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Title:
A FLANGE ASSEMBLY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/145050
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Invention relates to a flange assembly (20), comprising at least a flange (22) pro-vided with a flange (22) opening in the flange (22) and a pipe (14) arranged into the flange opening (12) so that the flange (22) is overlapping the end of the pipe. In the assembly (20) the pipe (14) is sealed to the flange (22) by a first axial sealing (32) and a second axial sealing (34) arranged consecutively in axial di-rection, and a first leak indicating channel (16) is arranged to extend from the flange opening (12), through a body of the flange (22), into the outside of the flange (22), and that the first leak indicating channel (16) opens into a gap be-tween the pipe (14) and the flange (22) at a location axially between the first axial sealing (32) and the second axial sealing (34). (Fig. 1)

Inventors:
SANDBERG, Juho (Tarhaajantie 2, Vaasa, 65380, FI)
ERONEN, Olli (Tarhaajantie 2, Vaasa, 65380, FI)
Application Number:
EP2018/052094
Publication Date:
August 01, 2019
Filing Date:
January 29, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
WÄRTSILÄ FINLAND OY (Tarhaajantie 2, Vaasa, 65380, FI)
International Classes:
F16L23/026; F16L23/16; F17D5/02; G01M3/00; G01M3/28
Domestic Patent References:
WO2010092326A12010-08-19
Foreign References:
US20070051164A12007-03-08
US5170659A1992-12-15
FR2906007A12008-03-21
DE2239314A11974-02-21
EP2354439A22011-08-10
US4420970A1983-12-20
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GENIP OY (Heikinkatu 7, Kotka, 48100, FI)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1 . A flange assembly (20,20’), comprising at least only flange (22,

22.1 .22.2) provided with a flange opening (12), and a pipe (14, 14.1 , 14.2) ar ranged into the flange opening (12,12.1 ,12.2) so that the flange (22, 22.1 ,22.2) is overlapping the end of the pipe, characterized in that in the assembly (20,20’) the pipe (14, 14.1 , 14.2) is sealed to the at least one flange (22, 22.1 ,22.2) by a first axial sealing (32) and a second axial sealing (34) arranged consecutively in axial direction, and a first leak indicating channel (16) is arranged to extend from the flange opening (12), through a body of the at least one flange (22, 22.1 ,22.2), into the outside of the flange (22, 22.1 ,22.2), and that the first leak indicating channel (16) opens into a gap between the pipe (14, 14.1 , 14.2) and the flange (22, 22.1 ,22.2) at a location between the first axial sealing (32) and the second axial sealing (34).

2. A flange assembly (20,20’) according to claim 1 , characterized in that the at least one flange (22, 22.1 ,22.2) comprises a connection surface (25) for connecting the flange (22, 22.1 ,22.2) in a sealed manner, and that the connection surface (25) is provided with a first radial sealing (18) and a second radial sealing (19) arranged consecutively onto the connection surface (25), and a second leak indicating channel (17) arranged to extend from the connection surface (25) of the at least flange (22, 22.1 ,22.2), through a body of the at least flange (22,

22.1 .22.2), into the outside of the flange (22, 22.1 ,22.2), and that the second leak indicating channel (17) opens into the connection surface (25) of the at least one flange (22, 22.1 ,22.2) at a location between the first radial sealing (18) and the second radial sealing (19) on the connection surface (25).

