.8 - Gas Transmission and Distribution Piping systems
ANSI B. 36.10 - Standard for Wrought Steel pipe
ANSI B. 36.19 - Standard for Stainless Steel Pipe
ANSI B. 16.10 - Valve Dimensions Face & End
ANSI B. 16.11 - Forged Fittings Socket Weld & Threaded