A flange is a method of connecting pipes, valves, pumps and other equipment to form a piping system. It also provides easy access for cleaning, inspection or modification. Flanges are usually welded or screwed. Flanged joints are made by bolting together two flanges with a gasket between them to provide a seal.Pipe flanges are manufactured in all the different materials like stainless steel, cast iron, aluminium, brass, bronze, plastic etc. but the most used material is forged carbon steel and have machined surfaces.
In addition, flanges, like fittings and pipes, for specific purposes sometimes internally equipped with layers of materials of a completely different quality as the flanges themselves, which are "lined flanges".
Each flange ASME b16.5 has a number of standard dimensions. If a draftsman in Japan or a work preparer in Canada or a pipefitter in Australia is speaking about a Welding Neck flange NPS 6, Class 150, Schedule 40 ASME b16.5, then it goes over the flange which in the image here below is shown. If the flange is ordered, the supplier want to know the material quality. For example ASTM A105 is a forged carbon steel flange, while A182 is a forged stainless steel flange.
A bolted flange connection is a complex combination of many factors (Flange, Bolts, Gaskets, Process, Temperature, Pressure, Medium). All these various elements are interrelated and depend upon one another to achieve a successful result. The reliability of the flanged joint depends critically upon competent control of the joint making process.