3. A flange assembly (20,20’) according to claim 1 and 2, characterized in that the flange assembly (20,20’) comprises at least a first flange (22.1 ) with the first flange opening (12.1 ) and a second flange (22.2) with a second flange opening (12.2), which flanges are arranged their connection surfaces (25) against each other, and a first pipe (14.1 ) arranged into the first flange opening (12.1 ) and a second pipe (14.2) arranged into the second flange opening (12.2), and that the pipes are attached to the flanges by a first continuous welding (32) around the pipe (14, 14.1 , 14.2) inside the flange opening (12,12.1 ,12.2) and by a second continuous welding (34) around the pipe (14, 14.1 , 14.2) outside the flange, for sealing the pipe (14, 14.1 , 14.2) to the flange (22, 22.1 ,22.2), and that the assembly (20,20’) comprises the first leak indicating channel (16) arranged to extend from the flange opening (12.1 ,12.2) of both of the flanges (22.1 ,22.2), through the body of the flange (22.1 ,22.2), into the outside of the flange (22.1 ,22.2), and that the first leak indicating channel (16) opens in the axial di- rection into a gap between the pipe (14, 14.1 , 14.2) and the flange, at a location between the first continuous welding (32) and the second continuous welding (34). (22, 22.1 ,22.2).

4. A flange assembly (20,20’) according to claim 2, characterized in that there is an annular groove (40) in the connection surface (25) of the flange (22, 22.1 ,22.2) arranged radially between the first radial sealing (18) and the second radial sealing (19) into which the second leak indicating channel (17) arranged to open.

5. A flange assembly (20,20’) according to claim 2 or 4, characterized in that the first radial sealing (18) is arranged to a radially extending first portion of the connection surface (25’) of the flange ( 22.1 ,22.2) and the second radial sealing (29) is arranged to an axially extending second portion of the connection surface (25”) of flange (22.1 ,22.2).

6. A flange assembly (20,20’) according to claims 1 -3, characterized in that the assembly (20,20’) is provided with a leak detection device (75) and that the leak indicating channel (16, 17) is in flow communication with the leak detec tion device (75).

Description:
A Flange Assembly

Technical field

[001] The present invention relates to flange assembly, comprising at least a flange provided with a flange opening in the flange and a pipe arranged into the flange opening so that the flange is overlapping the end of the pipe according to the preamble of claim 1.

Background art [002] Leakage of flammable fluids is the most common cause of fire in engine rooms in e.g. marine vessels. It can be said, that especially pipe joints are a risk for leakage of fluids. For example, the splash guards in pipe connections may not preventing the leaking spray completely. There may be several reasons be hind this, such as not enough tight splash guard, or it is not properly installed. In addition, the splash guard is a separate part, which can be forgotten to mount.

[003] A flange joint is a connection of pipes, where the connecting pieces have flanges by which the parts are bolted together. The major reasons for leaking of the flange joint are a damaged sealing, a damaged sealing surface, screws are not tightened or those are loosen or broken. In addition, the weldings between the pipes and the flanges may leak or crack.

[004] Other challenges with the pipelines and with the pipe joints arises is a leak detection. The leak detection is used to determine if, and in some cases where, a leak has occurred in the systems, which contain liquids and gases. The challenges are for instance an accurate and rapid detection of leakage of the flange connections, thus minimizing the leakage into the surrounding space.

[005] One of the prior art solutions is described in DE2239314 A1 , which shows a safety flange connection with double seals, which are designed as flat gaskets. The bores lead to the clearance. The measuring devices or discharges to be connected to the bores enable the sealing of the flange connection to be moni tored, or to prevent any leaks occurring.

[006] In a publication EP2354439 there is shown a piping connection, where, the inward migration of air through a bolted flanged connection, and into a vessel or piping containing a flammable gas under negative pressure, may be prevented by providing double seal means between the mating faces of the two flanges being connected, with the double seal means being configured to form an annular chamber into which a blanketing gas is introduced, at a pressure higher than atmospheric. The double seals provide an inner seal and an outer seal against the flanges faces, with the inner and outer seals being spaced so as to form an annular chamber.

[007] An example of checking leaks is disclosed in a publication US4420970 A, which discloses an apparatus for checking for leaks between the connection flanges of two portions of metal-clad electric gear, said flanges being sealed by means of two seals disposed concentrically in series on the facing surfaces of the flanges, said electric gear being filled with compressed gas, wherein the in ternal volume lying between the two seals communicates with a smooth hole which itself communicates to the outside, said smooth hole being plugged by a resilient seal. [008] Thus, there is a need to develop a more secure flange joint with minimum risk to leak flammable fluid, for example, into the environment. In this invention, a new type of flange joint is disclosed with a leak-free design.

