General

    Our flange protectors are unrivaled for a number of reasons. They stay put, unlike cheap push-in protectors. They are able to withstand more impact force than similar designs of differing materials. They are also able to withstand more impact force than snap-over designs, while also being more secure and compact. Our flangeBUMPERS® are also weatherproof and highly UV resistant, which can’t be said for many of the other competitors. In fact, the only thing that comes close is a blind flange, at a significantly higher weight and price.

    Before installing a flanged connection, flanges must be prepared. The mating surface’s profile must be within the specifications and free of dirt, corrosion, oil, paint, or anything else. If the surface is within tolerance but dirty, it must be cleaned off. For dirt and oil, spraying solvent and rubbing off with a rag works well, though you must ensure that they are compatible with the flange material. For paint or stubborn dirt and oil, a brush can be used. You must make sure that the material of the brush is compatible with the flange material, and you also must ensure that the surface profile is not damaged. For large areas or heavy deposits, a wire wheel brush can be used, though excessive force can quickly remove or damage a surface profile, requiring refinishing. A brass wire wheel will not damage the surface as easily. If corrosion is present, a rust converter or a remover can be used, in addition to a brush.

    Rust and corrosion will need to be cleaned off any equipment needing to be installed as well as equipment that has been in place for some time. This can be done mechanically or chemically. To mechanically remove corrosion, a wire brush can be used to brush off the surface. Alternately, sandpaper could be used if the area is relatively flat. If there is a lot of corrosion but not enough to scrap the part, a wire-wheel brush, preferably brass, can be used to speed up the process. Depending on the location of the corrosion and the dimensional tolerances, the part could be machined, taking off just enough to remove the corrosion and expose bare metal.

    To remove rust chemically, there are two options that are feasible in the field: a rust converter or a rust remover. A rust converter will turn the iron oxide into ferric phosphate which can be scraped off. Rust removers usually consist of an acid, which will cause corrosion to break off from the bare metal. They will need to be brushed or scraped off. There are other methods like electrolysis or fully soaking in straight acids, but they are not generally feasible for very large spools or equipment.

    Once it is determined that resurfacing is needed, the flange will need to either be resurfaced in the field or shipped to a machine shop to be resurfaced. A machine shop will use a mill, lathe, a mill and a lathe, or one of the various types of CNC machines to re-machine the flange. For flat face flanges, the face will be machined flat until the defects have been removed. For raised face flanges and depending on how badly damaged it is, the damaged serrations will be machined flat, then new serrations will be machined into the face.

    If the flange is to be resurfaced in the field, a flange resurfacing machine, or flange facer, will need to be acquired. There are many companies who will perform this work and may bring their own equipment, otherwise you will need to buy your own and hire someone to run it. The machines are not cheap, and are time consuming to run, but it may be faster than shipping it to a machine shop. These machines will mount to either the inside or the outside of a flange and will either have a rotating arm that holds the machining tool or a unit that rotates around the outside ring depending on the way it mounts. The arm will need to be set up for the flange being machined. The machine will rotate the arm around the face of the flange, using the tool loaded to slowly machine the surface.

    Inspecting a flange before installation is necessary to ensure that there is no damage. The mating surfaces on flanges must be within the specifications with regards to dimension and roughness. The specifications typically used are ASME B16.5 and B16.47, depending on how large the nominal pipe size is.  The flange should be closely inspected, using a flashlight if needed, to look for any defects on the mating surface. Defects can include scratches, dents, cuts, pitting, sandblasting damage, corrosion, dirt, oil, paint, an out-of-square flange face, excessive roughness, improper machining, and anything else that does not meet the specifications outlined in B16.5 or B16.47.  It is also a good idea to check that the two flange types being mated are the same or compatible.  If anything is damaged, not to specification, or dirty, it must be repaired, re-finished, re-machined, or cleaned.

    There are a wide range of causes for the different types of damage we just outlined. Mechanical damage can be caused by improper transportation, lifting or movement, such as hitting the flanged end against something else. It can also be caused during fitment if the two ends collide. Another cause of mechanical damage is improper masking in preparation for sandblasting. The flanged ends can also be damaged by inattentive workers accidently hitting them with wrenches or other objects.

