What are The Top Reasons of Flange Damage?

Flanges are products that are suitable for heat exchangers. It plays an integral portion and works well in the processing operation. Many things affect the operational capacity of the flanges, including high-pressure equipment like leakages.

Tongue and Groove flanges

Leakage is not acceptable in the process equipment. Based on heat exchangers, usability and application depend, and they also help in decreasing productivity. Further, many procedures contaminate heat transfer fluids. Therefore, it also creates issues of environmental hazards and safety. Leakage in flanges also leads to life-threatening issues like fire. Hence, it is necessary to identify the leakage in flanges right after the detection.

Meaning of flanges

Flanges possess many components, such as bolts, gaskets, and rings. The bolts hold the flanges in one plane and help support the exchanger. Therefore, it is essential to determine the cause and identify the location after the flange leakage.

Possible causes of flange leaks

There are many possibilities for the flanges to leak. These are:

Unequal bolt stress

Cramped working environment surroundings or improper bolting process of the flange makes a few bolts loose. In addition, unequal bolt stress crushes and tightens the gasket. These stress conditions lead to leakages, especially in high temperatures and after the relaxation of heavily loaded bolts.

Improper flange alignment

Improper flange alignment tends to develop local crushing and unequal gasket compression, resulting in subsequent leakage. Unequal flange centerline alignment results in flange leakage and unequal gasket compression.

Improper gasket centering

When the gasket installation is off-centered to the flange faces, it results in uneven gasket compression. Also, it makes the joints quite prone to further leakage. The spiral wound and double jacket gasket come with a centering ring that extends to the bolts’ inner edge. The right cut of the gasket makes it easier for the exterior diameter to meet the bolt’s inner edge.

Damage and dirt to flange faces

Various damage to the flanges is in the form of external and internal scratches, scaling, weld spatters, protrusions, and dirt. Also, the flanges with warped seating surfaces increase the chances of leakage. It may lead to uneven gasket compression and ultimately results in flange leakage.

The additional load on flanges

Huge piping networks tend to create load at the flange locations. Such needing events and forces loosen the bolting portions. These flange distortions may also lead to leakages.

Temperature shock

Random changes in thermal energy fluctuations may result in flange deformation for a limited time. The varied temperature around the flange leads to problems with the flange locations. Sheet metal shields are necessary as it helps in protecting the flanges against snow and rain impingement. These conditions develop heat gradients throughout the flange and lead to flange leakage. Metal shields also protect the flanges at a uniform temperature.

Unsuited flange surface

If the flange comes with deeper serrations in comparison to the specified. It helps in preventing the arrangement of spiral wounds or double-jacketed gaskets. This leads to preventing the space for leakage.

Benefits of immediate leak identification

Many leakage repair and detection methods are available. It helps in saving the entire piping system. With proper flange leakage detection, petroleum refineries help control the emissions from the leaked portions. Further, it helps improve plant workers’ safety levels, reduces emission costs, and supports the environment.

Conclusion

It would help if you kept in mind that there’s no perfect material to fix bad flanges. You can contact Texas Flange anytime for other general procedures or specific applications.

 

 

 

What is Flange Facing and Its Benefits?

If you want to ensure that the old flanges continue to work smoothly without any issues with the joint integrity, flange facing needs to be performed. Flange facing is a machine service on the flange surface that you can perform during repair and maintenance. Timely repair and maintenance of the flange help avoid corrosion and leakages, increasing the flanges’ service life.

Meaning of flange facing

Flange facing is the process through which the machining work resurfaces the flanges. It helps to create new mating surfaces that ensure a perfect seal when you assemble it. Flange facing is done using a tool known as the flange facing tool, flange facers, or flange facing machine.

Flange facing is an important activity in power generation, chemical, food processing, pipelines, pharmaceutical production, refinery, petrochemicals, and gas and oil industries. Additionally, the following industries use the flange facing operations while shooting down and maintenance of their plant:

  • Fluid control industries
  • Shipyards
  • Tube processing
  • Defense
  • Diesel Engineer
  • High-Purity industry
  • Nuclear industry

Requirement of Flange Facing

Flanges are usually pressurized during the operation; hence, they regularly experience damage due to the turbulent flow. Additionally, they tend to experience impacts with other components while installation, construction, or cuts from the gasket leaks.

