The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration under the US Department of Transportation estimate that approximately 160,521 miles of liquid petroleum pipeline and around 1,585,672 miles of natural gas pipeline are across the nation. In 2019, the gas-integrated transportation networks delivered over 28.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas to consumers.
Flanges play a critical role in the gas and oil piping systems, connecting valves with other equipment. Pipe flanges are the second-most commonly used joining mechanism after welding. Flanges provide added flexibility that allows the disassembly and assembly of pipe systems. They provide easy access during the inspection, repairs, and cleaning of the gas and oil pipes.
But the point is, how to find suitable flanges for your company? Here are four factors to keep in mind during the flange selection process.
Flanges come in many kinds for industrial use. You may need to choose an ideal flange design that fits your piping systems. The most common types of flanges used in the petrochemical industry are:
- Slip-on flange
- Welding neck flange
- Socket weld flange
- Blind flange
- Lap joint flange
Other special flanges commonly used in the gas and oil industry include:
- Reducing flange
- Expander flange
- Orifice flange
- Long weld neck flanges
The flange design and face types may significantly impact the final performance of the last system.
Forged carbon steel pipe flanges are the top common type in the market. Additionally, you may find the flanges manufactured from bronze, cast iron, aluminum, and stainless steel. You may also find flanges with specialty metals like Monel, Inconel, and chrome-moly. The kind of materials depends on the piping systems and industrial application. It ensures that they are durable and robust enough in the long run. However, in most instances, the flange comes with the same material as the pipes.
It would be best to look into the flange dimensions and size for the right fit. You may need to be keen on how the flange interfaces with the pipes and gaskets to ensure an ideal size. A few standard dimensions considerations include:
- Pipe size
- Bolt circle diameter
- Inner diameter
- Nominal bore size
- Outside diameter
These dimensional factors may come in handy when updating or maintaining piping systems.
All the flanges fall under different categories specified by ASTM or ASME standards. A specific flange kind has characteristics that may significantly impact its performance across different industrial environments. Steel pipes are available in a lot of pressure and style classes. The metal flanges are classified from 1500 to 200# rating. A few standard classifications used in the petrochemical industries are:
The categories vary depending on the temperature and pressure tolerances, flange size, design, or material used. The pressure ratings usually decrease when the temperature tends to rise.
There’s virtually an endless list of configurations for the pipe flanges that you can choose from the piping systems. If you have any queries regarding the complexities of gas and oil piping, visit our website today. You can get in touch with us today!