    Corrosion and pitting can be caused simply by leaving a bare metal outside. Humid and salty environments speed up the process, but almost any bare metal will eventually corrode given enough time. Crevice corrosion is caused by lack of oxygen and abundance of chlorides in a crevice, which can cause corrosion even in metals that are ordinarily corrosion-resistant. Galvanic corrosion occurs when two dissimilar metals are in contact with each other in an electrolyte. This contact causes one metal to act as an anode, which will corrode more quickly than normal, and the other to act as a cathode, which will corrode at a slower rate than normal.

    Interior debris can be caused by leaving spools and equipment open. Sand and dirt can be blown in by the wind, cigarette butts and other trash can be thrown in by workers, animals can crawl in, and rainwater can collect inside. Another cause can be sand and other media entering during sandblasting due to improper masking.

    Flange damage can occur in many ways, in a few different broad categories. The main categories are mechanical, chemical, and internal debris.
    Mechanical damage occurs when the face or other part of a flange is damaged by a physical force. This can include impacts during transportation, impacts during fitment, abrasions, damage from sandblasting, and others. Mechanical damage can cause spool and equipment misalignment, leaks, and poor fitment, among other issues.

    Chemical damage occurs mainly in the form of corrosion. Corrosion is the process of a metal reacting with oxygen or other chemicals to form oxides or other salts. These oxides typically lack the strength and toughness of the original metals, especially steel in comparison to iron oxide, or rust. There are various types of corrosion beyond general corrosion. These include pitting, crevice corrosion, galvanic corrosion, and others.

    While interior debris is not technically damage, it can lead to issues and overall poor performance. If debris is allowed to enter spools or equipment, and not cleaned or removed before installation, it can block, clog, or damage valves, turbines, pistons, impellers, it can contaminate the material being processed or transported, it can settle in the system and remain a hard to find issue, and it can clog filters and other straining systems.

    A flange protector is a device that protects the flange face against damage. There are many different types of flange protectors, each designed to protect the flange face in a different way against different types of potential damage.

    Adhesive flange protectors, such as flangeDOTS®, will protect the flange face during blasting and painting as well as seal the inside of the pipe spool, valve, vessel or equipment from unwanted debris during all phases of fabrication, storage and construction.

    Rigid flange protectors, such as a flangeBUMPER®, protect the flange face against mechanical damage during all the phases mentioned above and provide mechanical pressure to the flangeDOTS® to create a water tight and air tight seal. This seal also protects against rust and corrosion by not allowing moisture or oxygen to get to the exposed steel surface of the flange face.

    Flange resurfacing refers to the process of re-machining the face of a flange to fit within acceptable tolerances. One of the most common flange face finishes a series of serrations, or grooves, on the mating surface. There are a few different shapes of the serrations and a few different patterns depending on the finish. These serrations dig into the gaskets used during assembly to create a very tight seal. They need to be a certain height and must be free from defects, otherwise this tight seal may be compromised.

    Another common flange face finish, especially with flat face flanges, is a smooth finish. The entire face of the flange will be as smooth and flat as possible, will have very few or no machining marks, and will have a very low roughness. These flat faces mate well with gaskets due to the large surface area and little variation.

    If any type of flange reaches its assembly point with a damaged mating surface, it must either be sent back to a machine shop for re-machining, or re-machined in the field. In a machine shop, this can be done by re-turning or resurfacing the flange, depending on the finish and equipment available. In the field, the process is a little more complicated. Special machinery can be purchased or rented that mounts to the inside or outside of a flange and machines the surface with a tool that rotates over the surface.  Both methods take time, however, and it is best to avoid having to do in the first place.

    Keeping flanges, spools, and equipment in great shape is paramount to a successful project. Storage conditions will ultimately dictate which products to use for protection but choosing the storage condition can be equally important. In some situations, there is no decision to make, and the storage conditions are poor at best. Remote worksites in harsh climates are expensive to operate in, which goes the same for storage costs.

    One option in such a situation is to store the parts in an area where covered or indoor storage is possible and delivering to the worksite just in time, though this adds complexity and uncertainty.

