Flange fittings are the components that help in connecting the pipe sections to other fluid control products. These include pumps and valves to create piping. The ordinary meaning of the term fitting relates to the importance of metal and plastic piping that helps carry the fluids.
However, other fittings help to connect handrails and other building components to the piping without providing leak-proof connections. You may be more familiar with those in your everyday life.
Meaning of flange fittings
Flange fittings can be connected mechanically, welded, threaded, and even chemically bonded. The terminology for piping, pipe, and tubing is inconsistent. As a result, the term fittings are sometimes referred to as the in-fitting specifications.
Although similar to tubing, you can join the fittings by welding, unlike ordinary welding. Few ways overlap, including the compression fittings, but their use in pipe connections is rare among these standard methods used to connect ducts or pipes.
Top reasons for using flange fittings
Although the flange fittings and flanges are one and the only option in some specific applications, flanges offer advantages to the piping systems that traditional hydraulic fitting pipes do not. For example, it is easier to connect flanges to pipe and component ports in applications with large outside diameters than threaded fittings or adapters.
Most importantly, in most severe service applications where mobile construction equipment is used, flange connections are best suited for the following:
- Easy assembly in tight spaces where wrenched may not have the clearance to install the traditional flange fittings. It is easy to assemble with medium torque.
- These are hard-to-reach areas that need flexibility. For example, it needs to eliminate the need for adapters in hose lines or pipes, tubing, etc.
- Extensive hose connections, tubes, or pipes where pressure shocks, vibrations, and high pressures are present may be more likely to damage the traditional large hydraulic fittings.
- Maintaining the connections in rigid lines such as tubing and continuous metal pipes is easy.
- Reduces the chance of components loosening in rigorous hydraulic applications.
- The fluid power industry is now making a shift to make connections with an elastomeric O-ring seal. It helps minimize the leakage. These fittings include the SAE straight thread, face seal, ISO 6149, SAE J518 (Code 61 and Code 62) flange, and flange fittings. Here the O-ring seal is compatible with the fluid.
A captive flange is often applicable when fitting tube-to-tube (hose or pipe). Captive flange fittings slip over the flared tube and are connected to the mating flange or some other component.
Captive flanges are commonly applicable with MJ-Flange straight fittings (aka flange adapters), where you can see a smooth clearance to slide over the fitting and seat on the flange head. Split flanges are helpful with 45° to 90° flange fittings (i.e., MJFLange 45 or 90). Split flanges come in kits (either for Code 61 or 62). These include:
- Two halves of the flange that you can fit around the fittings at the flange head
- The accompanying O-ring face seal
- Four washers & bolts to secure the fitting and flange to port
Flange fitting connections are easy to assemble and provide the best options in larger-diameter applications, especially when under high pressure. They provide significant advantages over threaded fittings in many severe applications:
- Single point sealing between hose, pipe, tube, or component port connection.
- Provides up to 6,000 PSI capability through the size of 2” only for Code 62 and 5,000 PSI for Code 61
- Less torque is needed to tighten vs. reaching proper torque for comparable large-size flange fittings.
- Large connections over 7/8 to 5-inch O.D pipe or tube only for Code 61.
- Easy to disassemble to reconfigure or maintain the system
- Easier to assemble in tight spaces
Flange fitting connections are much less likely to loosen than standard hydraulic fittings. It has proper clamping load distribution around the flange head. It is no doubt to mention that flange connections are the best choice for hose end connections that have elbows. It is because they are subjected to very high lateral forces that tend to cause the assembly loosening.