[009] An object of the invention is to provide a flange connection, which is reli able, and a leak detection considerably improved compared to the prior art solu- tions.

Disclosure of the Invention

[0010] Objects of the invention can be met substantially as is disclosed in the independent claims and in the other claims describing more details of different embodiments of the invention. [001 1 ] According to an embodiment of the invention a flange assembly com prises at least one flange provided with a flange opening in the at least flange, and a pipe arranged into the flange opening so that the at least one flange is overlapping the end of the pipe. In the assembly the pipe is sealed to the at least one flange by a first axial sealing and a second axial sealing arranged consecu tively in axial direction, and a first leak indicating channel is arranged to extend from the flange opening, through a body of the at least one flange, into the outside of the at least one flange, and the first leak indicating channel opens into a gap between the pipe and the at least one flange at a location between the first axial sealing and the second axial sealing.

[0012] The first leak indicating channel may be connected to or provided with a desired means for detecting a leak. This way a possible leak in the first axial sealing between the pipe and the flange can be detected by the first leak indicat ing channel prior to the leak will occur out from the flange assembly. [0013] According to an embodiment of the invention the flange comprises a con nection surface for connecting the at least one flange in a sealed manner, and the connection surface is provided with a first radial sealing and a second radial sealing arranged consecutively onto the connection surface, and a second leak indicating channel arranged to extend from the connection surface of the at least one flange, through a body of the at least one flange, into the outside of the at least one flange. The second leak indicating channel is arranged to open into the connection surface of the at least one flange at a location between the first radial sealing and the second radial sealing on the connection surface.

[0014] This way a possible leak through the connection surface of the flange can be detected by the second leak indicating channel, prior to the leak will occur out from the flange assembly.

[0015] According to an embodiment of the invention in the assembly the pipe is sealed to the flange by the first axial sealing and the second axial sealing ar ranged consecutively in axial direction, and the first leak indicating channel is arranged to extend from the flange opening, through a body of the flange, into the outside of the flange, and the first leak indicating channel opens into a gap between the pipe and the flange at a location axially between the first axial seal ing and the second axial sealing. Additionally the flange comprises connection surface for connecting the flange in a sealed manner, and the connection surface is provided with the first radial sealing and the second radial sealing arranged consecutively onto the connection surface, and the second leak indicating chan nel arranged to extend from the connection surface of the flange, through a body of the flange, into the outside of the flange, wherein the second leak indicating channel is arranged to open into the connection surface of the flange at a location between the first radial sealing and the second radial sealing on the connection surface.

[0016] This way a possible leak in the first axial sealing between the pipe and the flange can be detected by the first leak indicating channel, as well as a leak through the connection surface of the flange by the second leak indicating chan nel, prior to the leak will occur out from the flange assembly. [0017] According to an embodiment of the invention the flange assembly com prises at least a first flange with the first flange opening and a second flange with a second flange opening, which flanges are arranged their connection surfaces against each other, and a first pipe arranged into the first flange opening and a second pipe arranged into the second flange opening. The pipes are attached to the flanges by a first continuous welding around the pipe inside the flange open ing and by a second continuous welding around the pipe outside the flange, seal ing the pipe to the flange, and the assembly comprises first leak indicating chan nel arranged to extend from the flange opening of both of the flanges, through the body of the flange, into the outside of the flange. The first leak indicating channel opens into a gap between pipe and the flange at a location axially be tween the first continuous welding and the second continuous welding. The first leak indicating channels in flanges can be eventually combined prior to leading out of one of the two flanges.

[0018] According to an embodiment of the invention there is an annular groove in the connection surface of the flange, which groove is arranged radially between the first radial sealing and the second radial sealing into which groove the second leak indicating channel is arranged to open. The annular groove functions as a common collector of the leak indicator channels in the flange assembly. [0019] According to an embodiment of the invention the first radial sealing is ar ranged to the radially extending first portion of the connection surface of the flange and the second radial sealing is arranged to the axially extending second portion of the connection surface of flange. [0020] According to an embodiment of the invention, the assembly is provided with a leak detection device and the leak indicating channel is in flow communi cation with the leak detection device.

