What is a flange gasket?

flange gaskets used in pipes

What is a flange gasket?

A gasket is a seal, which is used to prevent leakage when two or more surfaces are joined together. A flange gasket is a common type of gasket, which is used frequently in pipes and pipework. A flange gasket is designed specifically for flanged surfaces, which fan out, rather than being smooth or flat. The primary aim is to seal the space between two surfaces on a pipe to reduce the risk of leaks into and out of the pipe. 

How does a flange gasket work?

Flange gaskets work in a similar way to other types of pipe gaskets, but they are specifically designed to seal sections that have flanged surfaces. Pipes usually carry liquid, which could leak out of a pipe that is not secured. Pipe gaskets are used to create a seal, which prevents this from happening. Flanged surfaces are particularly high-risk when it comes to leakages due to the presence of cracks in the pipework. With a flange gasket, the seal moulds to the contours of the pipe sections, forming a barrier to keep liquids within the pipe. 

Types of flange gaskets

There are several different types of flange gaskets, including:

  • Sheet flange gasket: sheet flange gaskets comprise a single metal sheet, which is shaped to fit the surface.
  • Corrugated flange gasket: corrugated flange gaskets are made from either galvanised iron or steel. They have a corrugated design and are cut to fit the flanged surface. 
  • Ring flange gasket: designed for high-pressure environments, ring flange gaskets are made from solid metal. They comprise a series of rings, which can be different shapes, including oval and octagonal. Ring flange gaskets are used less frequently than corrugated and sheet gaskets.
  • Spiral wound gasket: characterised by a spiral shape, spiral wound gaskets are semi-metallic. They have a metallic sealing element with a non-metallic filling. These flange gaskets are strong and versatile. 

What are flange gaskets used for?

The most common use of pipe gaskets is to prevent leakages from pipes used in the oil and gas industry and other industrial applications. Pipe gaskets provide a seal, which joins two sections of pipework together at a flanged surface. With a strong seal in place, the risk of liquid or gas seeping out of the pipes falls dramatically. Gaskets can also be used to seal water and oil tanks, to provide a seal for fuel tank boilers and to aid mounting. 

Summary

Pipe flanges are the most common gaskets used in pipes and pipework. This type of gasket is used to create a seal, which joins two sections of a pipe at a flanged surface. Flanged gaskets play a crucial role in preventing liquid from getting out of pipes. There are multiple types of pipe flanges, which provide benefits for different applications and environments. 

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