    Another option is to create covered or indoor storage space. Though likely a large expense, it will be less complex, more certain of part availability, and in conjunction with good flange covers and a possible corrosion inhibitor, will maintain excellent equipment condition. This can end up saving money in the long run depending on the cost of damaged equipment and lost time.

    The most realistic situation though, would be an outdoor laydown yard, complete with hard-packed dirt under a baking sun. In such harsh conditions, it is imperative that the proper protection solutions are used. A UV resistant, high strength impact cover, combined with a method of sealing the interior, and a UV and heat resistant corrosion inhibitor is the ideal preservation package or inhospitable climates.

    The method of attaching a flange protector is an important part of their performance in preventing damage. There are various ways, each with their advantages and disadvantages, as well as levels of effectiveness. After all, even the best flange protector won’t work if they fall off.

    A common method, especially among more inexpensive protectors, is to use cable ties or zip ties. They are fast, reasonably inexpensive, and secure, but they are single use, must be cut off, not all are UV resistant, and they can easily become debris after use.

    Another common method among inexpensive protectors are the friction fit plugs. These protectors are typically made from plastic and feature several plugs protruding from the back that fit into some of the bolt holes, remaining in place from friction. These come equipped on the protectors, so they are inexpensive, very simple to install, but are not typically UV resistant, and are not very secure. Due to their disadvantages, they frequently fall off, offering your flanges no protection.

    Flange protectors can also be installed with nuts and bolts. This method is more expensive, and more time consuming to install, but they can be reused and are very secure. An improved variation of this method is to use a flange protector with smaller bolt holes, a small diameter machine screw, and a tapered nut, which is exclusively available from us in the form of the multiNUTS™ and flangeBUMPER®. This patent-pending adaption is more cost effective than full sized nuts and bolts, will fit multiple sized bolt holes for easier logistics, and is just as secure.

    Different corrosion inhibitors work best in different situations. There are some light-duty, inexpensive inhibitors that are designed to work well indoors, however, when taken outside, they perform rather poorly. They can be applied again after some time to mitigate this, but that is not very practical. Lacquer type corrosion inhibitors do quite well in many situations but can be difficult to remove. The ones we have tested have performed very well in outdoor and salty conditions but required solvent to be removed.  Thick “coating” type inhibitors work very well in all conditions by completely sealing off the surface, and some are even able to be peeled off easily. The disadvantage of this type is that they are typically much more expensive, and they are suspended in solvents, making them expensive to ship as well. Some inhibitors act somewhat like a hard grease and work exceptionally well without being too expensive. The downside to these inhibitors is the excessive drying time required. An all-around high performer is our P3-CI™. It is highly cost effective when compared to alternatives, it works extraordinarily well in many different environments, indoor and outdoor, it is easy to apply, easy to remove, and it dries quickly. It is a top performing inhibitor that works well in every situation, especially preservation.

    Product

    flangeDOTS® are a flexible self-adhesive Flange Protector designed to protect the gasket surface area of a raised face flange during sand, bead and shot blasting and painting. They also keep the inside of the pipe spools, valves and vessels free of blast and paint debris during the blasting, painting and coating process.

    We have tested flangeDOTS® with wind speed well over 100 MPH and find that our product will stay attached firmly.

    No, flangeDOTS® are designed as a peel and stick product. You just install it to a clean dry surface and it’s ready for blast and paint.

    Yes, flangeDOTS® are designed to be a Peel and Stick Adhesive Flange Protector with a proprietary pressure sensitive adhesive. You just remove the backer, align to the raised surface area of the flange and stick it. This will save countless hours in application time over conventional masking methods using layers and layers of tape and then trimming the tape to the raised surface area of the flange.

    flangeDOTS® peel off with relative ease and leave no glue residue behind. Compared to traditional masking methods like duct tape that leave large amounts of glue and residue behind, costing you additional time and money to clean the flange surface, flangeDOTS® will speed up your process and put more money on your bottom line.

    Our flangeBUMPERS® are a lightweight, weatherproof, composite flange protector that is capable of withstanding extreme impact forces. They rival the protection of blind flanges at a fraction of the weight and price.

    flangeBUMPERS® are capable of withstanding well over 9200lbs of impact force without damaging the flange face.

