When it comes to flanges, the purpose is simple – they help to reinforce the ring, collar, rim, or ridge on an object like pipe, beam, column, and so on. Flanges provide additional stiffness and strength along with an added surface area for the attachment of another object. The construction of flanges is possible with different materials, depending primarily on the requirements and piping material of the application.
The selection of flange connections depends on various factors like economy, flow pressure, operating temperature, and environmental corrosion. Below are the eight materials that are useful for the construction of flanges:
Copper flanges help deliver conductivity. The best thing is that they are non-magnetic and can withstand higher loads than other materials. They can withstand high-temperature service as well. One common location for copper flanges is plumbing. They are also helpful in valve parts and pumps along with electrical components and power generation.
Titanium is famous for its extreme durability and is exceptionally lightweight properties. The demand for titanium flanges in the aerospace industry is rising. They prefer titanium for superior aircraft construction. Besides its use in aircraft frames, titanium also has excellent resistance to heat that makes it one of the perfect materials for aircraft engines. Its properties make it one of the most expensive manufacturing materials.
No other metal is widely popular in the industry than aluminum. It is lightweight and comes with an excellent weight-to-strength ratio. Aluminum flanges come with microscopic oxide coating on the surface that provides superior corrosion resistance. Architectural frames, marine equipment, wheels, and automotive frames are of aluminum alloys or aluminum.
The basis of superalloys is on the materials like cobalt and nickel. These metals are famously known to withstand harsh environments. They must be resistant to high heat and acid corrosion while they also exhibit wearability. Superalloys are best for the following:
Oil and gas
Assemblies in chemical and marine industries
Stainless steel is one of the most common materials used in foodservice equipment, medical tools, or other tools that need frequent sanitizing. Its use doesn’t limit here; they are also helpful in ovens and furnaces which need high heat resistance.
Stainless steel flange is one of the common preferences among many users. A product called ‘austenitic’ stainless steel is perfect in restaurant equipment and other applications that require high corrosion resistance and frequent cleaning. ‘Martensitic’ and duplex stainless steel flanges also have superior resistance to pitting and cracks.
Tool steel billets or ingots are perfect to manufacture flanges. The reason is that they contain carbon and other alloys that combine with iron. The combination helps to strengthen the steel and makes it more impact-resistant and sturdy. The most common use of tool steel is in applications that need durability and reliability during continuous operation. For example, tool steel is functional to create production machines for the manufacturing industry.
Manufacturers usually use different grades of carbon steel that helps in producing flanges. It usually depends on the requirement of ductility, impacts strength, wears resistance, and hardness. Take the example of low carbon steel; it is robust and highly ductile as it contains the least amount of carbon. High carbon steel is both resilient and firm, but it is also true that manufacturers need to use a specific process to heat and treat the materials. Most of the automotive components that include frames, pans, fenders, transmission covers use carbon steel.
Alloy steel is one of the iron-based products that come with less than four percent chromium. It includes materials like nickel, molybdenum, tungsten, vanadium, manganese, copper, and silicon. Alloy steel is one of those materials which has great use in the manufacturing of pipe connectors. It is resistant to wear and tear, harder, and much stronger than you can think. Apart from alloy flanges, many industries utilize alloy steel. It includes:
Gas and oil
It is clear from the above different materials that the performance of the flange depends on them. The main performance features of the flange are durability, ease of assembly, and weight. You can choose the right kind of flange based on your performance requirements. We hope that with the help of this guide, you will be able to identify the difference between these eight materials before you choose a specific flange.
To learn more about flange basics, visit https://www.texasflange.com/flange-basics/