Flange facing cuts the flanges and provides them with a spiral-grooved finish. It helps the flange to be less susceptible to leaks as fluids are forced to travel down the instead paths rather across the flange face. Flange facing is the topmost important repair job during plant maintenance or shutdown activities.

Applications of Flange Facing

The flange-facing work requires the following activities:

  • Flange milling wind tower section
  • Re-facing repairing and valve flange heat exchangers.
  • Re-facing ship hatch sealing surfaces.
  • Plate and vessel weld prep.
  • Repairing ring grooves or cutting new groves.
  • Boiler feed pump flanges.
  • Repairing piston rod mating flanges.
  • Ship thruster mount milling, drilling, and facing.
  • Phonographic finish flanges and repairing flat face raised face.
  • For sealing, beveling, facing, and weld preparation of the pipe are required.
  • Re-machining, the gasket seal on the tube sheets.
  • Resurfacing large pump base housings.
  • Repairing a heat exchanger and other equipment nozzle flanges.
  • Re-facing of pipeline or pipe flanges.

Flange facing machine

Flange-facing machines are useful tools to mechanically cut or polish disks, flanges, rings, or collars. Flanges in the piping industry usually get deformed (dents, scratches, etc.) or corroded during handling or operation. If you want to ensure the integrity of flange joints, these damages are removed using a clamshell/split frame cutter known as the flange-facing machine.

Working of flange facing machine

The cutting tool of the flanging machine often travels in a spiral path across the flange face. It removes the damage from the flange face. The cutting/polishing or polishing operation is done through successive strips that ensure regularity and face flatness. Once the flange facing is done, the flange quality and proper sealing capabilities are achieved.

Finishes as per the ASME B16.5 specifications achieved and created using feeds. Flange-facing machines are quite flexible for operations. You can mount them at any angle, including the inverted orientation. In addition, the facing arm of the flange face can be balanced using adjustable counterweights when you do not mount them horizontally.

The face of flange process usually involves the following steps:

  • Fine machining with insert bits.
  • Low feeding, low rotation
  • Machining with a cutting tool
  • Cleaning of the flange face surface

Kinds of Flange Facing Machines

It all depends on the powering of flange-facing machines that various kinds flange facing machines are available in the market. The common kind of flange facers are:

  • Hydraulic flange facing machine
  • Pneumatic flange-facing machine

Flange-facing machines are available in two types, depending on the mounting mechanism:

  • Outside Diameter (OD) mounted flange facing machine and 
  • Internal Diameter (ID) mounted flange facer.

Conclusion

You may need to consult the fitting distributor to determine your project’s right flange face. For more information on sourcing, suitable flanges face for your project, contact Texas Flange.

Top 3 Advantages of Choosing Custom Pipe Fittings

There are multiple pipelines spread across the US that are used to deliver trillions of cubic feet of natural gas and tons of liquid petroleum all year round. While most of these pipes are joined conventionally, there are instances where there may be a need to use custom pipe fittings to support and join pipes. Usually, custom pipe fittings are created when the required couplets or fittings need to match a custom or unique design.

Custom Pipe Flange Fittings

Meaning of custom flanges

Custom flanges or non-standard flanges mean the flanges do not meet the international standards of flanges; custom flanges are instead designed for a special application.

A flange has many dimensions to design in the flange standards and the dimensions are indicated clearly. When a company designs and produces custom flanges, they do not follow any references or have any standards, but they need to confirm the dimensions. As a company, when you approach a business-like Texas Flange, it is best to show all the requirements and details you require.

The creation of custom pipe fittings is possible with software, allowing the designer to tweak part properties like system definition, shape, and size.

Advantages of custom pipe flanges

There are multiple advantages to using custom couplets or pipe fittings, which will be discussed below in three sections.

Build for the job

In a few instances, when people fail to find a fitting to match the pipe system in place, they usually use wooden props and blocks as alternatives. While it may seem innovative, it provides a quick solution but will not stand the test of time.

It is advisable to use a professional pipe support system when working with pipe systems. Investing in the best products available due to the large quantities in an order will be better suited for the business.

