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Feature Report

Piping for
Process Plants
Part 1: The Basics

Pipe, fittings and related equipment are fundamental includes pipe, tube and their respec-
tive fittings. The term, “piping,” itself
to the operation of chemical process plants. refers to a system of pipe, fittings,
flanges, valves, bolts, gaskets and
The series of articles beginning with this one other inline components that make
up an entire system used to convey a
spells out the details fluid. As for the simple distinction be-
tween pipe and tubing, it is that tub-
W. M. Huitt • How do you determine and then ing is thin-walled pipe with a diam-
W. M. Huitt Co. assign corrosion allowance for pip- eter different from that of nominally
ing? comparable pipe.

his is the first in a series of ar- • How do you select the proper bolts
ticles that will cover a wide range and gaskets for a service? Piping and tubing
of piping topics. The topics will • How is pipe wall thickness estab- Piping and tubing can basically be
cross process-industry lines, per- lished? grouped into three broad classifica-
taining to, for example, the chemical, • What is MAWP? tions: pipe, pressure tube and mechan-
petroleum-refining, pulp-and-paper • What is operating and design pres- ical tube. Based on user requirements,
and pharmaceutical and other indus- sure, and how do they differ? Simi- these classifications come in various
tries.The main intent of these articles larly, what are operating and de- types, such as standard pipe, pressure
to address questions and misunder- sign temperature? How do design pipe, line pipe, water well pipe, oil-
standings as they relate to use of pip- pressure and temperature relate to country tubular goods, conduit, piles,
ing on a general basis. a PSV set point and leak testing? nipple pipe and sprinkler pipe.
Typical of the topics that will be cov- • For a given process application, The two types of main relevance to
ered in this series are the following: under what Code should the design the chemical process industries are
• With respect to ASME flange rat- be carried out? standard and pressure pipe. Distin-
ings — Is the correct terminology • What kind of problems might be ex- guishable only from the standpoint of
150- and 300-pound flange, or is pected with sanitary clamp fittings, use, standard pipe is intended for low-
it Class 150 and Class 300 flange? and how can they be avoided or al- pressure, non-volatile use, whereas
And do the 150 and 300 actually leviated? pressure pipe is intended for use in
mean anything, or are they simply • What is ASME-BPE? And how do higher-integrity services, namely, ser-
identifiers? Similarly, with respect ASME B31.3 and ASME-BPE work vices in which the pipe is required to
to forged fittings, is the terminology in concert with one another? What convey high-pressure, volatile or non-
2,000-pound and 3,000-pound, or is is ASME BPE doing to bring ac- volatile liquids and gases, particularly
it Class 2000 and Class 3000? creditation to the pharmaceutical at sub-zero or elevated temperatures.
• How do you determine which Class industry? Pipe (standard or pressure) is man-
of forged fitting to select for your The catch-all terminology for pipe and ufactured to a nominal pipe size (NPS)
specification? tubing is “tubular products.” This term in which the outside diameter (OD) of
42 Chemical Engineering FEBRUARY 2007

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Industries and Standards

ipe is pipe”. This is a euphemism quite often used among The point is not that the pharmaceutical industry itself is young;
piping designers and engineers. Taken at face value, this as already stated, it is not. The point is that the standards and
is a true statement — pipe is certainly pipe. However, accepted practices appropriate for state-of-the-art design, en-
taken in context, the statement means that no matter which pro- gineering and manufacture are. As recently as the past fifteen
cerss industry you work in when designing piping systems, the or so years, industry practice, including dimensional standards
issues are all the same. And in that context, it could not be further for high purity fittings, were left to the resources of the phar-
from the truth. maceutical company owner or their engineering firm (engineer
Consider in particular the pharmaceutical industry. Although not of record). The same point applied to construction methods and
new per se, it is a relative newcomer to the idea of dedicated procedures, including materials of construction. These require-
design, engineering and construction principles, when compared ments were basically established for each project and were very
to other process industries, such as petroleum refining, bulk chemi- dependent upon what the owner’s personnel and the engineering
cals, and pulp and paper industries; indeed, even in comparison firm brought to the table. Industry standards did not exist.
with nuclear power, and with semiconductor manufacture. Here is With regard to materials of construction, the ongoing evolution
a frame of reference, in terms of relevant standard-setting orga- of technology (science and engineering alike) has raised expec-
nizations: the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) tations throughout industry. For instance, out of the research and
was established in 1880; the American Petroleum Institute (API) development that went into the Hubble Space Telescope came
was established in 1919; 3-A Standards (for the food and dairy new methodology and technology to better measure and define
industry) were first developed in the 1920’s; the ASME commit- the limits of surface roughness required in material used in hy-
tee for BPVC (Boiler Pressure Vessel Code) Section III for nuclear gienic-fluid-service contact piping. This capability is of particular
power was proposed in 1963; the Semiconductor Equipment and interest to the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries
Materials Institute (SEMI) was established in 1973; the Interna- (as well as the semiconductor industry), where cross-contamina-
tional Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers (ISPE) was established tion at the molecular level cannot be tolerated in many cases.
in 1980; and ASME Biopharmaceutical Equipment (BPE) issued its This requires surfaces to be very cleanable.
first standard in 1997. Prior to ASME-BPE, the aforementioned 3- Surface roughness used to be expressed as polish numbers (i.e.,
A piping standards were the common recourse for facilitating the #4 or #7) then grit numbers such as 150, 180 or 240). The prob-
design of pharmaceutical facilities. lem with either of these two methods lay in their subjectivity and
While some of the above standards organizations, and their re- their generality. These indicators were not specific enough and
sulting codes and standards, are specific to a particular industry, the accept/reject result relied too much on a subjective visual
others are more generalized in their use and are utilized across verification. There will be more on surface finish requirements in
the various industries. For example, the design and construction of a subsequent installment.
a large pharmaceutical facility depends upon not only pharma- With acute awareness of the ongoing problems currently faced
ceutical-based standards, codes, guidelines and industry practices in the pharmaceutical industry and, for altogether different rea-
such as those generated by ISPE and ASME-BPE; it also avails sons, the semiconductor industry, various standards organiza-
itself of standards created for other industries. In other words, tions have taken steps to alleviate the consistent problems that
when designing and constructing a bulk pharmaceutical finishing have plagued the industry in the past with, for instasnce, high
facility, or a bulk Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) facility, purity welding issues, standardization of fittings, and guidelines
the engineers and constructors will be working under some of the for industry practice. This series of articles will discuss some of
same standards and guidelines as they would when designing and the finer points of these issues, and, in some cases, what the
building in other industries such as a petroleum refinery or bulk standards organizations, are doing to promote and consolidate
chemical facility. some of the better thinking in this industry and in this field. ❏

