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  • Nadirsha Shahabudeen

Piping Design Codes & Standards

Updated: Feb 6

1. Introduction

In the aspect of engineering piping design and flexibility analysis are inevitable. The dawn of technology made piping design something which can be manifested through the best software. Engineers now employ a broad range of tools and software that makes the process of modern piping design industrious. However, there are multiple facets a piping design engineer requires considering when designing the piping systems.

The depth of expertise is known through the knowledge in piping design standards and codes. Piping systems are fashioned in conformity with industry codes and standards. These standards are proposed by qualified group, committees and trade organizations. Each code is basically a specification created by the same system or committee that perfected the standards which are then welcomed by the government.

Process plants constitute different processes involved in the chemical/physical processing of raw materials to end products. For successful and safe construction of the facility, refineries have some of the largest process plants where plant design and piping engineering play an extensive role. Definite planning and execution of the design and pipe routing also makes a big difference on adjusting the total installed cost (TIC).

The particular and industrial safety of a plant or equipment is the main purpose of a code. It is the duty of Piping design engineer to be well-equipped with industrial standards and codes as well as the components and materials used in the whole process. Precise material specifications are the brainchild of knowledge of industry codes and standards. It also helps in the selection of appropriate piping material. Apart from all these, it ensures the cohesion of the piping design when processed for construction and system maintenance.

Not only reducing total expenses, annoyance and complication but also designing the piping layout in conformity with the standardization has many benefits in avoiding any differences in the piping systems, components, and procedures. Proposed practices are also refined by the organizations that develop the standards which are adopted as best engineering practices industry-wide when composing the piping systems.


2. Design Code in Piping System


For design, fabrication, installation, testing and inspection of pipes or piping systems, a code or a specific rules or systematic procedures developed by an organization. The code that handles the design of piping systems for process plants is ASME B31.3: Process Piping. Piping engineers are answerable for depicting the code using sound engineering knowledge to assure that the proposed design satisfies the code prerequisites.


3. Piping Design Codes common for Refineries:

· B31.3 Process Piping:

Mostly called the Chemical Plant and Petroleum Refinery Piping Code, this code has a vast coverage. Because the B31.3 is for such a large spectrum, it has different “fluid categories" to certify the precise degree of rigor is authorized to varied types of piping.

This Code incorporates the decrees for piping elements regularly found in petroleum refineries, chemical, pharmaceutical, textile, paper, semiconductor, and cryogenic plants and complementary processing plants and terminals. It is pertinent for the design of chemical and petroleum plants and refineries processing chemicals and hydrocarbons, water and steam.

This Code dictates requirements for materials and components, design, fabrication, assembly, erection, examination, inspection, and testing of piping. This Code covers to piping for all fluids including Raw, intermediate, and finished chemicals , Petroleum products , Gas, steam, air and water , Fluidized solids , Refrigerants and Cryogenic fluids .

· B31.8 – 2003 – Gas Transmission and Distribution Piping Systems:

This Code encloses the design, fabrication, installation, inspection, and testing of pipeline facilities used for the transportation of gas. This Code also covers safety aspects of the execution and preservation of those facilities.

· B31.4 – 2002 – Pipeline Transportation Systems for Liquid Hydrocarbons and Other Liquids

Qualifications for the design, materials, construction, assembly, inspection, and testing of piping that transports liquids are governed by this code. The kinds of liquids incorporate: (crude oil, condensate, natural gasoline, natural gas liquids, liquefied petroleum gas, carbon dioxide, liquid alcohol, liquid anhydrous ammonia and liquid petroleum products).

These are generally taken between producers tank farms, natural gas processing plants, refineries, stations, ammonia plants, terminals (marine and truck) and other delivery points.The piping adopted here often dwells with pipe, flanges, bolting, gaskets, valves, relief devices, fittings and the pressure containing parts of other piping components. It also includes hangers and supports, and other equipment items mandatory to restrict over afflicting the pressure containing parts. Support structures such as frames of buildings, buildings stanchions or foundations are absent in it.

· B31.8S-2001 – 2002 – Managing System Integrity of Gas Pipelines:

Pipeline system indicates all parts of physical amenity through which gas is transferred, including pipe, valves, apparatuses attached to pipe, compressor units, metering stations, regulator stations, delivery stations, holders and fabricated attachments. This Standard administers to on-shore pipeline systems composed with ferrous materials and that transport gas. The principles and processes incorporated in unity management are pertinent to all pipeline systems. This Standard is specially fashioned to provide the operator with the knowledge mandatory to establish and enforce an useful purity management program taking advantage of proven industry practices and processes. The processes and approaches within this Standard are relevant to the entire pipeline system.


4. Standards in piping design


Standards are usually flourished by an efficient organization or a group. These are a set of documents that are recognized to be applicable. Standards follow good manufacturing practice (GMP) which is indispensable for organizations shouldering piping systems design. The documents portray the application design, construction rules, and necessary requirements for piping components like valves, flanges, elbows, tees and so on.

5. Conclusion


Apart from considering the codes and standards as indispensable regulations, many companies even consider them to be “design ace ” as they are developed by industry professionals. Pipe routing guidelines are yardsticks that regulate the comprehensive piping cost and proper function. So before implementing these codes and standards, it is important to know that every country has its own set of codes and standards to follow. American National Standard is the most commonly used standard.

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