Five Steps to Creating a Phonographic Finish

Phonographic Finishing How-To

Five Steps to Creating a Phonographic Finish

Preventing leaks and maintaining effective sealing of flanged surfaces is crucial in the oil, gas and chemical industry. Regular inspection and preventative maintenance procedures can help prevent crises and ensure operations run efficiently. Flanged surfaces that require preventative maintenance include a raised face, flat face, O-ring grooves, lens rings, RTJ, and tongue-and-groove surfaces. The most common sealing surface in the industry is the raised face, which requires a phonographic surface to seat the gasket properly. A raised-face surface is easily identifiable since gasket surfaces are raised above the bolting circle face.

With a phonographic surface, it’s important to create a surface that either matches your company’s repair directive or follows the manufacturer’s recommendation. The ASME B16.5 code requires that the flange face (raised face and flat face) has a specific roughness to ensure that this surface is compatible with the gasket and provides a high-quality seal. A serrated finish, either concentric or spiral, is required with 30 to 55 grooves per inch and a resultant roughness between 125 and 500 microinches. This allows for various grades of surface finish to be made available by flange manufacturers for the gasket contact surface of metal flanges.

The five simple steps below outline a failsafe way of verifying before you even start that you’ll produce a quality phonographic finish.

  • Step 1: Mount the indicator on the side of the tool holder. As desired, set a high feed rate so you’ll be able to achieve the phonographic finish. Start the rotation of the machine slowly enough to watch the indicator to see how much it travels in one revolution. For example, 10 revolutions in one quarter of an inch, would end up being .025 inch per revolution resulting in 40 grooves per inch.


  • Step 2: Select your tool of choice based on the material finish recommendations or requirements from your manufacturer.
    1. 45 degree inserted carbide
    2. 45 degree braised carbide, which you can also modify for sharpness of a point
    3. High-speed steel, which you can modify to a 45 degree with a sharp point


  • Step 3: Install your tool of choice into the tool holder. First, make contact with the flange face and then tighten down the set screw to lock it into position.


  • Step 4: Adjust tool carriage down.


  • Step 5: Your phonographic finish is complete! This process will leave you with a high-quality sealed surface to help get your equipment up and running with minimal downtime.   


All flange facers operate differently; while these steps apply to most flange facers, the CLIMAX flange facer line is known for its easy set-up process, and its axial and radial feed adjustment options. When you apply proper training and techniques, CLIMAX flange facer machines can quickly and effectively repair these surfaces.

Interested in learning more about how your company can create a phonographic finish with a CLIMAX flange facer? Contact a CLIMAX expert today to learn more.