Flexible design

Custom pipe flanges are designed to suit many different applications and for specific purposes, but you will not need to worry about them not fitting in the pipes correctly. Custom pipe fittings allow you to work with any type of piping material but are a test as they hold weights of more than 8,000 pounds.

Despite the situation you are dealing with, they are designed to handle strain to an extent.

Professional advice at your disposal

When you think about using custom pipe flanges and make a plan, you won’t just acquire a perfect product but will obtain a network of experienced professionals who can stand by the quality of the product. Designers who work on custom pipe flanges can address all the concerns and questions you may have when it comes to your project.

The above are three main advantages of using custom pipe flanges which are made to suit the exact piping you are working with but also offer the perfect solutions to all your piping concerns.

If you need help for your next business project and wish to get the best custom pipe flanges, contact Texas Flange. Our knowledgeable team members will be happy to assist you and help you point in the direction.

 

How To Prevent Corrosion On Flanges

Shutdowns in the industries cost millions… even when planned properly. Shutdowns are significantly impacted by the operating costs due to damaged parts, including flange face imperfections, gasket failure, or general corrosion. A leak may occur when corrosive media meets the sealing surfaces of facing flanges. It is why flange maintenance is a crucial step that helps to prevent leakage.

corrosion flange

Types of corrosion

Flanges may go through two types of corrosion in their lifetime. These include aperture and pitting.

Pitting corrosion

Pitting occurs on the flange face and often appears in groups or clusters. The type of corrosion may result in small cavities or pits that form at the material’s surface. Proper alloy selection is one of the best-recommended ways to prevent pitting corrosion.

Crevice corrosion

Crevice creep occurs when there is a buildup in the concentrated substance between the two adjoining flanges. It is the type of corrosion that can be very damaging because it is not easy to inspect the area of its occurrence.

Currently, monitoring the flange damage is to disassemble the joint and visually inspect the surfaces. It is not ideal due to the down cost and time. There has been some development using some non-destructive techniques to examine the amount of corrosion to the flanges.

Prevention methods

Maintenance of paints is one of the most common methods that help to prevent corrosion. Maintenance paints are commonly urethane or epoxy-based coatings. Most maintenance paints bond directly to the substrate as a hard coating. With the use of maintenance paints, a perfect amount must be applied. If the paint is too thin, the area will be ineffective; however, if the paint is too thick, it will lead to seizing the fastenings.

There have been a lot of different flange shapes and angles, and you may not be able to coat the whole area. After the flange inspection, another layer of coating needs to be applied. A benefit of using maintenance paints is that they do not require specialist equipment or hot work.

Mechanical solutions are usually clamp encapsulated or rigid, covering the flange or the void between the flanges. These clamps or covers are made from plastic or stainless steel and incorporate a rubber seal.

The next solution is the usage of tapes, be it semi-solid or full. Tapes can be composed of viscoelastic polymers, wax, petrolatum embedded into the fabric for wrapping. These are useful specifically for their water-repellent nature of semi-solid polymers, although they may be less common in high-pressure applications.

All the preventative methods have some pros and cons—no solution can help prevent the corrosion from happening entirely. However, regular inspections and maintenance can help to prevent rapid corrosion and general upkeep is encouraged.

Ways to repair corroded flanges

There are three main ways you can use to repair the corroded flanges:

. Adding a polymer composite to rebuild the flange face.
. Add material to ring grove or sealing face and then machine within flange tolerance.
. Remove the damaged flange and weld a new one (safest choice).

Factors that influence flange corrosion resistance during the operating conditions

Three prominent factors influence flange corrosion resistance during the operation conditions. These are:

. The temperature of the corrosive agent
. Purity of corrosive agent
. Corrosive agent concentration

Conclusion

Few flange materials are subject to stress corrosion cracking given the general volume of applications that do not operate under heavy media stress. However, it is a fact that needs consideration while selecting the material and gasket type. When you choose a proper gasket, it can help prevent corrosion from aggressive chemicals.

There are also different flange faces, and gaskets must adhere to the proper type of flange face. When dealing with chemical oxidizers/HF acid, it is crucial to select a robust gasket that can help to prevent corrosion.

If you want to learn more about flange corrosion, visit our website today!

