When it comes to industrial plumbing systems, the tightness of connections plays a key role. Leaky connections can put all workers at risk, which is why flanged connections are a popular component of such installations. 

A flange joint is two opposing components called flanges (due to their shape) connected by at least four bolts. In most plumbing installations there is a gasket between the flanges, but in some installations you will find flange-flange joints (usually in plumbing installations that do not require very strong joints). 

Flange welding worker

Flange connections are one of the most popular fittings used in industrial hydraulic installations because of the durability and safety they offer. The correct choice of flange fittings at plant design level ensures safe and long service life without the need for frequent plant maintenance.  

Advantages of flanged connections 

Flanged connections owe their popularity to several advantages that make them an ideal choice for plumbing systems that require high part strength. A few of the most important advantages of flanged connections are: 

  • Very high tightness of flange connections - flange connections are an extremely durable type of connection of a hydraulic system. Therefore, if their efficiency is too high, they can also last for a very long time without any mechanical damage. 
  • Rigidity - flanged connections are resistant to various types of deflection, therefore they are the perfect choice for all installations where the joints will be under high pressure. 
  • Disconnection - despite high tightness and strength, thanks to their design, flanged connections are easy to disconnect and reassemble, which is of great importance in the maintenance of hydraulic installations. 

Who can install and maintain flange connections? 

Various types of flange connections

Installation and maintenance of flange connections should always be performed by certified specialists. Due to the high pressure that often occurs in installations containing flanged connections, only competent persons should be involved in working with installations of this type.  

Permits to work in the profession of a fitter-maintenance technician of flange connections can be obtained by completing the appropriate course ending with the UDT exam. Courses of this kind are organized in training centers throughout the country. The scope of training for flanged connections includes: 

  • Types of flange connections, 
  • Gasket function, types and properties, 
  • Bolt tension and gasket pressure, 
  • Causes of flange connection failures,  
  • Stress on flange connections and its effect on the rest of the installation, 
  • General health and safety rules for working with flanged joints, 
  • Safe disassembly and maintenance of flanged connections,  
  • Preparation of flush surfaces during installation of flanged joints,  
  • Damage diagnostics, 
  • Safe transport of the gasket for installation. 

What material are the flange connections made of? 

Welded flange connections

Installations with flanged connections must be made of a very durable material. Due to the fact that they are most often used in hydraulic installations under high pressure, they must be resistant to damage. Therefore, stainless steel remains the most common choice for the installation of flange connections.