a given nominal size remains constant in. larger than the diameter specified. in the presence of oxygen-containing
while any change in wall thickness is As an example, ½-in. copper tubing materials such as an iron oxide, and
reflected in the inside diameter (ID). will have a 5/8-in. OD, and 1-in. tubing allowed it to cool very slowly, the free
Pipe wall thicknesses are specified by will have a 1 1/8-in. OD.Wall thickness carbon forms small graphite particles.
Schedule (Sch.) Numbers 5, 10, 20, 30, for tubing is specified in the actual This gives malleable iron excellent
40, 60, 80, 100, 120, 140 and 160. Add decimal equivalent of its thickness. machinability and ductility proper-
the suffix ‘s’ when specifying stainless ties, along with good shock resistant
steel or other alloys. Wall thickness Manufacturing methods properties.
is also specified by the symbols Std. Pipe is manufactured in three basic Gray iron is the oldest form of cast
(Standard), XS (Extra Strong) and XX forms: cast, welded and seamless. iron pipe and is synonymous with the
(Double Extra Strong). Pipe of NPS Tubing is manufactured in two basic name, “cast iron.” It contains carbon
12 in. and smaller has an OD that is forms: welded and seamless. in the form of flake graphite, which
nominally larger than that specified, Cast Pipe: Cast pipe is available in gives it its characteristic gray color.
whereas pipe with a NPS 14 in. and four basic types: white iron, malleable Gray cast iron has virtually no elastic
larger has an OD equal to the size iron, gray iron and ductile iron. White or plastic properties, but has excellent
specified. iron has a high content of carbon in machining and self-lubricating prop-
Steel and alloy tubing is manufac- the carbide form. Carbides give it a erties due to the graphite content
tured to an OD equal to that speci- high compressive strength and a hard- Ductile iron is arguably the most
fied; this means, for example, that ness that provides added resistance to versatile of the cast irons. It has ex-
¼-in. tubing will in fact have a ¼-in. wear, but leaves it very brittle. The cellent ductile and machinable prop-
OD, and that 2-in. tubing will have a absence of graphite bestows a light erties while also having high strength
2-in. OD. This practice also pertains to colored appearance. characteristics.
copper tubing for air conditioning and Malleable iron is white cast iron Welded Steel Pipe (and Tubing):
refrigeration. Copper tubing for other that has been heat treated for added Statements made about pipe in the
purposes has an OD that is always 1/8 ductility. If white cast iron is reheated this section also pertain to tubing.
Chemical Engineering FEBRUARY 2007 43

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Feature Report $Y .JO

Welded steel pipe is manufactured ating a tube hollow from

by furnace welding or by fusion weld- a steel billet, which is a "QQSPYJO
ing. Furnace welding is achieved by solid steel round. The billet NN

heating strip steel, also referred as is heated to its hot metal CFGPSFXFMEJOH
skelp, to welding temperature then forming temperature, then .JOJNVN
forming it into pipe. The continuous pierced by a rotary piercer GMBU$Y
weld, or buttweld, is forged at the time or by a press piercer to cre-
the strip is formed into pipe. This is a ate the tube hollow, which
process generally used to manufacture will have a larger diam- Figure 1. Socketweld fittings are available in a
wide range of sizes
low-cost pipe 3 ½ in. OD and below. eter and thicker wall than
Fusion Welded pipe is formed from its final pipe form. The tube hollow is cannot, for instance, automatically
skelp that is cold rolled into pipe and then hot-worked by the mandrel mill transfer the pressure/temperature lim-
the edges welded together by resis- process, the Mannesmann plug-mill its of a flange joint in ASME B16.5 to
tance welding, induction welding or arc process, or the Ugine Sejournet extru- that of a fitting in B16.3.
welding. Electric resistance welding sion process. Cast Steel: Cast steel, stainless steel
(ERW) can be accomplished by flash Upon completion of these processes, and alloy steel flanged fittings, under
welding, high-frequency or low-fre- the pipe is referred to as hot-finished. ASME B16.5, are available in Class
quency resistance welding. A scarfing If further work is required to achieve 150, 300, 400, 600, 900, 1500 & 2500
tool is used to remove upset material more accuracy in the diameter or in sizes ½ in. though 24 in.
along the seam of flash-welded pipe. wall thickness or improve its finish, Cast Brass: Cast brass, as well as
Flash welding produces a high- the pipe can be cold-finished, or cold- bronze, threaded fittings, under ASME
strength steel pipe in NPS 4 in. worked. If the pipe is cold-finished, it B16.15, are available in Class 125 and
through 36 in. Low-frequency resis- will then require heat treating to re- 250, in sizes NPS 1/8 in. through 4 in.
tance welding can be used to manu- move pipe-wall stress created during for Class 125, and 1/4” through 4 in.
facture pipe through NPS 22 in. High- the working in its cold state. for Class 250.
frequency resistance welding can be There are also two forging processes Cast Copper: Cast copper solder
used to manufacture pipe through used in the manufacture of large di- joints, under ASME B16.18, are avail-
NPS 42 in. ameter (10 to 30 inch) pipe with heavy able in sizes ¼ in. through 6 in.
High-frequency induction welding wall thickness (1.5 to 4 inch). The two
can be used for high-rate production forging methods are called forged and Forged fittings
of small-NPS (6 in. and less) pipe. This bored, and hollow forged. Before discussion of forged fittings,
is a cleaner form of welding in which it is illuminating to consider the dif-
scarfing, or the cleaning of upset ma- Pipe Fittings ference between forged and wrought
terial along the seam, is normally not Pipe fittings are manufactured by the fittings. The term, forging, actually
required. following processes: cast, forged and dates from the times when metal was
Arc welding the longitudinal seam of wrought. worked by hand. A bar of steel would
production pipe is accomplished with be placed into a forge and heated until
submerged arc welding (SAW), inert Cast fittings it reached its plastic state, at which
gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) Cast fittings are available in cast iron, time the metal would be pulled out
also called tungsten inert gas weld- malleable iron, ordinary steel, stain- of the forge and hammered into some
ing (TIG), or gas shielded consumable less steel, brass, bronze, and other desired shape. Today, forging metal
metal arc welding (MIG). alloy material as follows: basically means working the metal
As will be discussed later in this Cast Iron: Cast iron threaded fittings, by means of hydraulic hammers to
series, the type of weld seam used in covered by ASME B16.4, are available achieve the desired shape.
the manufacture of pipe is a factor in Class 125 and Class 250 for sizes Wrought iron is corrosion resistant,
when calculating the Pressure Design NPS ¼ in. through 12 in. Cast iron has excellent tensile strength and
Thickness (t) of the pipe wall. Some flanged fittings, under ASME B16.1, welds easily, and in its plastic range
types of longitudinal pipe seam weld- are available in Class 25, 125 and 250 is said to be like working taffy candy.
ing are not as strong as others, reduc- in sizes NPS 1 in. through 48 in. What gives wrought iron these attri-
ing the overall integrity of the pipe Malleable Iron: Malleable iron fit- butes is the iron silicate fibers, or slag
wall by a percentage factyor given in tings, under ASME B16.3, are avail- added to the molten iron with a small
ASME B31.3 based on the type of lon- able in Class 150 and Class 300 in sizes percentage of carbon, whereas cast
gitudinal seam weld. NPS 1/8 in. though 6 in. for Class 150, iron, having a high carbon content, is
Seamless Steel Pipe and Tubing: and ¼ in. through 3 in. for Class 300. more brittle and not as easily worked.
Statements in the following also per- Be aware that Classifications such as The smelters, where the iron ore
tain to tubing. 150 and 300 are not universal through- was melted to produce wrought iron,
Seamless steel pipe, made using out the ASME Standards. They are were called bloomeries. In a bloomery,
various extrusion and mandrel mill instead specific to the Standard with the process did not completely melt
methods, is manufactured by first cre- which they are associated. One thus the iron ore; rather the semi-finished
44 Chemical Engineering FEBRUARY 2007

