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.
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
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.
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!