Different types of flange faces are used as the contact surfaces to seat the sealing gasket material. ASME B16.5 and B16.47 define various types of flange facings, including the raised face, the large male and female facings which have identical dimensions to provide a relatively large contact area.
Other flange facings covered by these standards include the large and small tongue-and-groove facings, and the ring joint facing specifically for ring joint type metal gaskets.
Flat Face (FF)
The Flat Face flange has a gasket surface in the same plane as the bolting circle face. Applications using flat face flanges are frequently those in which the mating flange or flanged fitting is made from a casting.
Flat face flanges are never to be bolted to a raised face flange. ASME B31.1 says that when connecting flat face cast iron flanges to carbon steel flanges, the raised face on the carbon steel flange must be removed, and that a full face gasket is required. This is to keep the thin, bittle cast iron flange from being sprung into the gap caused by the raised face of the carbon steel flange.
Raised Face (RF)
The Raised Face flange is the most common type used in process plant applications, and is easily to identify. It is referred to as a raised face because the gasket surfaces are raised above the bolting circle face. This face type allows the use of a wide combination of gasket designs, including flat ring sheet types and metallic composites such as spiral wound and double jacketed types. The purpose of a RF flange is to concentrate more pressure on a smaller gasket area and thereby increase the pressure containment capability of the joint. Diameter and height are in ASME B16.5 defined, by pressure class and diameter. Pressure rating of the flange determines the height of the raised face.
The typical flange face finish for ASME B16.5 RF flanges is 125 to 250 µin Ra (3 to 6 µm Ra).
Ring Type Joint gaskets
Also Called “API Joint”
Ring Type Joint gaskets are metallic sealing rings, suitable for high-pressure and high-temperature applications. They are always applied to special, accompanying flanges which ensure good, reliable sealing with the correct choice of profiles and material.
Ring Type Joint gaskets are designed to seal by “initial line contact” or wedging action between the mating flange and the gasket. By applying pressure on the seal interface through bolt force, the “softer” metal of the gasket flows into the microfine structure of the harder flange material, and creating a very tight and efficient seal.
Most applied type is style R ring that is manufactured in accordance with ASME B16.20 used with ASME B16.5 flanges, class 150 to 2500. Style “R” ring type joints are manufactured in both oval and octagonal configurations. The octagonal cross section has a higher sealing efficiency than the oval and would be the preferred gasket. However, only the oval cross section can be used in the old type round bottom groove. The newer flat bottom groove design will accept either the oval or the octagonal cross section. The sealing surfaces on the ring joint grooves must be smoothly finished to 63 Microinches and be free of objectionable ridges, tool or chatter marks. They seal by an initial line contact or a wedging action as the compressive forces are applied. The hardness of the ring should always be less than the hardness of the flanges.
Style R ring type joints are designed to seal pressure up to 6,250 psi in accordance with ASME B16.5 pressure ratings and up to 5,000 psi.
Depth of female (recessed) face normally equal to or less than height of male (raised) face, to prevent metal-to-metal contact during gasket compression
Recessed O.D. normally is not more than 1/16″ larger than the O.D. of the male face
Joint must be pried apart for disassembly
The Tongue and Groove faces of this flanges must be matched. One flange face has a raised ring (Tongue) machined onto the flange face while the mating flange has a matching depression (Groove) machined into it’s face.
Tongue-and-groove facings are standardized in both large and small types. They differ from male-and-female in that the inside diameters of the tongue-and-groove do not extend into the flange base, thus retaining the gasket on its inner and outer diameter. These are commonly found on pump covers and Valve Bonnets.
Tongue-and-groove joints also have an advantage in that they are self-aligning and act as a reservoir for the adhesive. The scarf joint keeps the axis of loading in line with the joint and does not require a major machining operation.
General flange faces such as the RTJ, T&G and the F&M shall never be bolted together. The reason for this is that the contact surfaces do not match and there is no gasket that has one type on one side and another type on the other side.
Groove to Flat
Fully Confined Gasket
One flange face is flat, the other is recessed
For applications requiring accurate control of gasket compression
Only resilient gaskets are recommended —spiral wound, hollow metal O-ring, pressure-actuated, and metal-jacketed gaskets
Advantages and disadvantages of T&G and M&F flange faces
Better sealing properties, more precise location and exact compression af sealing material, utilization of other, more suitable sealing and spezialized sealing material (O-rings).
Commercial availabillity and cost. Normal raised faced is far more common and ready available both regarding Valves, flanges and sealing material. Another complexity is that some rigid rules must be applied to the piping design. Do you order Valves to be female end both sides, or on one side maybe, in which case do you point all male ends in the flow direction, or what. Same applies to any flanged joint / vessel connection of course.
Properties/application shown here are typical. Your specific application should not be undertaken without independent study and evaluation for suitability. For specific application recommendations consult Garlock. Failure to select the proper sealing products could result in property damage and/or serious personal injury.
Performance data published here has been developed from field testing, customer field reports and/or in-house testing.
While the utmost care has been used in compiling this information, we assume no responsibility for errors. Specifications subject to change without notice. This edition cancels all previous issues. Subject to change without notice.