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Plastic-lined pipe

n the main body of this article, we have touched on just some of Other problems that still exist are those of permeation with regard to
the key points related to metal pipe and fittings, while not consider- PTFE liner material, as well as that of internal and external triboelectric
ing plastic lined pipe systems and nonmetallic piping. Nonmetallic charge generation and accumulation (static electricity). But, due to the
piping merits a discussion on its own, and should not be relegated diligent efforts of the lined pipe and gasket industries, these types of
to a paragraph or two here. On the other hand, since plastic lined problems have either been largely eliminated or controlled.
pipe is steel pipe with a liner, and is so widely used in the process Even so, the designer employing lined pipe should keep the poten-
industries, it is worthwhile to present the relevant basics here. tial for static-electricity problems in mind. If electrical charge gen-
When first introduced, plastic lined pipe filled a large fluid-han- eration is allowed to continually dissipate to ground, then there is
dling gap in industry, but brought with it some technical issues. no charge buildup and no problem. That is what occurs with steel
In particular, when various manufacturers began producing lined pipe in contact with a flowing fluid: charge generation has a path to
pipe and fittings, industry standards for them did not exist. Conse- ground, and does not have an opportunity to build up. With regard
quently, there were no standard fitting dimensions, and the avail- to thermoplastic lined pipe, there are two issues to be considered:
ability of size and type of fittings would vary from one company to external charge accumulation and internal charge accumulation. Ex-
another (as they still do, to a much lesser degree). Due to the auton- perience and expertise are needed in order to analyze a particular
omous nature of lined pipe manufacturing during its initial stages, situation. A subsequent installment of this series will provide basic
the piping designer for a process plant would have to know early information that will at least allow you to be familiar with the subject,
in the design process which manufacturer he or she were going to and help you to understand the issues.
use. Particularly in fitting-makeup situations, in which a 90-deg Fitting dimensions for lined pipe have been standardized through
elbow might be bolted to a tee, which in turn might br bolted to ASTM F1545 in referencing ASME B16.1 (cast iron fittings), B16.5
another 90-deg elbow it was important to know in advance what (steel fittings) and B16.42 (ductile iron fittings). Note 3 under Sub-
those makeup dimensions were going to be, and thus the identity Para. 4.2.4 of ASTM F1545 states, “Center-to-face dimensions
of the fitting manufacturer. include the plastic lining,” which means that the dimensions given
While the lack of industry standard dimensions was a design in the referenced ASME standards are to the bare metal face of the
problem, other operational type problems existed as well. Some of fittings. However, when lined fittings are manufactured, the metal
the fluid services for which these lined pipe systems were specified casting is modified to accommodate the liner thickness being in-
for (and still are) would normally be expected to operate under a cluded in that same specified center-to-face dimension.
positive pressure, but at times would phase into a negative pres- With regard to vacuum rating, liner specifications have been
sure. The liners in the early systems were not necessarily vacuum- greatly improved, but it is prudent to check the vacuum ratings of
rated, and consequently would collapse at times under the negative available pipe and fittings with each manufacturer under consid-
internal pressure, plugging the pipeline. eration. This rating is likely to vary from manufacturer to manu-
There was an added problem when gaskets were thrown into facturer depending on diameter, fitting, liner type, pressure and
the mix. Gaskets were not normally required unless frequent dis- temperature. Gasket materials such as PTFE/Silicate composite or
mantling was planned; even so, many firms, both engineering and 100% expanded PTFE, have been developed to reduce the gasket
manufacturers, felt more secure in specifying gaskets at every joint. creep rate in a gasket material.
When required, the gasket of choice, in many cases, was an en- Permeation issues with PTFE liners (these issues also arise, to a
velope type gasket made of PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) with an lesser extent, with other liner material) have been accommodated
inner core of various filler material, such as EPDM. These gaskets more than resolved with the use of vents in the steel pipe casing, the
had a tendency to creep under required bolt-torque pressure at application of vent components at the flange joint, and increased
ambient conditions. From the time at which a system was installed liner thickness.
to the time it was ready to hydrotest, the gaskets would, on many Standard sizes of plastic lined pipe and fittings range from NPS
occasion, creep, or relax to the point of reducing the compressive 1 in. through 12 in. And at least one lined-pipe manufacturer, also
bolt load of the joint enough to where it would not stand up to the manufactures larger-diameter pipe and fittings: from NPS 14 in.
hydrotest pressure. Quite often, leaks would become apparent dur- through 24 in., and when requested can manufacture spools to
ing the fill cycle prior to testing. 144 in. diameter. ❏

