What is a Socket Weld Flange?

Welding glasses.

A socket weld flange is a type of pipe connector that incorporates a socket into which a pipe is welded. The inclusion of a socket in the socket weld flange creates a connection that is much stronger than a comparable sliding flange. The socket weld flange is designed to work on small and high pressure pipelines. This flange is very popular in chemical plants where a smooth flow connection is required on all flange joints. The advantage of a flanged connection is that the pipe can be easily disconnected at the flange and reassembled just as easily.

A welding mask protects the welder’s eyes and face.

When using a slip flange, the pipe must be chamfered to allow a weld to be placed on both the inside and outside of the flange. This internal solder requires grinding to create a smooth flow connection. When using a socket weld flange, this grinding is not necessary to obtain a smooth flow of liquid through the fitting. The socket is designed to have an inside edge the same width as the pipe to be inserted into the flange. This allows the pipe to be aligned exactly with the edge of the socket inside the flange when the unit is mounted, creating a smooth transition within the flange.

Another feature of the socket weld flange is the shoulder that sits inside the socket. This shoulder allows the pipe to be slid into the flange until it contacts the shoulder, making sure the pipe is placed in the flange far enough. After the pipe makes contact with the shoulder, the welder can secure the flange to the pipe by placing a butt weld around the perimeter of the socket. The flush fit of the tube against the shoulder inside the socket provides as much strength as an internal weld on a sliding flange, but without the grinding that is associated with the internal weld.

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By eliminating the need for internal soldering, a socket solder flange can save time in assembly while producing an equally strong connection. The thick fitting also provides optimal flow by matching the inside hole of the fitting to the inside diameter of the tube, thus creating a smooth transition without a match. The socket weld flange is available in mild steel and stainless steel for use with food grade and non-food grade piping. The flange also works with high and low pressure applications.

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