Forged Flanges VS Plate Flanges – What’s the Difference?

Flanges are widely used in industrial applications to join two different pipes or sections of a pipe system. When it comes to selecting flanges, there are two primary options available: forged flanges and plate flanges. Both types have their unique features, advantages, and disadvantages. In this blog post, we will compare forged flanges and plate flanges to help you make an informed decision.

What are Forged Flanges?

Forged flanges are made by heating a metal piece to a very high temperature and then hammering it into the desired shape. They are known for their superior strength, durability, and resistance to corrosion. Forged flanges are generally used in high-pressure and high-temperature applications, such as oil and gas pipelines, chemical plants, and refineries.

One of the biggest advantages of forged flanges is their high strength. They are designed to withstand extreme pressure levels without causing any leakage or damage to the system. Moreover, they have a better surface finish, which results in better sealing and a lower risk of leaks. However, they are more expensive than plate flanges and generally used only in critical applications.

What is Plate Flanges?

As the name suggests, plate flanges are made by cutting a flat plate of metal into a circular shape and drilling holes for bolts. They are commonly used in low to medium-pressure applications and are less expensive than forged flanges. Plate flanges are generally used in applications where leakage or damage to the system is not a significant concern.

One of the advantages of plate flanges is their low cost. They are significantly cheaper than forged flanges, making them ideal for applications with lower pressure requirements. They are also easier to install, and the bolts can be tightened easily from outside the flange. However, plate flanges may not be suitable for high-pressure or high-temperature applications.

Difference Between Forged Flanges VS Plate Flanges

Choosing the Right Flange

When it comes to choosing between forged flanges and plate flanges, several factors need to be considered. The first and foremost factor is the pressure and temperature requirements of the application. If the application involves high pressure and temperature levels, forged flanges would be the best choice. On the other hand, if the application involves low to medium-pressure requirements, plate flanges can be used.

Another factor to consider is the budget. Forged flanges are generally more expensive than plate flanges, so if the budget is limited, plate flanges can be an ideal choice. However, ensuring that the flange’s strength is sufficient for the application and does not cause any leaks or damage is essential.

Costs

Cost is a significant factor when choosing between forged flanges and plate flanges. Forged flanges are more expensive than plate flanges because of their manufacturing process and material quality. If the application requires high-quality flanges that can withstand extreme temperatures and pressure, then forged flanges are a better choice. However, if the application involves a low-pressure fluid or gas, then plate flanges will be sufficient and come at an affordable price.

Standards

Another significant difference between forged flanges and plate flanges is the standards they meet. Forged flanges must meet higher quality standards than plate flanges due to their use in high-pressure and high-temperature applications. Forged flanges must meet API, ASTM, and ASME standards, whereas plate flanges only require ANSI standards.

Applications

 The application of flanges can also dictate which flange type to choose. If you require a high-pressure and high-temperature application, forged flanges are the best choice. They are commonly used in the oil and gas industry and chemical plants. However, plate flanges are preferred if the application requires a temporary piping system. They are commonly used in HVAC systems, water treatment plants, and other low-pressure applications.

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Conclusion:

In conclusion, choosing between forged and plate flanges depends on several factors, including the application’s pressure, temperature requirements, and budget. Forged flanges are known for their superior strength, durability, and resistance to corrosion, but they are more expensive. Plate flanges are cheaper and easier to install but may not be suitable for high-pressure or high-temperature applications. Consulting with a professional engineer can help select the right flange type for the application.

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