product was a spongy molten mass Steel Flanges, Forged Fittings, Valves and seamless or fusion welded tubu-
called a bloom, a term derived from and Parts for Piping Applications,” the lar products that are shaped by ham-
the red glow of the molten metal, definition for the term Forged is, “the mering, pressing, piercing, extruding,
which is likewise how the process product of a substantially compres- upsetting, rolling, bending, fusion
gets its name. The slag and impuri- sive hot or cold plastic working op- welding, machining, or by a combina-
ties were then mechanically removed eration that consolidates the material tion of two or more of these operations.
from the molten mass by twisting and and produces the required shape. The In simpler terms wrought signifies
hammering, which is where the term plastic working must be performed by “worked”. There are exceptions in the
wrought originates. a forging machine, such as a hammer, manufacture of both, but that is the
Today forged and wrought are al- press, or ring rolling machine, and general difference.*
most synonymous. ASTM A234, “Stan- must deform the material to produce
dard Specification for Piping Fittings a wrought structure throughout the *A point concerning the ASTM specifications is
worth noting. In referring to ASTM A961 above,
of Wrought Carbon Steel and Alloy material cross section.” I am quoting from what ASTM refers to as a
Steel for Moderate and High Tem- The difference, therefore, between General Requirement Specification. Such a spec-
ification is one that covers requirements typical
perature Service” states in Para 4.1 forged and wrought fittings is that for multiple individual Product Specifications. In
this case, the individual Product Specifications
and in Para 5.1 that wrought fittings forged fittings, simply put, are manu- covered by A961 are A105, A181, A182, A360,
made under A234 are actually manu- factured from bar, which while in its A694, A707, A727 and A836.
The reason I point this out is that many de-
factured or fabricated from material plastic state is formed into a fitting signers and engineers are not aware that when
pre-formed by one of the methods with the use of a hammer, press or reviewing an A105 or any of the other ASTM
individual Product Specifications you may need
listed previously, which includes forg- rolling machine. Wrought fittings, on to include the associated General Requirement
ing. In ASTM A961, “Standard Specifi- the other hand, are manufactured Specification in that review. Reference to a Gen-
eral Requirement Specification can be found in
cation for Common Requirements for from killed steel, forgings, bars, plates the respective Product Specification.

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Feature Report

Hygienic Piping

ajor characteristics of piping for the pharmaceutical and propriately be interchanged between these two industries is “high-
semiconductor industries are the requirements for high- purity;” this implies a high degree of cleanliness and cleanability
purity, or hygienic, fluid services. These requirements, as without being implicitly connected with one industry or the other.
dictated by current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) and For what is referred to as product contact material, the absence
defined and quantified by the International Soc. of Pharmaceutical of surface roughness, minimal dead-legs and an easily cleanable
Engineers (ISPE) and by ASME Bio Processing Equipment (ASME- system are all imperative. Therefore, the pharmaceutical industry
BPE), are stringent with regard to the manufacture, documentation, had to make a departure from the 3-A standards (created for the
fabrication, installation, qualification, validation and quality con- food and dairy industries) of which it had availed itself early on, in
trol of hygienic piping systems and components. order to develop a set of guidelines and standards that better suit its
The hours that the engineer or designer requires in generating, industry. Enter ASME-BPE, which has taken on the task of providing
maintaining and controlling the added documentation required for a forum for engineers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, component
hygienic fabrication and installation addds up to 30% to 40% of and equipment manufacturers, and inspectors in an effort to develop
the overall cost of fabrication and installation. A subsequent in- consensus standards for the industry where none existed before.
stallment in this series will cover in more detail the specific require- Hygienic piping was, up until just recently, referred to as sani-
ments of hygienic fabrication, and, accordingly, where that added tary piping. Because this term has been so closely associated with
cost comes from. the plumbing industry and with sanitary drain piping, it is felt by
Hygienic is a term defined in ASME-BPE as: “of or pertaining to the pharmaceutical industry that the change in terminology to hy-
equipment and piping systems that by design, materials of con- gienic is more appropriate.
struction, and operation provide for the maintenance of cleanliness In both the pharmaceutical and semiconductor industries, the
so that products produced by these systems will not adversely af- need for crevicefree, drainable systems is a necessity. This trans-
fect animal or human health.” lates into weld joint quality, mechanical joint design requirements,
While system components such as tube, fittings, valves, as well interior pipe surface roughness limits, system drainability and
as the hygienic aspects of the design itself, can apply to the semi- dead-leg limitations.
conductor industry, the term “hygienic” itself does not; it instead There are two basic types of fitting joints in hygienic piping:
pertains strictly to the health aspects of a clean and cleanable sys- welded and clamp. The welded fittings, unlike standard buttweld
tem for pharmaceuticals manufacture. The semiconductor industry pipe fittings, have an added tangent length to accommodate the
requires a high, or in some cases higher, degree of cleanliness and orbital welding machine. The orbital welding machine allows the
cleanability than do the hygienic systems in the pharmaceutical in- welding operator to make consistent high-quality autogenous
dustry, for altogether different reasons. A term that can more ap- welds (welds made without filler metal). Fusion is made between

Forged steel and alloy steel sock- The ASME recommendation is Wrought fittings
etweld (Figure 1) and threaded fit- based on matching the I.D. of the Wrought steel butt-weld fittings
tings, under ASME B16.11, are avail- barrel of the fitting with the I.D. of under ASME B16.9 (standard-radius
able in sizes NPS 1/8 in. through 4 in. the pipe. The shoulder of the fitting 1.5D elbows and other fittings) are
Forged socketweld fittings are avail- (the area of the fitting against which available in sizes ½ in. through 48 in.
able in pressure rating Classes 3000, the end of the pipe butts), whether Wrought steel butt-weld fittings under
6000 and 9000. Forged threaded fit- socketweld, as shown in Fig. 1, or B16.28 (short-radius 1D elbows), are
tings are available in pressure rating threaded, is approximately the same available in sizes ½ in. through 24 in.
Classes 2000, 3000 and 6000. width as the specified mating pipe There is no pressure/temperature rat-
Misapplication of the pressure rat- wall thickness, with allowance for ing classification for these fittings. In
ing in these forged socketweld and fabrication tolerances. As an exam- lieu of fitting pressure classifications,
threaded fittings is not infrequent; ple, referring to Table 1, if you had a both B16.9 and B16.28 require that
the person specifying components on specified pipe wall thickness of Sch. the fitting material be the same as or
many cases does not fully understand 160 the matching threaded forged comparable to the pipe material speci-
the relationship between the pressure fitting would be a Class 3000, for fication and wall thickness. Under
Class of these fittings and the pipe socketweld it would be a Class 6000. ASME B16.9, given the same material
they are to be used with. The fitting pressure class is selected composition, the fittings will have the
In ASME B16.11 is a table that as- based on the pipe wall thickness. same allowable pressure/temperature
sociates, as a recommendation, fitting Referring to Fig. 1, one can readily as the pipe. ASME requires that the
pressure Class with pipe wall thick- see that by not matching the fitting fittings under B16.28, short radius el-
ness, as follows: class to the pipe wall thickness it bows, be strength-rated at 80% of the
will create either a recessed area or value calculated for straight seamless
Table 1. Correlation of
Pipe Wall Thickness
a protruding area the length of the pipe of the same material and wall
& Pressure Rating barrel of the fitting, depending on thickness.
which side you error on. For forged These fittings can be manufactured
Pipe wall Threaded Socket-
thickness. weld reinforced branch fittings refer to from seamless or welded pipe or tub-
80 or XS 2000 3000
MSS Standard SP-97 – “Integrally ing, plate or forgings. Laterals, because
Reinforced Forged Branch Outlet of the elongated opening cut from the
160 3000 6000
Fittings - Socket Welding, Threaded run pipe section are strength-rated
XXS 6000 9000
and Buttwelding Ends.” at 40% of the strength calculated for
46 Chemical Engineering FEBRUARY 2007