    Yes, we certainly can. Minimum quantities or fees may apply. Contact us to find out more.

    Our flangeBUMPERS® can be attached in multiple ways to achieve the same level of protection. Our multiNUTS™ are the ideal and most secure way of attaching them, but full-sized bolt/studs can be used, as can zip ties/cable ties. 

    flangeBUMPERS®+Gasket are a unique protector that we have developed that offers an extra layer of protection for the interior of a spool or equipment. While the flangeBUMPER® and flangeDOT® combined can hold pressure, the flangeBUMPERS®+Gasket are able to hold even higher pressures.

    flangeDOTS®+Tags are an iteration of our flangeDOTS® that include an extended tag off one side that is intended to be exposed if the flange face is covered with a flangeBUMPER®.  This ensures that the flangeDOT® will not be left on after assembly and is a visual verification that a flangeDOT® is present during storage.

    flangeMAGS® are magnetic flange protectors that cover the raised face of a flange. They are ideal for keeping the raised face free of damage and keeping dirt and debris out of spools and equipment. They are most often used in areas where the flange cover may need to be removed and put back quickly, such as testing, welding, and fitting.

    multiNUTS™ are a revolutionary method of attaching flange protectors to flanges. They are a patent-pending, tapered nut that fit in a variety of bolt holes and will accept a ¼”-20 machine screw. Because of these characteristics, they are highly versatile, and improve logistics. Our flangeBUMPERS® can be ordered to accommodate ¼”-20 machine screw, full sized bolts/studs, or both. 

    We also offer flangeRINGS™ which are made of the same material as our flangeDOTS®, but only cover the raised face of the flange. This allows the interiors of pipe spools, equipment, and manway covers to be accessible. You will need to specify the flange type, as the width can vary

    A groutDAM™ is a quick mold for sole plate grouting that allows sole plates to be grouted quickly and with significantly less labor than alternate methods.  The groutDAM™ slips over the sole plate and is clamped down, then grout can be pumped in. Our groutDAM™ will work with epoxy-type and cement-type grout.

    P3-CI® is our renowned corrosion inhibitor that works well in a variety of conditions. It is quick to apply, quick to dry, and works in conjunction with our flangeDOTS®. In our testing, we have determined that it will keep bare steel rust-free up to 13 times longer than the competition, even in salty, hot, and humid environments. 

    These two products are very similar, serve a similar function, and are constructed out of the same materials. They differ, however, in their sizes and application. The flangeBUMPERS®+Gasket are manufactured to B16.5 and B16.47 specifications, while the exhaustCOVERS™ are manufactured to the specifications of the exhaust flange for your application. 

    Our flangeDOTS® are safe for use on all materials. They have a water-based adhesive which does not contain any chlorides or carcinogens, and they do not leave residue. 

    Damage-Prevention

    Flange preservation is an important step in every project. Flanges must be kept in good condition to prevent delays and setbacks during construction and assembly. When flanges are damaged, they must be fixed or replaced, wasting time and money that could otherwise be used to continue construction and assembly.  Flange preservation starts with preventing damage. As stated previously, the types of flange damage are mechanical and corrosion, as well as internal debris. Preventing these is possible by using an excellent preservation package, like the one we offer with the combination of flangeDOTS®, flangeBUMPER®, multiNUTS™, and P3-CI™.  This preservation package will keep your flanges ready to install at a moment’s notice without delay by preventing impact damage, corrosion, and internal debris. 

    : Flange defects can cause startups to be delayed and cause poor performance afterwards. The best way to prevent them is to take a proactive approach to preventing defects. While many issues arise from improper assembly, many also arise from damage to critical surfaces. When gasket seating surfaces and other critical surfaces are damaged, they must be repaired or replaced. If that damage is not found before assembly, it must also be tracked down in a sea of flanges. The best solution is to prevent the damage in the first place, which most would say is easier said than done, but it doesn’t have to be.  Our high-performance flange protection and preservation system can ensure that your flanges arrive at the assembly point clean and undamaged when used properly. Our patent-pending system offers unparalleled corrosion protection, impact protection, and seals the interiors from dirt and debris. Without having to worry about flange damage, you can focus your attention to assembly defects and achieve your zero flaw project goals. 

