Entry level Mechanical Engineer must learn Process Piping code ASME B31.3

Some of mechanical engineering students  learns basic design of piping and pipeline in college. we must learn some piping and pipeline code in industry that we never get it in college. The most popular piping code is ASME B31.3 that used in process piping and ASME B31.1 for power piping. Process piping is a piping system installed inside a plant that used to connect equipment.

This Code has the intent to be an engineering requirement in designing a safe piping system in both design and installation. But, one thing must be kept in mind, that the Code does not apply to the operation, examination, inspection, testing and maintenance or repair of piping that already operate or “in service”.

Although this Code is an “engineering requirement” for a safe design, in principle it only uses a simple approach only. In other words, if the Designer has the ability to perform a more detailed and in-depth analysis, then he may do so, by making a documentation of the results of his calculations and of course must get approval from the Owner, and attach details of the design, construction, examination, inspection and testing for design in accordance with ASME B31.3 paragraph 301, with a consistent calculation with the design criteria of this Code.

There are some Category Fluid contained in ASME B31.3 namely:

1. Category D Fluid Services:

Fluids incorporated in category D are Fluid which:
a. Non-Flammable, Non-Toxic and Non-Damaging to human skin
b. Design Gauge Pressure does not exceed 150 Psi or 1035 kPa.
c. Design Temperature of -29 C (-20F) to 186 C (366 F)
On the cover from Chapters I to VII, which could be using elements suitable for other types of Fluid services.

2. Category M Fluid Services:

This category applies to Fluids which, when interacting with humans through either breathing or direct contact, even in very small amounts, can result in very serious and “irreversible” risks. It’s on the cover at Chapters VIII.

3. High Pressure Fluid Service:

Fluid service which is categorized by Owner, whose Design Pressure exceeds that permitted by ASME B16.5 PN420 (Class 2500) rating for specified temperature and material group design, as described in Chapter IX B31.3.

4. Normal Fluid Service: This is a fluid service covered by B31.3, which is not included in Fluid Category D, M and High Pressure Fluid Service.


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