Hydraulic fittings connect tubes, pipes, pumps, valves, hoses etc (referred to collectively as The Conductor) together so as to create a system in which hydraulic fluid can flow without leakage and without the need to cut or weld the pipe. The reason that these connections are not welded or brazed into place is to allow for the inevitable servicing and replacing of components within the system which means these connection must often be broken down.
Flanges and Fitting are some of the most commonly used components within hydraulics and different variations allow for the control of flow direction, elevation of lines and split flows. Any flange or fitting is usually required to withstand high pressures and an amount of vibration whilst remaining leak free. There are several considerations when selecting a flange or fitting.
Most fitting types are available in a variety of materials including Plastics, Brasses, Steels and Super Alloys such as Monel. This allows the same design of fitting to be used in a variety of different applications, most often materials are selected that are similar to the material that the fitting is being connected to. The pressure rating of a flange is based on its material, as obviously a material such as Steel can be twice as strong as Grey Iron.
One of the most important aspects with any flange or fitting. A flange is a structural element of the piping system, and as such must not slip or pivot and be able to withstand the internal pressure forces without any external restraint. There are a number of different designs that can be used depending on the applications but the basic dimensions of a flange consist of the outer diameter, bolt circle dimeter, thickness and the number and size of the bolted holes. These overall dimensions can vary greatly depending on the fitting type used, even for the same size Conductor.
In order for components to be readily interchangeable, there are common standard dimensions for bolts and flanges for a variety of pipe sizes and pressure ranges. Some of the most common were formed by the America Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) although these compliance standards are voluntary, they are widely used and their application ensures a uniformity across any flanges/fittings.
Many Flanges are commonly manufactured and can be bought ‘off the shelf’ however for harder to source components in small volumes, it may be easier and more cost effective to make from scratch. B&B have produced a number of bespoke and speciality flanges for the hydraulic and oi and gas industries over the years. We are a fully ISO accredited sub-contract manufacturer, working from your drawings to supply a complete part.