 

 

Why Is Flange Face Protection Important?

Pipework and pipelines incorporate welded joints and flanges of varying materials, designs, and sizes. Evidence suggests that piping systems, including valves and flanges, collectively continue to be a source of unnecessary hydrocarbon releases, with piping being one of the largest contributors. Proper flange face sealing and inspection is an excellent solution to this issue.

Purpose of flange protectors

Flange protectors protect the entire pipe flange surface. If you close the pipe assembly completely, you can eliminate the risk of contamination. These protectors help to ensure these structures are in fact completely sealed off from their surroundings.

Why flange protection is essential

When we talk about the gas, oil, and utility industry, pipe flange and thread protection are two essential things. It is not just contamination during and after storage you need to worry about, but damage during transport and manufacturing treatments. Lack of the right solutions could result in high-cost repairs. You may even have to replace oil-well pipes and drills.

The flange face is the gasket that seals the surface of the flange connection. The connection can be a vessel, valve, and a multitude of other mechanical equipment. The surface is typically machined where the gasket seals and sets the connection of the piping system.

Types of face flange protectors

Below are few types of flanges that you can find out:

Raised face flange protectors

Raised machine face on your flange is the critical area that requires protection. The flange protectors help you maintain the optimum condition and prevent leakage in storage or before the installation.

Features : Available in 3 key profiles: Adhesive, Plug, and Studded. All are easy and quick to install and stand up to sandblasting.

Material: Petroleum or weather-resistant commercially available grades

Specification: Protects ANSI and DIN flanges. Solutions are available in different sizes.

Suitable for: Easy fitting face protection

Full Face Flange protectors

Keep your flanges in top condition for a perfect fit while guarding against dirt and corrosion ingress during transport around the factories and shipyards.

Features: Protects the entire surface of the flange or leaves bolt holes/bolt accessible. It is available in 5 key profiles: Bolthole, Push-in, Adhesive, Plug, and Studded.

Material: PE gives protection during transit, storage, and finishing. Bolt hole flange protectors’ PP material is cost-effective and offers good chemical and fatigue resistance.

Specification: Available in a range of sizes to support DIN and ANSI  flanges.

Types of Caps and Pipe Plugs – Benefits

When you store or transport the pipes, it is vulnerable to contact and possible damage with other pipes and corrosion can occur on specially machined threads. The pipe caps and plugs are vital to seal pipe ends and provide drill pipe protection.

Pipe Plugs

Eliminate costly downtime by preventing debris from entering the pipe and damaging the vital threads.

Features: Ribbed pipe plugs are available in two styles with flexible ribs of different diameters to fit multiple schedules of drill pipe and NPT.

Material: Tough LDPE offers chemical and weather resistance.

Specification: The straight wall on the plug’s O.D. helps to provide a secure friction fit with the mating pipe’s Inside Diameter for good protection against contaminants. Compatible nominal pipe diameters range from .217in – 24.606in (5.5mm – 625mm)

Suitable for: Drill pipe and NPT line pipe

Pipe Caps

You must minimize the threat of pollution and rust to the pipe and its contents by preventing the entry of foreign objects and contaminants with a pipe end cap.

Features: Flexible pipe caps offer a tight fit while recessed caps that protect coatings, internal walls, and bevels from damage during clamping by crane hooks.

Material: Flexible pipe caps made of PE material are lightweight, durable, and strong. Recessed pipe caps are made of LDPE for excellent chemical resistance to esters, bases, alcohols, and acids.

Specification: Flexible pipe caps fit nominal pipe diameters. It ranges from 64in – 2.374in. Recessed Caps are usually compatible with nominal pipe diameters that range from 48in – ½in.

Suitable for: Pipes transported by crane hooks.

Flange damage prevention

Excessive rust, ding, dent, or scratch in this area can cause a failure of the flanged connection if not corrected before the final bolting. It is not uncommon for a high quantity of improperly inspected flanges to resurface with issues on a project and cost hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars. The greatest impact of flange damage on these projects is the delay in the construction schedule that costs the owner-operator weeks, months, and years of lost revenue opportunity.

Conclusion

Protection of your flange faces is essential to the success of your project. It is where the magic happens. Get it right, and you’ll be the hero that delivers the project on schedule. If you get it wrong, you may end up looking at more cost overruns, project delays, and sometimes unhappy clients.