[0021 ] The exemplary embodiments of the invention presented in this patent ap plication are not to be interpreted to pose limitations to the applicability of the appended claims. The verb "to comprise" is used in this patent application as an open limitation that does not exclude the existence of also unrecited features. The features recited in depending claims are mutually freely combinable unless otherwise explicitly stated. The novel features which are considered as charac teristic of the invention are set forth in particular in the appended claims. The axial direction means generally the direction of the longitudinal axis of a pipe arranged into the flange opening. The radial direction means generally a direction substantially perpendicular to the axial direction. When referred to the sealings, axial means general direction of possible leak in axial direction and radial means general direction of possible leak in radial direction.

Brief Description of Drawings

[0022] In the following, the invention will be described with reference to the ac companying exemplary, schematic drawings, in which

Figure 1 illustrates a flange assembly according to an embodiment of the inven- tion, and

Figure 2 illustrates a flange assembly according to another embodiment of the invention. Detailed Description of Drawings

[0023] Figure 1 depicts schematically a flange assembly 20 according to an em bodiment of the invention. The flange assembly 20 in the figure 1 is rotationally symmetrical in respect to a center axis CL. The assembly 20 is suitable for use in an attachment to a flange part 50 in a body of an apparatus, such as an internal combustion piston engine 100, for example. Such a flange part 50 may be sepa rate or integral part of the engine 100. The flange assembly 20 comprises a flange 22, which is provided with a flange opening 12 arranged coaxially with the center axis CL. There is a pipe 14 axially arranged to extend into the flange open- ing 12 is so that the flange 22 is overlapping the end of the pipe 14’. The length of overlapping region can vary to some extent. The flange has a thickness in the direction of the center axis CL and the flange opening is advantageously a cylin drical opening.

[0024] According to an embodiment of the invention the pipe 14 is attached to the flange opening 12 by any suitable means or method, for example with a threaded connection. In such an embodiment the outer surface of the pipe and the inner surface of the flange are provided with mating threads. The attachment of the pipe to the flange is sealed so as to avoid a leakage of a fluid in the pipe 14 and the flange 22. In the assembly 20 the pipe 14 is sealed to the flange 22 by a first axial sealing 32 and a second axial sealing 34 arranged consecutively in the axial direction. The thread connection can be secured by e.g. suitable welds. The sealing can be any suitable sealing for connecting the pipe 14 to the flange opening 12, such as an o-ring or a sealant, in a fluid tight manner.

[0025] According to another embodiment of the invention the pipe 14 is attached to the flange opening 12 by welding. The weld simultaneously acts as an attach ment and also as a seal between the flange 22 and the pipe 14 to avoid a leakage of a fluid in the pipe 14. Therefore the welds 32, 34 are referred to by using same reference numbers as the first and the second axial sealings. The assembly 20 comprises a first welding 32 at the end of the pipe. The first welding 32 is a con- tinuous weld connecting the end of the pipe 14 to an inner surface 15 of the flange opening 12 in a sealed manner. The first welding 32 extends around the end of the pipe 14, thus sealing the periphery of the pipe completely. The assem- bly comprises further a second welding 34. The second welding 34 is a continu ous weld connecting an outer surface of the pipe 14 to a surface 15’ of the flange 22 at a side opposite to a connection surface 25 of the flange in a sealed manner. Also the second welding extends around the pipe 14. Both of the welding acts also as an axial sealing. Thus, also the welded connection comprises a first axial sealing 32 at the end of the pipe14, and a second axial sealing 34 outside the flange. In other words, the flange is connected to the pipe by having two axially consecutive sealings in the direction of the center axis CL. There is a gap 30 capable of acting as a flow channel for the fluid, which gap is formed axially be- tween the first axial sealing 32 and the second axial sealing 34, and radially be tween the pipe 14 and the inner surface 15 of the flange opening 12.

