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Flanges

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Flanges are external ridges on beams or pipes that allow them to be attached to other objects. In the process industries, flanges are most often important in the context of pipelines and piping. Sections of pipe are able to be bolted or welded together at these flanges; allowing for easier transportation, assembly, installation, and/or disassembly than if they were constructed as one big section. By making them easier to disassemble, maintenance, inspection, and cleaning activities can be conducted without affecting large portions of the pipe system.

Some of the most common types of flanges in the industry are welding neck flanges, slip on flanges, socket weld flanges, lap joint flanges, threaded flanges, and blind flanges. They can be made of a number of different materials such as stainless steel, cast iron, aluminium, brass, bronze, or plastic, among others. Usually the flange material is the same as the pipe itself.

The area where two pipes are joined together by a flange is known as a flange joint. This is a critical area for managing the integrity of a piping system. Leaks can delay production start up, cause unplanned shutdowns, or cause significant safety incidents. All of which, could have a substantial impact on the budget. This is why effective joint integrity management practices are so important.

Image: Example of Flange with Welded and Bolted Joints.

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Articles about Flanges
May/June 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

A safety-focused mindset and awareness of the dangers associated with the process, environment, and associated tasks through planning and execution is essential for the safe completion of a single stud replacement campaign.

May/June 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

This article demonstrates how the use of TFM/FMC can be an effective method to screen for potential problem flanges before a planned shut down and can be a very useful tool in planning which flanges require further evaluation.

Authors: Mark Schramm
May/June 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

There is concern in the industry over recent findings of reduced toughness fittings and flanges at risk of brittle fracture. This article provides an overview; possible contributors; measures taken to address; and a proposed FFS approach to address...

March/April 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Myths, challenges, and good practices related to process piping integrity management activities that help inspection and maintenance managers make the right decisions to develop cost-effective piping inspection plans without compromising the...

May/June 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

Large scale capital projects present a myriad of challenges for owner-users in the oil and gas and petrochemical industries. Budgets are constantly being stretched and project deadlines are often exceeded. One area that deserves attention from all...

Authors: Neil Ferguson
Partner Content

Integrating a new digital technology that combines data-driven insights and data storage with innovative mobility can provide a new level of connected intelligence. Digitalization can improve workflow, increase worker productivity and allow better...

July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

With the increasing demand for oil, gas, and petrochemical products in a highly competitive market, products and services irrespective of their origin must satisfy customer quality requirements. Additionally, the needs to ensure quality control and...

Authors: Neil Ferguson
Blog

One problem that nearly everyone in the industry has experienced is where, in certain situaions, a tight bolt will perform correctly while a loose bolt will fail. This happens because of two fundamental types of loading that a bolt may encounter:...

May/June 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

In November 2013, ASME released its updated PCC-1 guidelines for pressure boundary bolted flange joint assemblies. Contained within the document is Appendix A, which represents a major change from the previous 2010 release and is considered to be...

Authors: Neil Ferguson
Online Article

The bolted connection is a critical and complex component in any pressurized system, on typical Oil and Gas projects there will be many thousands of joints all of which need managing through Design, Fabrication Completion, Commissioning and...

January/February 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

If necessity is the mother of invention, then the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are the parents of guidelines, standards,...

Authors: Neil Ferguson
Partner Content

Download Pinnacle's Economics of Reliability Report - Refining to see how reliability is affecting profitability.

Online Article

Leak related problems in bolted assemblies are an ongoing issue for virtually all facilities in the chemical, petrochemical, and refining industries. From leak detection to leak prevention, operators need knowledgeable and experienced technicians to...

Authors: Jeremiah Wooten
July/August 2012 Inspectioneering Journal

At most operating facilities, a significant amount of time, effort, and money is expended on problem flanged joints that repeatedly leak. Joints that are repeatedly tightened online, that require installation of leak clamps, or that have resulted in...

Authors: Robert C. Davis
September/October 2009 Inspectioneering Journal

Leakage of pressure vessel and piping bolted joints in refineries is an unnecessary hazard, with high associated cost, that can be easily rectified using currently available technology. There have been advances in gasket testing technology in recent...

July/August 2009 Inspectioneering Journal

In the current economic environment, there is increasing pressure on petrochemical refineries and delivery systems to be more productive and to minimize unscheduled shutdowns due to leakage. Leakage can occur from either the piping itself or the...

Authors: Willis Perry
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