Factors to Consider When Choosing Flanges for Your Industrial Piping System

Flanges play a vital role in the gas and oil piping system, connecting valves with other equipment. Pipe flanges are the second-most commonly used joining mechanism after welding.

It also provides added flexibility that allows easier disassembly and assembly of pipe systems. They provide easy access during the inspection, repairs, and cleaning of natural gas and oil pipelines.

Here are a few factors to keep in mind during the flange selection process:

Flange types

Flanges come in different types for industrial use. You may need to choose carefully an ideal flange design that fits well with your piping system. The most common type of flanges used in the petrochemical industry are:

1. Slip-on flange

2. Welding neck flange (buttweld)

3. Socket weld flange (counterbore)

4. Blind flange

5. Lap joint flange (rotating flange)

6. Threaded (companion) flange

pipe flanges

Other special flanges commonly used in the gas and oil industry include:


Reducing flange

Expander flange

Orifice flange

Long weld neck flanges

The flange face types and design may have a significant impact on the piping system’s final performance.


Forged carbon steel pipes are one of the common types present in the market. Additionally, you can find 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 type of material used depends on the piping systems and industrial application. It is to ensure that they are strong and durable enough in the long run. However, in most instances, the flanges and pipes are made of the same material.


If you want a flange in a proper fit, you need to look into the flange dimensions and size. You need to be keen on how the flange interfaces with the pipes and gaskets to ensure an ideal size. Below are a few standard dimension considerations:

1. Pipe size

2. Thickness

3. Bolt circle diameter

4. Inner diameter

5. Nominal bore size

6. Outside diameter


All flanges fall under different categories specified by ASTM or ASME standards. Characteristics of a specific flange type impact its performance across a range of industrial environments. Steel pipes are available in a variety of pressure classes and styles. The classification of metal flanges is from 150 to 2500# rating. Some standard classifications used in petrochemical industries include:

2500# (and higher for API)






The different categories vary depending on the temperature and pressure tolerances, flange size, design, or material used. The pressure ratings may decrease with the rise in temperature.


Depending on how thick the flange is, it is easy to determine the high pressure it can handle, in any application thicker flange can resist higher pressures.

Bolt holes

Bolt holes make it easy to measure the size of the pressure class and flange. The number of bolt holes, pitch circle diameter, and the actual bolt hole size on the flanges are 3 factors that need to be addressed.

Pressure class

Pressure class helps to understand the marginal pressure level under which the flange can function safely and sustain. Each standard has several levels of pressure available, from high-pressure to low-pressure tolerance. The pressure level of the products to which the flange will be connected must be the same as the valves and pipes in the process.

Statistics on Industrial Pipeline

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration under the US Department of Transportation have made an estimate which shows approximately 1,585,672 miles of natural gas pipeline and 160,521 miles of liquid petroleum pipeline across the nation. Over 28.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas was delivered to consumers in 2019 via the gas-integrated transportation network.


There’s an endless list of factors to consider when you choose flanges for the Industrial Pipeline system. However, the given above are a few specific or crucial ones you must not skip out.

We hope that with the help of this guide, you will be able to identify the key things before purchasing flanges. To learn more about flange basics, visit https://www.texasflange.com/flange-basics/


The Airline Industry Has Been Hit Hard By The Oil Price Plunge

The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has damaged the oil and gas industry just as much as it has all others. The primary effect was a huge and immediate price plunge which threatened to linger for some time. With this massive price plunge, the experts correctly expected that it would hit the airline industry hard enough to send some people out of business. The leading U.S. oil benchmark cost went down by more than $50 per barrel to end the day about $30 below zero last spring; the first time oil prices have ever turned negative. Such eye-popping instances are a rarity in the supply and delivery of contracts and physical inventories the oil market, but it underscores the industry’s disarray as the coronavirus pandemic decimates the world economy.

Journey of oil prices from 1960 to 2021

If you review the historical per-barrel price for oil from 1960 to 2021, you will find that the price was below $3 till 1973. After that, it started increasing and reached $35.52 in the year 1980. After lots of ups and downs, it reached $94.1 in the year 2008, which extended over the expected range relative to inflation from decades prior. The price reached its pinnacle in 2012 with $109.45 a barrel. After that, the price started decreasing as overwhelmingly more supply came online due to the advances in on shore fracking for countries which were typically net importers. During the pandemic in 2020, the price was $41.47 a barrel. After that, the curve has taken a quick run up in the past few months and reached $57.72 a barrel.

(Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/262858/change-in-opec-crude-oil-prices-since-1960/).

Decreasing demands of oil

The gas and oil market consists of gas and oil sales by entities that undertake the exploration for, extraction, drilling, and refining, of oil and gas and some of its derivatives. The gas and oil market is segmented into gas and oil upstream activities and downstream products for oil. Worldwide demand had collapsed spectacularly last year, and it’s hitting the airline industry so hard to this day. Despite a deal by Saudi Arabia, Russia, and other nations to cut production, the world is running out of places to put all the oil the industry keeps pumping out — about 100 million barrels a day. At the start of the year, oil sold for over $60 a barrel, which is quite a recovery considering the price collapse from the year prior.

Impacts to the travel industry: a notable example

Virgin Australia Airlines announced that it had entered voluntary administration after the Australian government refused a bailout for the company of 1.4 billion Australian dollars. The airline officials said they hoped to recapitalize the business to emerge stronger after the coronavirus crisis to regain it once slowly, but in the meantime, they would operate scheduled flights for transporting moving freight, essential workers, and returning Australians home.

How the oil industry affects other industries?

The oil and gas industry’s major end-user markets (including airlines) are looking into big data analytics and artificial intelligence (A.I.) to enhance decision-making abilities and drive profits just as this upstream industry does in sourcing raw crude. The companies gather vast amounts of raw data relating to pipelines, refineries, and other infrastructure through many sensors placed across the oil rigs. Using big data analytics, the companies can detect patterns that can quickly react to unwanted changes or potential defects, thus saving costs. A.I. allows the companies to make better drilling and operational decisions and will continue to do so as advancements are made well into the future.