The 13 Types of Metal Flanges for Piping Explained

The 13 Types of Metal Flanges for Piping Explained

Which are the most common types of flanges used in piping? How do they look like? The key types of flanges are the welding neck, long welding neck, slip-on, socket weld, lap joint, threaded and blind flanges. In addition to these standard flanges, some special ones exist, called Weldoflange/Nipoflange and Elboflange, swivel flange, expander/reducer flange, and orifice flanges.

The type of flange to be used for a piping application depends, mainly, on the required strength for the flanged joint. Flanges are used, alternatively to welded connections, to facilitate maintenance operations (a flanged joint can be dismantled quickly and conveniently).

Let’s now dive in, showing the key types of flanges with pictures.


A welding neck flange (“WN”)features a long tapered hub that can be welded with a pipe.

This flange type is used, normally, in high-pressure and high/low temperatures applications that require an unrestricted flow of the fluid conveyed by the piping system (the bore of the flange matches with the bore of the pipe).

The absence of pressure drops prevents negative effects as turbulence and erosion/corrosion of the metals in the proximity of the flanged joints.

The tapered hub allows a smooth distribution of the mechanical stress between the pipe and the weld neck flange and facilitates the execution of radiographic inspections to detect possible leakages and welding defects.

The dimension of the flange (NPS and the pipe schedule) shall match the dimension of the connecting pipe.

A welding neck flange is connected to a pipe by a single full penetration V-shaped butt weld. The dimension and weights of ASME weld neck flanges are shown in this article.

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