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4/8/2018 ASME Code Section 8


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This Code section addresses the

GENERAL mandatory requirements, specific
prohibitions, and non-mandatory guidance Site
Pre-Shipment for Pressure Vessel Materials, design,
fabrication, examination, inspection,
Third Party testing, certification, and pressure relief.
In this article you will learn about the
different subsections and guidelines for
the use and application of this code.
Inspection For ASME Code Section 8 scope and
Inspection and boundaries, review the Pressure Vessel
Test Plan Definition article.

You may know ASME Code Section 8 has
Acceptance Test
three divisions. Division 1 covers pressure
up to 3000 psi, Division 2 has an 1/14
4/8/2018 ASME Code Section 8


Quality Control

Plant Inspection


alternative rule and covers up to 10,000

FIX psi and Division 3 can be used for
pressure higher than 10,000 psi.
Pressure Vessel Hierarchy of Standard

Heat Exchanger 1. Law and Regulation at Location of

Piping System Installation

Industrial Valve
Mandatory application of ASME pressure
Steam Boiler vessel code is determined by rule and
regulation at location of installation.
Storage Tank

Process Heater For example, if you are living in the state

of Minnesota, the application of ASME
Code for construction and stamping is
ROTARY mandatory in your location, but if you are
EQUIPMENT living in the state of South Carolina, it is
not mandatory.
Pump 2. ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel
Centrifugal Code
The next item in this hierarchy is ASME
Code itself; the ASME Code generally is
divided into three groups as following:
Gas Turbine

Steam Turbine Group 1: Construction Codes

Fan & Blower Some of them are: Section VIII for

pressure vessel, Section I for Power 2/14
4/8/2018 ASME Code Section 8

E&I Boiler, section III for Nuclear Power Plant

and Section IV for heating Boiler
Group 2: Reference Codes
These are the codes which are referenced
Electric Motor from construction codes as explained in
Power group 1.
The ASME Section IX for welding and
Control Panel
Section V for Non Destructive Testing are
Switchgear in this Group.
Power Cable
For example, ASME Code section VIII for
welding requirement such as WPS
GET IN (Welding Procedure Specification), PQR
(Procedure Qualification Record), Welder
Performance Qualification, etc. refer you
About Me to ASME Section IX.

Contact Group 3: In-Service Codes

These are the codes for in-service
inspection after placing the equipment into
Privacy Policy service.

The ASME Section VI for the heating

We will be updating boiler and Section VII are from this group.
and growing this
site with more and 3. National Board Inspection
more of industrial Code(NBIC):
inspection related
articles. We have assigned a separate article for
the NBIC, but as required for this article,
Please subscribe to
the NBIC is making certification for ASME
my monthly
newsletter so you Authorized Inspectors and is also
don't miss a thing. certifying R stamp for Repair services for
stamped pressure vessels. 3/14
4/8/2018 ASME Code Section 8

ASME Code Section 8 Content:

See following Fig; it shows ASME Code
Section 8 Content:

Your First


This section is divided into three

Subsections, Mandatory Appendices, and
Nonmandatory Appendices.

Subsection A consists of Part UG,

covering the general requirements
applicable to all pressure vessels.

Subsection B covers specific

requirements that are applicable to the
various methods used in the fabrication of
pressure vessels.

It consists of Parts UW, UF, and UB

dealing with welded, forged, and brazed
methods, respectively.

Subsection C covers specific

requirements applicable to the several
classes of materials used in pressure
vessel construction. 4/14
4/8/2018 ASME Code Section 8

It consists of Parts UCS, UNF, UHA, UCI,

UCL, UCD, UHT, ULW, and ULT dealing
with carbon and low alloy steels,
nonferrous metals, high alloy steels, cast
iron, clad and lined material, cast ductile
iron, ferritic steels with properties
enhanced by heat treatment, layered
construction, and low temperature
materials, respectively.

For example, if you need to manufacture a

pressure vessel with SA 516 Gr.70
material (Carbon Steel), then you need to
meet the marked items in above Fig.

Please note that ASME Code Section 8,

does not provide you fabrication
tolerances except for misalignment and
weld reinforcement.

For example, for nozzle orientation,

projection, elevation and other required
tolerances there are no values in the
code, and you may refer to pressure
vessel handbooks for such information.

Review the Pressure Vessel Dimension

Inspection article for such tolerances.