    Flange corrosion can be detrimental to your project’s budget and timeline, so preventing it from occurring is vital. Remedies for flange corrosion vary in degrees of effectiveness, cost, and ease of use. Keeping flanges covered, regardless of the storage conditions is the first step to preservation and preventing corrosion. Storing flanges indoors will help but won’t prevent corrosion. Duct tape may be the first choice for some, but it really shouldn’t be used at all. Duct tape will leave behind nasty residue, and will not seal the flange off from moisture, leaving behind streaks of corrosion. Our flangeDOTS® are the ideal choice when sealing or covering flanges. They do not allow moisture to contact the flange, and do not leave residue behind. They are also very quick to install and remove, meaning your flanged connections can be ready to assemble at a moment’s notice.

    A good corrosion inhibitor can be combined with covering the flange to enhance protection, allowing flanges to be stored in the worst conditions possible longer than without. Corrosion inhibitors can vary in effectiveness based on storage conditions. Some are for indoor use only, some are not effective with UV exposure, some work well in all conditions but are very expensive and difficult to use. Choosing the best corrosion inhibitor for your situation will be dependent on your needs and requirements. An excellent all-around corrosion inhibitor that is effective outdoors and indoors is our P3-CI™. It is easy to apply, easy to remove, and long lasting. It is the perfect corrosion inhibitor to pair with our flangeDOTS®.

    Flanges can be protected in several different ways. First, it is best to identify the types of damage that can occur. Corrosion, impact damage, abrasion and other mechanical damage, fatigue, and interior debris are all types of damage that can occur and must be dealt with. Since there are a variety of damage types, there are a variety of protection solutions. The highest level of protection will come from combining different solutions.

    For corrosion protection, a good corrosion inhibitor is key. A good corrosion inhibitor will have a long lifespan, will work well in humid and salty environments, it will resist UV degradation, it will be compatible with other flange protectors, it will be cost effective, it will be easy to install and remove, and it will dry quickly. This is a very long list of needs and few inhibitors can achieve them all. One such inhibitor that achieves these requirements is our P3-CI™.

    For impact protection, a good flange protector will be lightweight but sturdy and be able to absorb or deflect a great amount of damage. It will be weather resistant, UV resistant, and resistant to corrosion. It will be easy to install and remove but will remain in place for the duration it is needed. Our flangeBUMPERS® perform exceptionally and are the best choice when it comes to impact protection.

    These two solutions, when combined, can significantly reduce your flange damage issues, resulting in less rework and wasted materials. This combined solution can be further improved by sealing off the interior of the spool or equipment, preventing debris from entering, preventing spray-in corrosion inhibitors from escaping, and preventing corrosion by keeping moisture and oxygen out. This ultimate level of protection can be achieved by using our patent-pending preservation system that utilizes our flangeDOTS®, flangeBUMPER®, multiNUTS™, and P3-CI™.

    Debris in pipes and equipment can be a massive issue if not removed before startup. This is an expensive and arduous process that is completely preventable by not allowing debris to enter in the first place. This is easier said than done, but there are methods to greatly improve your success. Debris prevention in its simplest form consists of covering open connections, pipe spools, equipment, etc. This can be done in several ways. One common method is using cling wrap, which performs decently, can be relatively air- and water-tight, moderately priced, but can be slightly difficult to remove, and is susceptible to heat and UV degradation.

    Another common method is to use duct tape. Duct tape is cheap and somewhat fast to install, but its performance is significantly hampered by humidity and rain, is very difficult to remove, and leaves behind residue that is also difficult to remove.

    Flanged ends can be sealed with a gasketed blind flange, which is the most effective in terms of performance, but come with very big disadvantages. They are very expensive, very heavy, and very difficult and time consuming to install and remove.

    The best all-around method is to use flangeDOTS®. flangeDOTS® are highly effective, fast and easy to install and remove, don’t leave residue, are compatible with all flange materials, resistant to UV exposure and heat, and can be made air- and water-tight when used in conjunction with our flangeBUMPER® and multiNUTS™.

