A Flange is a protruding wheel-shaped end of equipment that is fastened to another end of an object to facilitate attachment. The primary purpose of using a flange is to connect two separate openings of equipment, e.g., two pipelines, a valve fitting on a pipeline and any equipment fitting. It ensures that the petroleum product, natural gas or any other liquid product is moved inside the pipeline without any hindrance or leak.
Flanges have radial collars which project outward. Holes are bored on the outer diameter of a flange in order to provide a means of attachment to pipelines and other piping components.
Flanges are manufactured as per the specifications given on the pipeline or any other equipment and they should match the opening diameters of where they will be connected. Some of the uses of a flange are as follows:
- It allows the smooth flow of the liquid flowing inside pipelines as it provides the means for connecting multiple pipelines together making it a large mile length.
- It allows a means of assembling and disassembling industrial equipment.
- It allows easy access when cleaning, inspecting and modifying the internal surfaces of the pipelines or any equipment.
The design and specifications of a flange relate to the size and pressure capacity of the equipment to which it is fitted. In order to provide an effective & tight seal with the two metal surfaces, a gasket is used while bolting or coupling the flanges.
The following are the most common types of flanges used in the oil industry:
- Weld neck
- Slip on
- Lap Joint
- Socket weld.