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the parent metals of the two components being standardization to a greater degree than what cur-
welded by means of tungsten inert gas welding. Pipe rently exists. Another issue that currently exists with
welding will be covered in more detail in an upcom- the clamp joint is gasket intrusion into the pipe inside
ing installment. wall, due to inadequate compression control of the
The photograph shows an example of an orbital, gasket.
or automatic, welding machine mounted on its work- Gasket intrusion is a problem in pharmaceutical
piece. In this example, the piece happens to be a service for two reasons:
90-deg elbow being welded to a cross. One can see • Depending on the hygienic fluid service and the
in this example why the additional straight tangent gasket material, the gasket protruding into the
section of automatic weld fittings is needed — that fluid stream can break down and slough off into
extra length provides a mounting surface for attach- the fluid flow, contaminating the hygienic fluid
ing the automatic welding machine. • The intrusion of the gasket into pipe on a horizon-
As for the clamp connection, it is a mechanical con- tal line can also cause fluid holdup. This can result
nection whose design originated in the food and dairy industry, in the loss of residual product, cause potential cross-contamina-
but whose standardization has been under development by ASME- tion of product, and promote microbial growth.
BPE. Due to a lack of definitive standardization, most companies Some manufacturers are attempting to overcome these issues by
that use this type connection require in their specifications that improving on the concept of the clamp joint. One company has
both the ferrule (the component upon which the clamp fits) and the developed ferrules whose design provides compression control of
clamp itself come from the same manufacturer. This precaution is to the gasket while also controlling the creep tendency that is inherent
ensure a competent fit. in, arguably, the most prevalent gasket material used in high purity
There are no specific dimensions and tolerances for the clamp piping, namely,Teflon.
assembly, except for those being developed by ASME-BPE. Cur- Another firm manufactures a clamp joint (also provided as a
rently, it is possible to take a set of ferrules from one manufacturer, bolted connection) that does not require a gasket.This type of joint
mate them together with a gasket, attach a clamp from a different is currently in use in Europe. While this connection alleviates the
manufacturer and tighten up on the clamp nut. In some cases, one issues that are present with a gasketed joint, added care would
can literally rotate the clamp by hand about the ferrules, with no need to be applied in its handling. Any scratch or ding to the
significant force being applied on the joint seal. faced part of the sealing surface could compromise its sealing
The clamp joint is the clamp that applies the force that holds the integrity. Nevertheless this is a connection design worth consider-
ferrules together. The fact that this can occur begs the need for ation. ❏

straight seamless pipe of the same mony-Silver-Copper-Nickel (Sn-Sb-Ag- telligence and insight he brings to ev-
material and wall thickness. If a full Cu-Ni) solder, having 0.10% maximum erything he does. His comments kept
strength lateral is required, either the lead (Pb) content, at 100ºF, fittings ½ me concise and on target. ■
wall thickness of the lateral itself can in. through 1 in. have a pressure rat- Edited by Nicholas P. Chopey
be increased or a reinforcement pad ing of 1,035 psig and fittings 1½ in.
can be added at the branch to com- through 2 in. have a pressure rating of Recommended Reading
pensate for the loss of material at the 805 psig. DWV fittings 1½ in. through 1. Cox, John, Avoid Leakage in Pipe Systems,
Chem. Eng., January 2006, pp. 40–43.
branch opening. 2 in. would have a pressure rating of
2. Sahoo, Trinath, Gaskets: The Weakest Link,
Wrought copper solder joint fittings, 370 psig. Chem. Eng., June 2005, pp. 38–40.
under ASTM B88 and ASME B16.22, It can be seen that, within a given
are available in sizes ¼ in. through 6 type of fitting, there is a significant Author
in. These fittings can be brazed as difference in the pressure ratings of W. M. (Bill) Huitt has been
involved in industrial pip-
well as soldered. soldered joints, depending on the type ing design, engineering and
The pressure/temperature rating of filler metal composition. Much of construction since 1965. Posi-
tions have included design en-
for copper fittings are based on the the difference is in the temperature at gineer, piping design instruc-
type of solder or brazing material and which the solder or brazing filler metal tor, project engineer, project
supervisor, piping depart-
the tubing size. The rating will vary fully melts. This is referred to as its liq- ment supervisor, engineering
too, depending on whether the fitting uidus state. The temperature at which manager and president of W.
M. Huitt Co. a piping con-
is a standard fitting or a DWV (Drain, the filler starts to melt is referred to as sulting firm founded in 1987.
His experience covers both the engineering and
Waste, Vent) fitting, which has a re- its solidus temperature. The higher the construction fields and crosses industrial lines
duced pressure rating. liquidus temperature, the higher the to include petroleum refining, chemical, petro-
chemical, pharmaceutical, pulp & paper, nuclear
As an example, using alloy Sn50, pressure rating of the joint. power, and coal gasification. He has written nu-
50-50 Tin-Lead Solder, at 100ºF, fit- merous specifications including engineering and
construction guidelines to ensure that design
tings ½ in. through 1 in. have a pres- Acknowledgement and construction comply with code requirements,
sure rating of 200 psig, and fittings I wish to thank Earl Lamson, senior Owner expectations and good design practices.
Bill is a member of ISPE (International Society
1½ in. through 2 in. have a pressure Project Manager with Eli Lilly and of Pharmaceutical Engineers), CSI (Construction
Specifications Institute) and ASME (American
rating of 175 psig. DWV fittings 1½ in. Co., for taking time out of a busy Society of Mechanical Engineers). He is a con-
through 2 in. have a pressure rating schedule to read through the draft of tributor to ASME-BPE and sets on two corporate
specification review boards. He can be reached
of 95 psig. this article. He obliged me by review- at: W. M. Huitt Co., P O Box 31154, St. Louis, MO
Using alloy HB, which is a Tin-Anti- ing this article with the same skill, in- 63131-0154, (314)966-8919