If you review the ASME Forward

statement it clearly says “The Code does
not address all aspects of construction
activities, and those aspects which are not
specifically addressed should not be
considered prohibited.”

In continuing it says, “The Code is not a

handbook and cannot replace education, 5/14
4/8/2018 ASME Code Section 8

experience, and the use of engineering


For example, ASME Code Section 8 Div 1

in UG-28 mandates all loading to be
considered in pressure vessel design, but
the method for calculation of all of them
has not been addressed.

For example, the formula for wind or

earthquakes is not provided in the ASME
Code Section 8, and these items and
other similar loading considerations need
to be designed by using the information
provided in the pressure vessel

For ASME pressure vessel manufacture

certification, as well as Authorized
Inspection Agency certification, Review
the Pressure Vessel Certification article.

What is the Summary of Important

Points in ASME Code Section 8 ?

1. ASME Code Section 8 edition is issued

once every 3 years and addenda, once a
year – both on July 1st. Edition and
addenda become effective on the 1st of
January of next year (i.e., 6 months after

2. Thickness of cylindrical shell t =

PR/(SE-0.6P) + C

3. Longitudinal weld is more critical

because it is subjected to double the
stress than Circ. Weld. 6/14
4/8/2018 ASME Code Section 8

4. “Weld joint categories” A, B, C, D – are

based on joint locations in the vessel and
stress levels encountered. “Weld Types”
(type 1, 2, 3, etc.) describe the weld itself.

5. Depths of 2:1 Ellip. and hemisph. heads

are D/4 and D/2 respectively. (D= Head

6. Weld Joint categories:

Category A:

- All longitudinal welds in shell and


- All welds in heads, Hemisph-head to

shell weld joint

Category B:

- All circumferential welds in shell and


- Head to shell joint (other than Hemisph.)

Category C and D are flange welds and

nozzle attachment welds respectively.

7. Weld Types:

Type 1: Full penetration welds (Typically

Double welded)

Type 2: Welds with backing strip

Type 3: Single welded partial penetration

welds 7/14
4/8/2018 ASME Code Section 8

Type 4, 5 and 6: Various Lap welds (rarely


8. For full penetration welds (type 1):

Joint efficiency, E = 100%, 85%, 70%

(For the radiography = Full, Spot, Nil


9. Radiography marking on name plates

(typically for Type-1 welds)

RT-1: (E=1) All butt welds – full length


RT-2: (E=1.0) All Cat. A Butt welds Full

length, Cat B, spot

RT-3: (E=0.85) Spot radiography of both

Cat A and B welds

RT-4: (E=0.7) Partial/No radiography

10. For Welded Heads for E=1, all welds

within the head require full length
radiography (since they are all Cat. A

11. For seamless heads, E=1, If a) head

to shell weld is fully radiographed (if Cat.
A), and at least spot radiographed (if Cat.

12. Compared to Cylindrical shell,

thickness of 2:1 Ellipsoidal head is
approx. same as shell, Hemisph. head
approx. half and Torisph head is 77%
higher. 8/14
4/8/2018 ASME Code Section 8

13. MAWP is calculated for: Working

condition (Hot & Corroded). Vessel MAWP
is always taken at the Top of the Vessel
and is lowest of all part MAWPs adjusted
for static pressure.

14. Hydro-Test is Standard Pressure test

on Completed Vessels.

Hyd. Test Pr. = 1.3 x MAWP x stress ratio

Insp. Pressure (hydro) = test pr. / 1.3

Min. Test temp. = MDMT + 30°F

Max. Inspection temp. = 120°F

15. Pneumatic test is performed if hydro is

not possible due to design or process
reasons. Prior to the test, NDT as per UW-
50 is mandatory.

Pneumatic test pressure = 1.1 x MAWP x

stress ratio, Pressure should be increased
in steps (Total 6).

1st step – 50% of test pressure

2nd to 6 step – 10% of test pressure

Insp. Pr. (pneumatic) = test pressure /1.1

16. Pressure gauge range should be

about twice the test pressure. However, in
any case it shall not be lower than 1.5
times and not higher than 4 times the test
pressure. 9/14
4/8/2018 ASME Code Section 8

17. Vessel MAWP represents the

maximum safe pressure holding capacity
of the vessel. Vessel MAWP is measured
at top-most point and is lowest of vessel
part MAWPs, adjusted for hydrostatic

18. For vertical vessels, hydrostatic

pressure caused due to liquid with specific
gravity = 1, 1ft of height = 0.43 psig. Or 1
mtr of height = 0.1 Bar

19. Total pressure at any point of Vertical

vessel is given by:

Total Pr. = Vessel MAWP + h x 0.433.

