Flanged vs Threaded Pipe Fittings

As a professional in the plumbing and construction industry for over 90 years, Latrobe Foundry understands the importance of choosing the right pipe fittings, such as flanged vs. threaded, for the specific needs of a project. Determining which is best suited for a particular application can be overwhelming and confusing. Fortunately, we’re here to break down the differences between flanged and threaded connections, their benefits, and when they should be used.

What are Flanged Connections?

Flanged fittings are used to join two components together using an internal or external lip. A gasket is also fitted between the two pieces to prevent leakage. These are either bolted or welded to ensure a secure and tight seal. Due to their substantial applications, you can find numerous flange pipe fitting styles and sizes for specific use.

Some benefits of flanged pipe fittings include:

  • Easy to assemble in tight spaces
  • Easy to disassemble during repairs or maintenance
  • Withstand pressure changes, shocks, and vibrations

One of the main problems with flanged connections is leaking caused by improper installation. It also has size limitations since these can be bulky, so space is a huge factor if you prefer to work with it.

What are Threaded Connections?

Threaded connections are rimmed with matching grooves or pipe threading that can be found on one or both ends. The grooves are also found inside and outside of the connections. It offers a more straightforward and faster installation process that requires minimal to no welding for joining. Due to its unique design, threaded connections don’t require re-tightening.

Other benefits of threaded pipe fittings include:

  • Self-locking connection means they can be used in any direction
  • Less force is required to tighten a joint
  • There’s no need for welding or brazing, making it a more cost-effective option

Threaded connections are prone to leakages and disconnection due to vibration. These are also vulnerable to fatigue damage, so they shouldn’t be used in applications where hazardous materials are being handled.

When to Use Threaded or Flanged Pipe Fittings

Both flanged and threaded connections are found in numerous demanding industries, such as wastewater treatment, chemicals, and oil & gas. However, certain factors should be considered when looking for the best type of connection that will suit your specific project needs.

When you should use a threaded pipe fitting:

  • Used in applications where welding is not permitted or applicable.
  • Ideally, it’s used for smaller pipes and low-pressure applications.
  • When service fluid is at ambient temperature, such as cooling water, potable water, etc.
  • When you need a quick and easy connection.
  • Fire protection and water distribution.

When you should use a flanged pipe fitting:

  • Tight spaces where the wrench doesn’t have clearance to install traditional pipe fittings.
  • Used for pipes with high temperature and pressure ratings.
  • Hard-to-reach places that require flexibility.
  • Rigid pipeline systems that need constant maintenance.
  • Applications where components are at risk of becoming loose.

Choosing a Suitable Connection for Your Piping System

Determining the best and most well-suited connection for your system is essential regardless of your industry. When it comes to flanged vs. threaded fittings, it will depend on various factors, such as pressure, temperature, fluid type, and location.

At Latrobe Foundry, we can help you find the best option based on your project’s needs. Don’t hesitate to contact us today so that our experts can help! You may also request a quote, and we’ll develop a cost-effective solution tailored to your specifications.

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