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. For 150# and 300# flanges, the raised face is of 1.6 mm (1/16 inch) and is included in the thickness specified. For higher rating, the flange thickness does not include the raised face thickness.
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.
The Ring Type Joint flanges are typically used in high pressure (Class 600 and higher rating) and/or high temperature services above 800°F (427°C). They have grooves cut into their faces which seats ring gaskets. The flanges seal when tightened bolts compress the gasket between the flanges into the grooves, deforming the gasket to make intimate contact inside the grooves, creating a metal to metal seal. An RTJ flange may have a raised face with a ring groove machined into it.