The United States is building more oil and natural gas pipelines. According to the Energy Information Administration, the United States led the world in 2018 for new oil and gas demand. We are even working towards being the largest exporter of oil and gas. With business booming in the industry, finding the right parts is becoming more crucial. Here’s an overview of what you may need for your business to keep up with the demand.
If you work in refining, drilling, instrumentation, pipeline, or the industrial sectors, you probably know the importance of pipe flanges. Flanges connect to equipment — such as pipes, pumps, or valves — to form a piping system. They make it easy to access the pipes where work needs to be done and are necessary for safety and high-pressure applications. They’re used to test or stop liquid and gas flow and come in all types of material grades and sizes. Flanges also come in a variety of styles and pressure classes and are classified by a 150 to 2500 number rating. Here are some of the most common types of pipe flanges and what they can do.
Blind Pipe Flanges
Blind pipe flanges (or blank flanges) seal or blank off a particular section of pipe or pipe ends, valves, and pressure vessel openings. This stops the flow of a liquid or gas but leaves you the option of expanding the pipeline. Blind pipe flanges are commonly used to conduct a high-pressure system test.
Weld Neck Pipe Flanges
A weld neck flange is for high-pressure applications and is welded to the pipe by the neck, which can reduce the stress a flange receives. The stress if transferred to the pipe with this type of flange.
Threaded Pipe Flanges
Threaded flanges do not require welding to be attached to a pipe. They are typically used in small pipes that handle high pressure.
Socket Weld Pipe Flanges
Socket weld flanges connect to a pipe using one fillet weld on the outside of the flange. These flanges can corrode more easily, but they are commonly used on small, high-pressure pipes.
Lap Joint Pipe Flanges
Lap joint flanges are often used with stub end fittings and are not fastened to the pipe. The stub ends fit into a radial depression. These are often used in pipelines that need to be taken apart frequently and put back together.
Whatever type of flanges you may need in your business, choose ones that are functional and in good condition. To be successful and keep up with the increasing demand, you will need to use the right supplies, parts, and tools for whatever job you take on.