Chemical Engineering FEBRUARY 2007 47

42-47 CHE 2-07.indd 47 1/24/07 2:33:20 PM

Engineering Practice

Piping Design,
Part 2 —
W. M. Huitt
W. M. Huitt Co. The engineer or designer must choose among
several flange options. Additional decisions involve
ipe flanges are used to me-
chanically connect pipe sections
to other pipe sections, inline facing and surface finishes, and the appropriate
components, and equipment.
Flanges also allow pipe to be assem- gaskets, bolts and nuts
bled and disassembled without cut-
ting or welding, which eliminates the Flanges are available with various and that the end of the pipe be reason-
need for those two operations when contact facings (the flange-to-flange ably close to the mating surface of the
dismantling is required. In providing contact surface) and methods of con- flange. Note that the term “reasonably
a breakable joint, however, flanges necting to the pipe itself. The flanges close” is taken, in context, from Annex
unfortunately provide a potential leak under B16.5, a standard widely rel- A of ASME B16.5; it is not quantified.
path for the process fluid contained in evant to the process industries, are In order to achieve this “reasonably
the pipe. Because of this, the usage of available in a variety of styles and close” requirement, the flange thread
flanges needs to be minimized where pressure classifications. The differ- has to be longer and the diameters of
possible, as with all other joints. ent styles, or types, are denoted by the smaller threads must be smaller
The most prevalent flange stan- the way each connects to the pipe than that indicated in ASME B1.20.1.
dards to be used in the process in- itself and/or by the type of face. The When installing threaded flanges
dustries are based on those of the types of pipe-to-flange connections Class 600 and higher, ASME B16.5
American Soc. of Mechanical Engi- include the following: recommends using power equipment
neers (ASME). These include: • Threaded to obtain the proper engagement. Sim-
B16.1 – Cast Iron Pipe Flanges and • Socket welding (or socket weld) ply using arm strength with a hand
Flanged Fittings • Slip-on welding (or slip on) wrench is not recommended.
B16.5 - Pipe Flanges and Flanged Fit- • Lapped (or lap joint) The primary benefit of threaded
tings (NPS 1/2 through NPS 24, • Welding neck (or weld neck) flanges is in eliminating the need for
where NPS is nominal pipe size; see • Blind welding. In this regard, these flanges
Part 1 of this series, CE, February, are sometimes used in high-pressure
pp. 42–47) Flange types service in which the operating temper-
B16.24 – Cast Copper Alloy Pipe Threaded: The threaded flange (Fig- ature is ambient. They are not suit-
Flanges and Flanged Fittings ure 1), through Class 400, is connected able where high temperatures, cyclic
B16.36 – Orifice Flanges to threaded pipe in which the pipe conditions or bending stresses can be
B16.42 – Ductile Iron Pipe Flanges thread conforms to ASME B1.20.1. potential problems.
and Flanged Fittings For threaded flanges in Class 600 and Socketweld: The socketweld flange is
Large Diameter Steel Flanges (NPS* higher, the length through the hub of made so that the pipe is inserted into
26 through NPS 60) the flange exceeds the limitations of the socket of the flange until it hits
B16.47 – Large Diameter steel flanges ASME B1.20.1. ASME B16.5 requires the shoulder of the socket. The pipe is
(NPS 26 through NPS 60) that when using threaded flanges in then backed away from the shoulder
Class 600 or higher, Schedule 80 or approximately 1/16 in. before being
*NPS, indicated above, is an acronym for Nomi-
nal Pipe Size. heavier pipe wall thickness be used, welded to the flange hub.
56 Chemical Engineering March 2007

56-61 CHE 3-07.indd 56 2/27/07 6:45:01 PM

9 #
5 $: $

3 3

Figure 1. Threaded flanges need not be welded Figure 3. Slip-on flanges offer an initial lower cost

9 9
# #

S $ 5

0 0

Figure 2. Socketweld flanges have been commonly used Figure 4. A lap-joint flange can yield savings in material
for small pipe sizes costs

If the pipe were resting against the room to make the internal
shoulder (this is the flat shelf area fillet weld without damag- -FOHUI -FOHUI -FOHUI
depicted in Figure 2 as the differ- ing the flange face. UO UO UO
ence between diameters B and B2) of The slip-on flange is a pre-
the socket joint during welding, heat ferred flange for many appli-
0% 0% 0%
from the weld would expand the pipe cations because of its initial
longitudinally into the shoulder of the lower cost, the reduced need
socket, forcing the pipe-to-flange weld for cut length accuracy and S S S
area to move. This could cause the the reduction in end prep - - -
weld to crack. time. However, the final in- 5ZQF" 5ZQF# 5ZQF$
The socketweld flange was initially stalled cost is probably not
developed for use on small size, high- much less than that of a
pressure piping in which both a back- weld-neck flange.
side hub weld and an internal shoul- The strength of a slip- "/4* "/4*
der weld was made. This provided a on flange under internal 4MJQPO MBQKPJOU
static strength equal to the slip-on pressure is about 40% less
flange (discussed below), with a fa- than that of a weld-neck
tigue strength 1.5 times that of the flange, and the fatigue rate 5ZQFT#BOE$ 5ZQFT"
slip-on flange. is about 66% less. The slip- UZQF$TIPXO

Because having two welds was on flange is not approved

labor intensive, it became the prac- above Class 1500. Figure 5. Stub-ends serve to complete lap joints
tice to weld only at the hub of the Lap joint: The lap-joint
flange. This practice relegated the flange (Figure 4) requires a compan- cases, the designer can elect to use a
socketweld flange to be more fre- ion lap joint, or Type A stub end (stub stub end specified with the same ma-
quently used for small pipe sizes ends are described below) to complete terial as the pipe, but use a less costly,
(NPS 2 in. and below) in non-high- the joint. The installer is then able to perhaps carbon-steel, lap-joint flange.
pressure, utility type service piping. rotate the flange. This capability al- This strategy prevents the need of
The socketweld flange is not ap- lows for quick bolthole alignment of having to weld a more costly compat-
proved above Class 1500. the mating flange during installation ible alloy flange to the end of the pipe.
Slip on: Unlike the socketweld flange, without taking the extra precautions Stub ends are prefabricated or cast
the slip-on flange (Figure 3) allows the required during prefabrication of a pipe flares that are welded directly to
pipe to be inserted completely through welded flange. the pipe. They are available in three
its hub opening. Two welds are made Their pressure holding ability is different types (Figure 5): Type A,
to secure the flange to the pipe. One about the same as that of a slip-on (which is the lap-joint stub end), Type
fillet weld is made at the hub of the flange. The fatigue life of a lap-joint/ B and Type C.
flange, and the second weld is made at stub-end combination is about 10% Type A is forged or cast with an
the inside diameter of the flange near that of a weld-neck flange, with an outside radius where the flare be-
the flange face. initial cost that is a little higher than gins. This radius conforms to the
The end of the pipe is offset from that of a weld-neck flange. radius on the inside of the lap-joint
the face of the flange by a distance The real cost benefit in using a lap- flange. The mating side of the flare
equal to the lesser of the pipe wall joint flange assembly is realized when has a serrated surface.
thickness or ¼ in. plus approximately installing a stainless-steel or other Type B is forged or cast without
1/16 in. This is to allow for enough costly alloy piping system. In many the radius where the flare begins. It
Chemical Engineering March 2007 57