(h = height from top in ft.)

20. If part MAWP and elevations are

known, Vessel MAWP can be calculated
by the deducting hydrostatic head from
part MAWP.

21. Ext. Pressure is worked out on basis

of Geometric factor A (which depends on
L/Do and Do/t ratios) and factor B
(depends on A, )

Allowable Ext. Pressure, Pa = 4B/(3(Do/t))

22. For values of A falling to the left of

material line in the material chart:

Pa = 2AE/(3(Do/t))

23. Name plate shows The Code

stamping, MAWP, design temp., MDMT,
and Extent of Radiography. 10/14
4/8/2018 ASME Code Section 8

24. ASME materials (SA) shall be used for

code stamped vessel fabrication instead
of ASTM (A) materials.

25. Reinforcement pad is not required, if

the size of finished opening is (UG 36)

Not exceeding 2-3/8” for all thicknesses

of vessel

Not exceeding 3-½”, if vessel thickness

is ≤ 3/8’’

26. Reinforcement pad with OD = 2d and

thk = vessel thk is always safe (d =
diameter of finished opening)

27. Reinforcement limit along vessel wall

= 2d

28. Reinforcement limit normal to vessel

wall = smaller of 2.5 t or 2.5 tn

29. In reinforcement pad calculations,

credit can be taken for area available in
shell and nozzle.

30. Fillet weld throat dimension = 0.707 x

leg of weld

31. Adequacy of weld sizes shall be

checked as required by UW-16. The
nozzles construction shall be one of the
Code acceptable types.

32. The maximum permitted ovality

tolerance (D max – D min) shall not
exceed 1% of nominal diameter of vessel.
If there is opening, then the tolerance can 11/14
4/8/2018 ASME Code Section 8

be increased by 2% x d (d = diameter of
opening) if measurement is taken within a
distance of ‘d’ from axis of opening.

33. The mismatch tolerances and the

maximum allowable weld reinforcement is
more strict on longitudinal welds
compared to circumferential welds (UW-

34. Principle of reinforcement:

Area removed = Area compensated.

Compensation area shall be within

reinforcement limits.

35. For use as pressure parts, the plates

shall be fully identified. Maximum
permitted under tolerance on plates is
0.01” (0.3 mm) or 6% of ordered
thickness, whichever is less.

36. All welding (including tack, seal, etc.)

shall be done using qualified procedures
and welders.

37. Mandatory full radiography in ASME

Code Section 8 is required for all welding
with thickness exceeding Table UCS-57,
and also for lethal service vessels and
unfired boilers with Design Pr. More than
50 psig.

38. PWHT is ASME Code Section 8

requirement if thickness exceeds those
given in tables UCS-56 (given in notes
under the tables). These tables also give
min. PWHT temperature and min. holding 12/14
4/8/2018 ASME Code Section 8

time (soaking period) based on P-Nos.

and thickness respectively.

39. For Furnace PWHT in ASME Code

Section 8 , Loading Temperature shall not
exceed 800°F, heating rate 400 deg
F/hr/inch of thickness, cooling rate 500°F
/hr/inch of thickness. Still air cooling
permitted below 800°F. During soaking
period, temp difference between hottest
and coldest part shall not exceed 150°F.

40. Minimum overlap for PWHT in multiple

heats = 5 ft.

41. For the ASME Code Section 8 impact

test requirement, UCS 66 curve. If MDMT-
thickness combination falls on or above
the curve, impact testing is exempted.
Additional exemptions are given as per
UG-20(f) and UCS=68 (c).

Related Articles

Pressure Vessel Definition, Pressure Vessel

Certification, Pressure Vessel Heads, Pressure Vessel
Handbook, Spherical Pressure Vessel, Pressure Vessel
Plate Material, ASME Pressure Vessel Joint
Efficiencies, ASME Impact Test Requirement, Pressure
Vessel RT Test , Vessel Pressure Testing ,Third Party
Inspection for Pressure Vessel, Inspection and Test
Plan for Pressure Vessel

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Pressure Vessel Inspections 13/14
4/8/2018 ASME Code Section 8

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