Protecting raw materials before, during, and after the fabrication process is critical. Damaging raw materials at the onset of the construction process can be very problematic. Damaging a weld neck flange before welding it to a pipe spool makes no sense. Common issues found with loose flanges and materials are:
- Mill varnish coverage is not complete: Carbon steel flanges normally arrive with mill varnish protection. Complete coverage of the mill varnish is critical to keep loose flanges from rusting/pitting. Remember…when receiving crates of loose flanges, it is best to open each crate and inspect at least 10% of the flanges upon arrival. Finding irregularities early will save re-work later.
- Loose flanges are found with mechanical damage: Loose flanges can sometimes arrive with dents, dings, and gouges. We discussed having a complete coating of mill varnish for our looses flanges is critical, however, the mill varnish can conceal mechanical damage. Inspecting loose flanges and quarantining flanges with mechanical damage before going to the trouble of welding them on the spool is advised. Additional loose flanges are normally ordered for projects, so only use damaged flanges when necessary.
- Loose flanges have casting/profile defects: From time to time in the milling process, incorrect or incomplete surface profiles are produced. Having a surface comparator on hand to check a 10% sampling of the flanges is a best practice. Flanges may be riddled with weld repairs due to casting defects.
- Improper stacking storage of loose flanges: Your flanges arrived with proper mill varnish coverage. Mechanical damage, casting and profile defects are not present. Unfortunately, stacking flanges incorrectly can cause pitting and mechanical damage after initial inspections are complete. Best practice is to NOT stack flanges face down. When stacking flanges is necessary, ensure timber is laid across the bolt holes and not the flange face.
- Using tarp to cover up spool openings: Tarp will degrade and ribbon in short order. Mother nature will find her way inside raw pipe and will begin to cause cleanliness issues.
- Improper dunnage height: Unfortunately, keeping material off the ground seems to be an ongoing challenge for most projects, 4-6” of dunnage height is critical when storing materials outdoors.
- Improper storage conditions: Normally there are five vendor recommended storage conditions, ensure your materials meet requirements for one of the following storage conditions. 1. Outside storage. 2. Outside storage covered. 3. Outside storage with heat (space heater requirement). 4. Inside storage. 5. Inside storage climate controlled