What Is a Flange Gasket?

Flange gasket by Monroe Engineering

When shopping for gaskets, you may come across flange gaskets. They are one of the most common types of gaskets. Flange gaskets work like other gaskets by sealing the surface on which they are used. They are known as “flange gaskets,” however, because they are intended for use on a flanged surface.

Overview of Flange Gaskets

Flange gaskets are designed to seal the space between two sections of pipe. Most pipes, of course, are joined at a flanged surface. The surface where two pipes join isn’t smooth or otherwise flat. Rather, it’s flanged, meaning it flares out. For flanged surfaces such as this, flange gaskets are used.

How Flange Gaskets Work

Flange gaskets work in the same way as most other gaskets. When installed, they create a sealed mating surface so that water or other liquids won’t leak out. Pipes typically have water or liquids flowing through them. If two pipes are joined together, the water or liquids may leak out through this mating surface. Flange gaskets prevent this from happening by sealing the surface.

Pipes generally don’t offer a sealed mating surface when used alone. This is especially true in the case of pipes with a flanged surface. Since flanged surfaces are flared, water and liquids can easily escape through the cracks. A simple solution to prevent leaks is to install a flanged gasket. The flanked gasket will contour to the shape of the pipes’ flanged surface so that water or liquids stay within the pipes.

Types of Flange Gaskets

There are several types of flanged gaskets. Sheet flange gaskets are those comprised of a single sheet of metal that’s cut and shaped. There are also corrugated flange gaskets. A flange gasket is considered corrugated if it’s made of galvanized iron or steel in a corrugated pattern. Like sheet flange gaskets, they are cup and shaped to fit the flanged surface of a pipe. But only corrugated flange gaskets feature a corrugated pattern.

A third type of flange gasket is ring. Ring flange gaskets are intended for high-pressure applications. They consist of solid metal rings in a variety of shapes, including round, oval and octagonal. Ring flange gaskets aren’t as common as sheet or corrugated flange gaskets.

Lastly, there are spiral wound flange gaskets. Spiral wound flange gaskets live up to their namesake by featuring a spiral pattern. When inspecting the inner rings, you’ll notice spiral ridges. These ridges are what distinguish spiral wound flange gaskets from other types of flange gaskets.

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