[0026] Concerning both of the embodiments described above, according to the invention, the flange 22 is provided with a first leak indicating channel 16 which is arranged to extend from the inner surface 15 in the flange opening 12, through a body 22’ of the flange 22, into the outer surface of the flange. The first leak indicating channel 16 opens at a location between the first axial sealing 32 and the second axial sealing 34 into a gap 30 between the pipe 14 and the flange 22. In case of possible failure or a breakage of the first axial sealing 32 between the flange 22 and the pipe 14, the leak of the sealing can be detected by means of the first leak indicating channel, and still the assembly itself does not leak be cause the second axial sealing 34 still prevents the leakage.

[0027] The first leak indicating channel 16 is advantageously provided with a leak detecting device 75 which in this embodiment plugs the channel 16 and is configured to provide e.g. electric or visual information of leak status. [0028] The attachment of the flange 22 to the internal combustion engine 100, or the flange part 50 in the body of the engine 100, for example, comprises also other suitable sealings, such as annular sealing ring, around the flange opening 12, between the flange 22 and the flange part 50 in the body of the engine 100. Preferably, at least one annular sealing 18, like an o-ring, is mounted between the flange 22 and the engine 100.

[0029] In order to improve the handling of leakage risk, the flange 22 comprises in addition, or alternatively to the first leak indicating channel 16, a second leak indicating channel 17. Advantageously there are two annular radially consecutive sealing 18, 19 so that the leakage to outside of the flange assembly can be min imized. The second leak indicating channel 17 is arranged to extend from the connection surface 25 through a body 22’ of the flange 22, into the outer surface of the flange. The second leak indicating channel 17 opens at a location radially between the first radial sealing 18 and the second radial sealing 19 into an an nular groove 40 arranged between the first radial sealing 18 and the second ra dial sealing 19. In case of possible failure or a breakage of the first radial sealing 18 between the flange 22 and the engine 100, the leak of the sealing can be detected by means of the second leak indicating channel 17 as a leak flow in the second leak indicating channel, and still the assembly itself does not leak outside because the second radial sealing 19 still prevents the leakage.

[0030] The flange assembly further comprises connection means 42 for connect ing the flange 22 to the body of the engine 100, which connection means are advantageously plurality of bolt and nut, or screw and thread.

[0031 ] Figure 2 illustrates schematically a flange assembly 20’ according to an other embodiment of the invention connecting two pipes to each other at the ends thereof. The flange assembly 20’ in the figure 2 is rotationally symmetrical in re spect to a center axis CL. The flange assembly 20’ comprises a first flange 22.1 with a first flange opening 12.1 and a second flange 22.2 with a second flange opening 12.2. The flanges are arranged against each other in the axial direction concentrically such that their connection surfaces 25 are facing each other. There is a pipe 14.1 , 14.2 arranged into the each of the flange openings 12.1 , 12.2. A first pipe 14.1 extends into the first flange opening 12.1 and a second pipe 14.2 extends into the second flange opening 12.2, so that the each flange is overlap ping the end of the respective pipe. In other word, the flange covers axially the end of the pipe over a predetermined distance. The predetermined distance cor responds advantageously almost the thickness of the flange. The actual length of overlapping can vary depending on the case. [0032] In the embodiment of the figure 2 the pipes 14.1 , 14.2 are attached to the flanges by welding. The weld simultaneously acts as an attachment and also as a seal between the flange 22.1 , 22.2 and the pipe 14.1 , 14.2 to avoid a leakage of a fluid in the pipe 14. A first welding 32 in the assembly is made around the end of the first pipe 14.1 , inside the first flange 22.1 joining the first pipe 14.1 and the first flange 22.1 together in sealed manner. The second welding 34 is made around the first pipe 14.1 outside the first flange 22.1 The second welding con nects an outer surface of the first pipe 14.1 to a surface 15’ of the flange 22.1 at a side opposite to a connection surface 25 of the flange in a sealed manner. In this way these weldings constitute two axially consecutive sealings. Therefore, the welding connection comprises a first axial sealing 32 at the end of the first pipe 14.1 , and a second axial sealing 34 outside the flange. The second flange 22.2 also comprises corresponding two axially consecutive weldings i.e. axially consecutive sealings 32, 34 between the second pipe 14.2 and the second flange 22.2.