    Flange damage is both costly and time consuming to mitigate and correct. Preventing it from occurring is worth your time and effort. Small steps, like training your workers to treat the flanges better, can go a long way, but still won’t be enough to prevent them from being damaged. Flange damage can occur in many ways, so it is important to protect against all of them during all stages. Since most flanges will go through a stage that requires full protection, typically storage or transportation, it is important to use a full flange preservation package. Such a package should have a good corrosion inhibitor, a flange sealer, and an impact protector. Our flange preservation package contains all of these and rivals a blind flange in terms of effectiveness without the cost and weight associated with them.

    All of your preparation and preservation can seem to go to waste when a flange is damaged when installing spools and equipment. Luckily, technique and training can go a long way to fix this issue.  Utilizing a good flange preservation system will keep your flanges in great shape during storage and transportation, and a good technique can keep them in great shape during assembly. Your flange covers can be left on when transporting the spool or equipment to the assembly point but fit-up requires that they are taken off. One technique is to leave them on until the parts are almost touching, then removing one cover. Our flangeBUMPERS® are very close to the thickness of most gaskets, so the parts can be pressed together, and with one flangeBUMPER®, will still be protected from hitting each other. Once they are in place, the single flangeBUMPER® can be carefully replaced with a gasket. If multiNUTS™ or bolts are used to secure the flangeBUMPER®, they can be momentarily replaced with a zip tie or string to keep the flangeBUMPER® in place during assembly. If the spool or equipment needs to then be removed again, simply repeat this process in reverse. 

    Flange preservation is an important step in every project. Flanges must be kept in good condition to prevent delays and setbacks during construction and assembly. When flanges are damaged, they must be fixed or replaced, wasting time and money that could otherwise be used to continue construction and assembly.  Flange preservation starts with preventing damage. As stated previously, the types of flange damage are mechanical and corrosion, as well as internal debris. Preventing these is possible by using an excellent preservation package, like the one we offer with the combination of flangeDOTS®, flangeBUMPER®, multiNUTS™, and P3-CI™.  This preservation package will keep your flanges ready to install at a moment’s notice without delay by preventing impact damage, corrosion, and internal debris.

    Flange damage is any damage caused to the gasket seating surface of a flange, known as the flange face, that will prevent proper seating of the gasket between two flanges potentially causing a failure of the connection and resulting in a leak or pressure loss of the piping system. Flange damage can occur in many different forms: rust, corrosion and mechanical damage, such as a scratch, dent or ding. The flange face can even be damaged during the sand blasting process if the flange face is not properly protected.

    During the inspection process, if the flange face is found to be damaged it must be resurfaced or replaced. Either of these two options are expensive and could result in the delay of the fabrication or construction of the project. Proper protection of the flange face with products such as flangeDOTS® and the flangeBUMPER® will reduce flange damage by up to 98% and increase the speed at which the project is completed.

    Flange protectors come in various forms, costs, and levels of effectiveness. Choosing the correct protector is an important step in achieving quality goals and customer satisfaction. On the inexpensive end, there are simple plastic covers with bolt holes, plastic covers with built-in plugs, plastic top-hats, and corrugated plastic covers. In the middle are the wooden and metal covers with both holes. On the expensive end is a blind flange. There is also our flangeBUMPER®, which are inexpensive, but do not share the adverse traits of the others in that category.

    Generally speaking, the push-in friction type protectors offer decent protection, but aren’t able to withstand great impacts, and are prone to damage from UV light. They are also highly prone to falling off, leaving flanges completely unprotected.

    The open bolt hole style is typically more effective, though slightly more difficult to install. Their effectiveness is mostly dependent on their material. Corrugated plastic and solid plastic offer some impact protection and are lightweight but may be affected by UV light and heat. Wood offers good impact protection when new but is highly susceptible to warping and degrading. Metal covers offer great impact protection, but are expensive, heavy, hard to install, and may be susceptible to corrosion. A blind flange will offer the greatest impact protection, along with sealing the pipe, but are even more expensive, even heavier, and even more difficult to install. Our flangeBUMPER® is unique in that they offer an amazing level of impact protection in a lightweight, secure, inexpensive, and weatherproof package.