Metal flanges are common in numerous applications, but under certain circumstances, some types of metal flanges are better than others. A flange assembly may utilize different materials due to the properties they possess. Among the many types of flanges, the stainless steel flange is a relatively popular choice due to its particular properties. Some types of flanges, such as those made of carbon steel, are susceptible to corrosion, commonly known as rust. The stainless steel flange is highly resistant to rust, and can thus outlast a carbon steel flange indefinitely.
While the stainless steel flange is only one of the types of metal flanges available, it is typically the most popular. Flange sizes, as well as the types of metal used in their construction, vary depending on their application. Generally chosen for their essential and valuable properties, stainless steel flanges are easily incorporated into nearly any flange system.
Primary reasons for choosing stainless steel flanges over other types of metal flanges include corrosion resistance and strength. Some metals are softer than others. For example, aluminum is softer than steel. Under heavy stress, an aluminum flange may fail, whereas a stainless steel flange will not. That type of reliability makes the stainless steel flange a common choice in industrial applications.
Although a stainless steel flange may cost more than other types of metal flanges, the reliability is generally worth the extra investment. These flanges should be available in a variety of sizes for a wide range of applications. In the United States, the standard sizes are specified by either the American Society of Engineers (ASME) or the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Since the majority of metal flanges fall under ANSI or ASME regulations, it should be easy to replace a different type of flange with a stainless steel flange if needed.
Regardless of the material used, certain characteristics are common to most available flanges. In many ways, using a stainless steel flange is the same as using any other metal flange or flange system. The process of repairing a broken stainless steel flange is basically the same as any other metal flange.
Differences exist in the types of metal flanges one may employ in work applications. ASME flanges are designed to meet certain standards, while ANSI flanges maintain other standards. These standards are designed to ensure not only that one flange is consistent with the next, but also that they will withstand certain applications.