56-61 CHE 3-07.indd 57 2/27/07 6:46:15 PM

Engineering Practice


# : $
$ 3
3 0

Figure 6. Weld-neck flanges are highly versatile Figure 7. Blind flanges are commonly used to cap off pipe-
line ends

is used to accommodate the slip-on loading, either cryogenic or elevated sification was changed to the class
flange or plate flange as a back-up temperatures, the weld-neck flange designation. These designations have
flange. is essential. no direct correlation with pounds of
Type C is fabricated from pipe using Blind: While the blind flange (Fig- pressure. Rather, they are a factor in
five suggested methods indicated in ure 7) is used to cap off the end of the pressure rating calculation found
ASME B31.3. The most prevalent a pipeline or a future branch con- in B16.5. In a subsequent part of this
of these is the machine flare. This nection, it is also used for other pur- series, we will discuss how these des-
method consists of placing a section poses. It can be drilled and tapped ignations are factored into the design
of pipe into a flaring machine, flaring for a threaded reducing flange or of the flange.
the end of the pipe and then cutting machined out for a slip-on reducing Flanges, whether manufactured to
it to length. flange. The reduced opening can be ASME, API (American Petroleum In-
As you can see in the assembly de- either on-center or eccentric. stitute), MSS (Manufacturer’s Stan-
tail of Figure 5, stub-end Types B & C dardization Soc.), AWWA (American
have no radius at the flare, while Type Flange pressure ratings Water Works Assn.) or any other stan-
A does. This allows Type A to conform ASME B16.5 flange pressure ratings dard, are grouped into pressure rat-
to the lap-joint flange. Due to the ra- have been categorized into material ings. In ASME, these pressure ratings
dius of the Type A stub end, a slip-on groupings. These groupings are for- are a sub-group of the various mate-
flange would have a poor fit, creating mulated based on both the material rial groups designated in B16.5.
non-uniform loading of the flare face composition and the process by which Tables 1 and 2 in this article break
as well as an undesirable point load at the flange is manufactured. out information from the Table 2 se-
the radius of the flare. The available pressure Classifica- ries in ASME B16.5. The Table 2 se-
Weld neck: The reinforcement area tions under ASME B16.5 are: 150, ries is a series of tables that list the
of the weld-neck flange (Figure 6) dis- 300, 400, 600, 900, 1500 and 2500. The working pressures of flanges based
tinguishes it from other flanges. This correct terminology for this designa- on material groupings, temperature
reinforcement area is formed by the tion is Class 150, Class 300, and so on. and classification.
added metal thickness, which tapers The term 150 pound, 300 pound and There are 34 such tables, segregated
from the hub of the flange to the weld so on is a carryover from the old ASA into three material categories: carbon
end. The bore of the flange needs to be (American Standards Association) and low alloy steels, austenitic stain-
specified in order to obtain the same Classification. ASA is the precursor to less steels, and nickel alloys. These are
wall thickness at the weld end as the the American National Standards In- further segregated into more defined
pipe it will be welded to. This will give stitute (ANSI).* material sub-groups. Tables 1 and 2
it the same ID bore as the pipe. Development of ASME B16.5 began of this article show Table 2-1.1 from
The weld-neck flange is the most in 1920. In 1927 the American Tenta- B16.5, which indicates, in reverse
versatile flange in the ASME stable tive Standard B16e was approved. sequence, Subcategory 1 of Material
of flanges. Much of its use is for fit- This eventually became what we group 1 (carbon and low alloy steels).
ting-to-fitting fabrication, in which know today as ASME B16.5. Until the If you had an ASME B16.5, Class
the flange can be welded directly to a 1960s, the pressure classifications, 150, ASTM A105 flange, this is the
fitting, such as an elbow, without the as addressed earlier, were referred table you would use to determine the
need for a short piece of pipe, as would to as 150 pound, 300 pound, etc. It working pressure limit of the flange.
be required with a slip-on flange. It was at this point the pressure clas- To find the working pressure of the
can be used in low-pressure, non-haz- *ANSI was founded as a committee whose responsibility was to coordinate the development of stan-
ardous fluid services as well as high- dards and to act as a standards traffic cop for the various organizations that develop standards. Its
basic function is not to develop standards, but rather to provide accreditation of those standards
pressure, high-cyclic and hazardous Originating as the American Engineering Standards Committee (AESC) in 1918, ANSI had, over
fluid services. its first ten years, outgrown its Committee status and in 1928 was reorganized and renamed as the
American Standards Association (ASA). In 1966 the ASA was reorganized again under the name of
While the initial cost of the weld- the United States of America Standards Institute (USASI). In 1969 ANSI adopted its present name.
neck flange may be higher than that While the B16 and B31 Standards have previously carried the ASA and ANSI prefix with its vari-
ous standards titles, ASME has always been the administrative sponsor in the development of those
of a slip-on flange, the installed cost standards. In the 1970s the prefix designation changed to ANSI/ASME and finally to ASME.
Referring to ANSI B16. or ANSI B31. is no longer correct. Instead, it is correct to refer to a standard
reduces that differential. And for as ANSI/ASME B16. in that it indicates an ANSI-accredited ASME standard. Or one can simply refer
conditions of possible high thermal to the standard as ASME B16. or ASME B31.

