When it comes to exhaust systems, there can be a complex range of parts for which it is important to understand their function. An exhaust flange is a device used to attach an exhaust pipe to an exhaust manifold or other piece of exhaust pipe. The flange is commonly designed to “sandwich” an exhaust gasket between the exhaust manifold and pipe. The exhaust flange is manufactured to an exact position and angle to eliminate the chance of any exhaust leaks when tightened. Modern exhaust systems nowadays use a ball-type socket that gets rid of the need for a gasket as the flange tightens against a preformed pipe to create a seal that is leak-proof.
Nearly all types of exhausts from manifolds to tubular headers incorporate the exhaust flange in some form or another to prevent exhaust leaks. Some versions of the flange utilize something referred to as a donut gasket to help in sealing the system. The donut gasket is a round gasket that uses a flat and smooth center hole to ride solidly on the exhaust pipe. The outside diameter of this particular gasket is manufactured with a slight angle on each side that is embodied into the flange on the manifold and pipe itself. As the exhaust flange is tightened, the donut gasket is drawn into the flange and creates a solid seal that contains the exhaust sound, fumes and heat.
It is important to note that the exhaust flange is in a very vulnerable location. Therefore, you may find that it gets damaged easily. If you do not repair the broken flange, you may experience some other problems along with the break. These problems can include the limiting the flow dynamic of the exhaust gasses, and even damaging the ground on which your car drives.