Inspectioneering
Explore this topic

Overview of Flanges

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.

 

 

Is this definition incomplete? You can help by contributing to it.

Share this Topic

Related Topics

Aboveground Storage Tanks (ASTs) Boiler Tubes Boilers Bolts Coker Units Cooling Towers Crude Distillation Unit (CDU) Deaerators Fired Heaters Fixed Equipment Flare Systems Furnace Tubes Glass-lined Equipment Heat Exchangers HF Alkylation Units Hydrocracking Unit Hydrotreater Piping Pressure Relieving Devices (PRDs) Pressure Vessels Rotating Equipment Valves
Articles about Flanges
  • May/June 2018 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Ralph E. King P.E. at Stress Engineering Services Inc., John Norris, P.E. at Stress Engineering Services, Dr. Kannan Subramanian, Ph. D., P.E. at Stress Engineering Services Inc., and Daniel Ayewah, P.E. at Stress Engineering Services Inc.

    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 the issue.

  • March/April 2017 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Fernando Vicente at ABB, and Laza Krstin at ABB

    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 asset’s reliability or performance.

  • May/June 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Neil Ferguson at Hydratight

    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 parties involved is joint integrity management.

  • July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Neil Ferguson at Hydratight

    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 regulatory compliance are now more scrutinized and critical than ever.

  • Blog
    April 27, 2015

    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: “static” or steady state loading, and “cyclic” or continuously changing loading.

  • Partner Content

    If you are developing a mechanical integrity program, or you would like to optimize your existing mechanical integrity program, do you have qualified MI consultants to meet your regulatory needs? If you already have a sound, defensible MI inspection system in place, do you have qualified and experienced personnel maintaining your program?

  • May/June 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Neil Ferguson at Hydratight

    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 one of the most critically important changes for BFJA technicians, operators, and other industry professionals.

  • 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 Operation. The consequences of failure of any individual joint can cause severe Health, Safety, Environmental or Commercial issues. Implementing an up to date Flange Management strategy based on industry best practices at the FEED stage and in detailed design has a number of benefits.

  • January/February 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Neil Ferguson at Hydratight

    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, and regulations that help keep industrial operations safe for humans and the environment.

  • 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 address these issues before they become a serious problem. Recently, our friend and media partner, Inspectioneering Journal (IJ), sat down with Dave Godfrey of INTEGRA Technologies to see how INTEGRA is addressing these challenges.

  • July/August 2012 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Robert C. Davis at The Equity Engineering Group, Inc.

    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 unplanned outages to fix leaks are costly and unsafe.

  • Partner Content

    It’s a scary thought to think that with all the new advancements in technology, some facilities still rely on traditional inspection contractors that perform out of date procedures. You rely on technology to keep your home and identity safe, so why run the risk of hiring inspection contractors without technological solutions to provide the vital information needed to keep your facility safe.

  • September/October 2009 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Warren Brown at The Equity Engineering Group, Inc., Wayne McKenzie at Syncrude Canada, and Shane Ryan at Syncrude Canada

    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 years that have allowed great improvements to be made in the specification of gaskets for refinery applications. This minimizes the likelihood of joint leakage and results in reduce operating cost. In addition, there have also been advances in joint assembly procedures that have enabled significant reduction in joint assembly times, while resulting in a better final gasket stress distribution and therefore lower likelihood of leakage.

  • 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 joints of the pipes. In a refinery there are several thousands of feet of piping and associated joints, as shown in the photograph presented in Figure 1. Petrochemical leaks don't only cost the companies money for the time and material to repair a leak, but also to remediate the areas affected and the institution of stricter controls. Because of this pressure, the involved companies are looking to replace the current monitoring scheme with a more effective and cost efficient risk based inspection (RBI) program.

    Companies
    Videos related to Flanges
      White Papers related to Flanges
        Downloads & Resources related to Flanges
          Events related to Flanges
            News related to Flanges

              Inspectioneering Journal

              Explore over 20 years of articles written by our team of subject matter experts.

              Company Directory

              Find relevant products, services, and technologies.

              Job Postings

              Discover job opportunities that match your skillset.

              Case Studies

              Learn from the experience of others in the industry.

              Event Calendar

              Find upcoming conferences, training sessions, online events, and more.

              Industry News

              Stay up-to-date with the latest inspection and asset integrity management news.

              Blog

              Read short articles and insights authored by industry experts.

              Acronyms

              Commonly used asset integrity management and inspection acronyms.

              Asset Intelligence Reports

              Download brief primers on various asset integrity management topics.

              Videos

              Watch educational and informative videos directly related to your profession.

              Expert Interviews

              Inspectioneering's archive of interviews with industry subject matter experts.