[0033] There is a gap 30 formed between the first pipe 14.1 and the first flange 22.1 , and between the second pipe 14.2 and the second flange 22.2. The gap 30 extends axially between the first welding 32 and the second welding 34. The flange assembly 20’ comprises a first leak indicating channel 16 which is ar ranged to extend from the gap 30 through a body of the flange 22.1 ,22.2, into the outside of the flange. The flanges 22.1 , 22.2 comprise a connection surface 25 by means of which the opposite flanges are connected with each other in a sealed manner. The connection surface 25 is provided with a first radial sealing 18 and a second radial sealing 19 arranged consecutively in direction of potential leak onto the connection surface. The second leak indicating channel 17 ar ranged to extend from the connection surface 25 of the flange, through a body of the flange 22.1 ,22.2 into the outside of the flange.

[0034] In this embodiment of the invention, a first leak indicating channel 16 is arranged to the first flange 22.1 , to extend from the flange opening 12.1 , through a body of the flange 22.1 , into the outside of the flange 22.1. The end of the first leak indicating channel 16 opens into a gap 30 between the pipe 14.1 and the flange 22.1 axially at a location between the first axial sealing 32 and the second axial sealing 34. Respectively, there is also a first leak indicating channel 16 ar- ranged to the second flange 22.2, to extend from the inner surface 15 of the flange opening 12.2, through a body of the flange 22.2, into the outside of the flange 22.2. The leak indicating channel 16’ opens into a gap 30 between the pipe 14.2 and the flange 22.2 at axial location between the first axial sealing 32 and the second axial sealing 34. The direction of both of the first leak indicating channels 16 through the flange body 22’ is generally in radial direction, and may vary depending on the case. The first leak indicating channels 16 are connected with each other within the flange assembly when the flanges 22.1 ,22.2 are at- tached with each other such that they share a common leak indicating outlet 72. The leak indicating outlet 72 can be arranged to an axial surface of the flange as is shown in the figure or to the radial surface of the flange.

[0035] The flanges are provided with an annular groove 40 arranged at a radial distance from the center line CL to the connection surface 25 of the flanges. Here both of the flanges 22.1 ,22.2 are provided with the annular groove 40 at substan tially equal radial distance so that they are substantially opposite each other be tween the flanges. It is conceivable that only one of the flanges in the assembly 20’ is provided with the annular groove 40. The annular groove 40 is arranged radially, or generally in a direction of potential leak flow, between a first radial sealing 18 and a second radial sealing 19. The radial sealings are continuous and annular sealings. Advantageously, the first leak indicating channel 16 and the second leak indicating channel 17, opens into the annular groove 40, i.e., are in flow communication with the annular groove 40 and with each other.

[0036] Both of the first and the second leak indicating channels 16, 17 are also in flow communication with a leak detection device 75 connected to the common outlet 72. The leak detection device may also be connected to the annular groove 40 such that the first and the second leak indicating channels are connected to the leak detection device 75 is via the annular groove 40. Alternatively, the as sembly can be provided with a separate leak detection device 75 arranged in both of the first 16 and the second 17 leak indicating channels i.e. the first and the second leak indicating channels may be fluidly separated from each other. The leak detection device 75 can be realized for example by means of pressure sensor. The leak detection device 75 can be based on a detector configured to detect a presence of the fluid which is arranged to flow in the pipes 14.1 ,14.2. For example, when the flange assembly is used in a gas line, such as natural gas, the detector is configured to detect the presence of natural gas or any of its main components. [0037] According to an advantageous embodiment of the invention the connec tion surface 25 of the flange comprises a first portion 25’ having a radially ex tending connection surface and a second portion 25” having an axially extending cylindrical connection surface, and a third portion 25’” having a radially extending connection surface. The first portion 25’ is radially inside the second portion 25” which is radially inside the third portion 25”’.