If you have any further inquiries related to the importance of flange face protection, contact Texas Flange today!

Main Causes For Flange Leaks and How to Fix Them?

Piping systems play an essential role in worldwide infrastructure. These systems have been around for decades. Installing a piping system is not an easy task. If components like flanges are not properly selected and lack the right flange connection, corrosion and leaks could occur. When corrosion and leaks occur, a breakdown in the assembly can happen and cause a monstrous mess.

Below are few possible causes of corrosion and how to avoid it.

Bolt Stress

There are a lot of things that may put stress on the bolts. Vibrations that occur during the normal operating conditions tend to bolt movement leading to corrosion and leakage. Although the vibrations happen by normal operations, it is still something that you can avoid to a degree. Tightening the bolts seems to be an obvious solution, but you need to consider how often you need to check them.

Main Causes For Flange Leaks and How to Fix Them

Temperature also plays a part in how well bolts connect and whether they are successful in preventing leaks. Temperature fluctuations happen during an increase in temperature and cause bolts to become loose and not seal properly. Minimizing temperature fluctuation when possible is ideal.

Due to the usual operating procedures for high-stress environments, you can expect to tighten and check bolts due to temperature fluctuations. When bolts are tightened and checked, and the issue does not seem to be remedied, you may be dealing with another issue besides expected wear from normal operating procedures.

Thermal Stress

The temperature of the product (inside a tube heat exchanger and shell for example) can vary. However, the distortion caused by the rapid change from cool to hot solutions is inevitable in few cases. If this is the case, it is essential to ensure all parts of the exchanger are designed to account for temperature distortion. Alloys are considered carefully by engineers for this very reason.

If you want to determine your requirements, special considerations need to be made regarding the flange dimensions. Next, determine the temperature of a high load area within the tube and a random area on the shell side. Calculate the difference between the tube side outlet and inlet and the difference between the random area on the tube side and the shell side.

Other Stresses

Many things can produce stress on the bolts of the flange connections, but one, in particular, is the stress on both sides of the flange assembly point. When circumstances happen to cause one side to be tightened more than the other, the gasket becomes damaged, resulting in leakage. It can happen by improper bolting procedures during the initial installation.

Sometimes these pipes are assembled in small spaces, making it hard to reach specific bold to tighten them. It can lead to some bolts being properly tightened while the others are not as tight. The same amount of pressure needs to be applied to all bolts. It helps to hold the gasket securely in place due to corrosion and leakage.

Imperfections

It may not be easy to spot imperfections. Sometimes warped surfaces can lead to improper installation. If the flange face is warped or has other deformities, improper seals tend to occur. While the issue may not cause direct interruptions in the flow, it can cause corrosion and leaks. Just like other pipe fittings, flanges usually need to work in conditions free from any defects to work properly. Some of the defects are easier to notice than others. A welded face may be harder to recognize, and it could easily get overlooked. Flange face re-machining is a common remedy in these cases.

Need Of Additional Hardware

A recurring problem in a tube and shell heat exchanger, bolts need to stay secure, despite efforts to tighten them using the proven techniques. Even after hydraulic tensioning and hot torquing, the bolts would loosen and cause problematic leaking in the plant.

Researchers identified two problems: gasket scuffing and excessive bolt load. The excessive bolt load happens due to temperature differentials. If you want to combat this issue, install disc spring washers before you replace the bolts. They found that these were more capable of handling the load to the bolts without allowing flange deformation in most cases.

The second issue of gasket scuffing was likely due to movement during operation and caused enough damage to the gasket, that even with adequate bolt tightness, it would continue to leak. The gasket needs replacement, but the problem also needs to be addressed so the new gasket would not also fall into disrepair. If you want to avoid this, a weld ring consists of two separate halves of the gasket ring welded together to contain the gasket material and prevent any deformation.

Conclusion

If you are experiencing gasket leaks in your tube and shell heat exchangers, it could indicate that something is amiss in your equipment. The staff at Texas Flange are happy to help point you in the right direction and recommend the right sourcing for your assembly hardware needs along with the usual flange and fitting products we provide our customers every day.