Socket Welding Flanges — A to Z

If you have some basic ideas about the piping and plumbing system, then you should know about the socket welding process. In the socket welding system, a pipe is inserted in a fitting that is designed like a socket. The pipe is inserted in a recessed area which is called the socket. With this system, the pipe does not require any additional fittings. Now, the socket welding flange is also made with the same socket welding concept. Flanges connect two ends of a pipe. But rather than diverting the flow, flanges help the material to flow in the same direction. Flanges are only installed to give additional support to the pipes. For example, if the pipe has to carry very high temperature or high-pressure materials, the pipe might become vulnerable and weak. Flanges provide extra support to solve this problem. ASTM Standard socket welding flanges follow some common standards.

Available Materials

ASTM follows some codes for specific materials.

- For carbon steel ASTM A105, ASTM A350, ASTM A181 is the most common materials. These materials are carbon steel but have their varieties based on some specific parameters.

- For steel ASTM A182 F5, F9, F11, F22, F91 are the most common.

- For stainless steel, the numbers vary only a little as steel and stainless steel are almost the same. ASTM A182 F304/L are the most common of stainless steel. However, there are ASTM A182 F316/L which is another code for stainless steel based on grade.

The materials diameter can vary from a ½ inch to 24 inches. But if you need you can have up to 48–60 inches based on your supplier. The wall thickness also varies from 4- to 160 and pressure ratings vary in between 150 to up to 2500.

Socket Weld Flanges Using Guide

Using socket weld flanges is like using any other type of fittings with socket weld. First, you need to insert the pipe to the end of the socket so that it touches the shoulder of the pipe. Then you need to drag the pipe back of 1.6mm which is commonly a fillet size. This gap is kept to allow the pipe for expansion in case of temperature rise of any kind of expansion from the pipe. After that fillet welding should be done to attach the pipes. You need to know the process but if you want to complete it all by yourself it will become difficult for you as it requires industrial standard tools.

The Advantages of Socket Welding Flanges

Socket welding flanges are good to replace the threaded type flanges to minimize leakage. No beveling is necessary because the pipes stay tight on the recessed shoulder. Welding is done outside which will not affect the inside of the pipes.

The Disadvantages of Socket Welding Flanges

To know the exact gap is maintained, you need to hire a skilled welder. The expansion gap also leaves a chance for crack and impurities to grow there. Also, it is not suitable for very high-pressure conditions.