[0038] Advantageously, the first flange 22.1 has the first portion 25’ which is ax ially thicker than the third portion 25”’. This forms an annular inner area with a raising face, and the second flange 22.2 has the first portion 25’ which is axially thinner than the third portion 25”’ which in turn forms an annular inner depression mating the raised surface of the first flange 22.1. Thus, there is formed a radial connection surface in the first portion 25’ of the connection surface 25 between the first flange 22.1 and the second flange 22.2, and a cylindrical connection surface in the second portion 25” extending in axial direction between the first flange 22.1 and the second flange 22.2. This provides the benefits of better seal ing properties, an exact compression of sealing material, utilization of more suit able and specialized sealing materials, for example. The attachment of the first flange 22.1 to the second flange 22.2, comprises a suitable sealing in between the flange surfaces. Preferably, at least one radial sealing, such as an o-ring or similar, is mounted between the flanges. Advantageously at least two radial seal ings are inserted between the flanges 22.1 , 22.2. In the embodiment of the in vention, a first radial sealing 18 is arranged between the radial connection sur face 25’ of the flange and the second radial sealing 19 is arranged between the cylindrical connection surface in the second portion 25” of the connection surface 25 of the flange 22. The selected one of the flange (or both of the flanges) com prises a radial groove 83 for the radial sealing. In addition, the flange assembly 20’ comprises connection means for connecting the flanges 22.1 , 22.2 against each other. The connection means are advantageously plurality of screw 77 and thread 78. [0039] According to a preferred example of the invention, when operating under normal operational conditions, the first pipe 14.1 and the second pipe 14.2 are under pressure. The pressure is maintained by the first radial sealing 18 and by the first welding 32. Leakage may occur when, for example, the first radial sealing 18 breaks down or screws 77 are loosen in connection. The pressure from the piping is discharged between the flanges 22.1 , 22.2. According to embodiment of the invention, the pressure is maintained by the second radial sealing 19, which is advantageously on the cylindrical flange connection surface 25”. Thus, the connection stays pressure tight even in the case of screws loosen and there are no external leak from the flange assembly 20’. The pressure is further sealed by the first welding 32 of the both flanges. The leak occurred is detected from between the flanges 22.1 , 22.2 via the annular groove 40 between the first radial sealing 18 and the second radial sealing 19. The leak detection device 75 detects the fault situation and breaks an electric circuit between wires 55’. This causes an alarm, by an alarm equipment 55 connected to the leak detection device 75. The leak detection device 75 is advantageously a leak detection valve.

[0040] According to a preferred example of the invention, in case when operating under conditions that the first welding 32 is damaged, the pressure is maintained by the first radial sealing 18 and/ or the second radial sealing 19. In addition, the second welding 34 of the both flanges maintain the pressure within the pipes. Therefore, there are no external leak from the flange assembly 60. The leak oc curred is detected from the gap 30 and further via the leak indicating channel 16 between the first welding 32 and the second welding 34 of the respective flange. The leakage is detected and alarm occurs in the similar way as described above.

[0041 ] In this embodiment of the invention the flange assembly 20’ comprises two consecutive sealing steps in the direction of the possible leakage. In more detailed, at least two consecutive sealing steps are provided in the axial direction of the flange assembly and also, at least two consecutive sealing steps in the radial direction of the flange assembly. The advantages are the completely leak age free flange assembly, with the reliable leak detection method.

[0042] While the invention has been described herein by way of examples in connection with what are, at present, considered to be the most preferred em bodiments, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments, but is intended to cover various combinations or modifications of its features, and several other applications included within the scope of the in vention, as defined in the appended claims. The details mentioned in connection with any embodiment above may be used in connection with another embodi ment when such combination is technically feasible.