58 Chemical Engineering March 2007

56-61 CHE 3-07.indd 58 2/27/07 6:47:38 PM

These conditions, such as
steam service, will also be
discussed in a subsequent
Category D fluid services
are those fluid services that
are nonflammable, non-
toxic and not damaging to
human tissue. Additionally,
Category D fluids do not
exceed 150 psig and 366º F.
In initial service leak
testing, the test fluid is the
service fluid. Leak test-
ing occurs during or prior
to initial operation of the
system. As the service fluid
is introduced to the piping
system and brought to op-
erating pressure, in pres-
sure increments, all joints
are observed for possible
leaks. If no leaks are de-
tected, the pipeline simply
Figure 8. Flange facings are available in several varieties
remains in service.
Other ASME B31.3 fluid
abovementioned flange, enter the col- dition that the system is expected or services may be expected to operate at
umn of this table designated as 150 allowed to see. This then becomes the one set of conditions, but are designed
then move down the column to the op- condition to which you should design for another set. For those systems,
erating temperature. For intermedi- for, and to which the leak test is based which might include periodic steam-
ate temperatures, linear interpolation on, not the operating condition. out (cleaning, sterilization, sanitiza-
is permitted. Table 2, as it indicates, represents tion) or passivation, you therefore
The previous paragraph refers to the working or operating pressures want to base your flange-rating selec-
“operating temperature” when one of the flange at an indicated tempera- tion on those more-extreme, periodic
is looking to determine the working ture for a specific class. The maximum design conditions. To clarify “periodic”
pressure of a flange. “Operating” and hydrostatic leak-test pressure for a in this context, the sanitization pro-
“working” are synonymous. The indi- Class 150 flange in Table 2-1.1 is 1.5 cess may be done as frequently as once
cation of a working pressure and tem- times the rated working pressure at per week and last for up to one-and-a-
perature of a fluid service is the same 100°F, or 285 x 1.5 = 427.5 rounded off half shifts in duration.
as indicating the operating pressure to the next higher 25 psi, or 450 psig.
and temperature. We can extrapolate that piece of Facings and surface finishes
There exists some confusion in this information to say that since hydro- Standard flange-facing designations
area. That confusion becomes appar- static leak-test pressure is based on (Figure 8) are as follows: flat face,
ent when the engineer is determining 1.5 times design pressure, the work- raised face, ring joint, tongue and
design pressure and temperature and ing pressure limit given in the Table 2 groove, large and small male and fe-
applying them to the flange rating. On matrix ostensibly becomes the design male, small male and female on end of
the surface, there appears to be a con- pressure limit. pipe, and large and small tongue and
flict in rating a flange for design con- When one is working with ASME groove. The height of the raised face
ditions when Table 2 only indicates B31.3 Category D fluid services, and for Class 150 and 300 flanges is 0.06
working pressures. initial service leak testing is per- in. The height of the raised face for
Operating and design pressures formed, the working pressure limit Class 400 and above is 0.25 in.
and temperatures will be explained then remains the working pressure Industry wide, not discounting the
in more detail in a subsequent article limit because testing is performed lap-joint flange and stub-end com-
in this series. For now, be aware that at operating or working pressures. bination, the two most widely used
every service should have an operat- However, there are caveats that ad- flange facings are the flat face and
ing pressure/temperature as well as dress the fact that not all Category the raised face.
a design pressure/temperature. A de- D fluid services (see next paragraph) The surface finish of standard
sign condition is the maximum coinci- should waive the hydrostatic leak raised-face and flat-face flanges has a
dental pressure and temperature con- test for an initial service leak test. serrated concentric or serrated spiral
Chemical Engineering March 2007 59

56-61 CHE 3-07.indd 59 2/28/07 9:58:07 AM

Table 1. Pressure Temperature ratings
for Groups 1.1 through 3.16 Materials
Engineering Practice Ratings for group 1.1 materials
Nominal Forgings Castings Plates

surface finish with an average rough- C-Si A 105 (1) A 216 Gr. WCB (1) A 515 Gr. 70 (1)
ness of 125 × 10–6 in. to 250 × 10–6 C-Mn-Si A 350 Gr. LF2 (1) A 516 Gr. 70 (1)(2)
in. The cutting tool used for the ser- A 537 Cl. 1 (3)
rations will have a 0.06 in. or larger Notes: (1) Upon prolonged exposure to temperature above 800°F, the carbide phase of steel may
be converted to graphite. Permissible, but not recommended for prolonged use above 800°F.
radius, and there should be from 45 to (2) Not to be used over 850°F (3) Not to be used over 700°F
55 grooves per inch.
Table 2. Working Pressures by classes, psig
Bolts, nuts and gaskets Temp., °F Class
Sealing of the flange joint and the 150 300 400 600 900 1,500 2,500
hygienic-clamp joint (as discussed -20 to 100 285 740 990 1,480 2,220 3,705 6,170
last month in Part 1) is paramount 200 260 675 900 1,350 2,025 3,375 5,625
in providing integrity to the overall 300 230 655 875 1,315 1,970 3,280 5,470
piping system. This is achieved with 400 200 635 845 1,270 1,900 3,170 5,280
the use of bolts, nuts and gaskets. 500 170 600 800 1,200 1,795 2,995 4,990
Making the right selection for the 600 140 550 730 1,095 1,640 2,735 4,560
application can mean the difference 650 125 535 715 1,075 1,610 2,685 4,475
between a joint with integrity and 700 110 535 710 1,065 1,600 2,665 4,440
one without. 750 95 505 670 1,010 1,510 2,520 4,200
ASME B16.5 provides a list of ap- 800 80 410 550 825 1,235 2,060 3,430
propriate bolting material for ASME 850 65 270 355 535 805 1,340 2,230
flanges. The bolting material is 900 50 170 230 345 515 860 1,430
grouped into three strength catego- 950 35 105 140 205 310 515 860
ries — high, intermediate and low 1,000 20 50 70 105 155 260 430
— that are based on the minimum
yield strength of the specified bolt adequate strength to maintain joint • Fluid service compatibility will help
material. tightness.” B31.3 additionally states in determine the most suitable gasket
The high-strength category in- Paragraph 309.2.3, “…If either flange material.
cludes bolt material with a minimum is to the ASME B16.1 (cast iron), ASME The critical nature of the fluid will
yield strength of not less than 105 B16.24 (cast copper alloy), MSS SP- determine the degree of integrity re-
kilopounds per square inch (ksi). The 42 (valves with flanged and buttweld quired in the joint. This requirement
intermediate-strength category in- ends), or MSS SP-51 (cast flanges and will help determine bolt strength
cludes bolt material with a minimum fittings) specifications, the bolting ma- and material as well as gasket type
yield strength of between 30 ksi and terial shall be no stronger than low • Environmental conditions (corrosive
105 ksi. The low-strength category in- yield strength bolting unless: (a) both atmosphere, wash-down chemicals,
cludes bolt material with a minimum flanges have flat faces and a full face other) will also help determine the
yield strength no greater than 30 ksi. gasket is used: or, (b) sequence and best bolt material
As defined in ASME B16.5, the torque limits for bolt-up are specified, In short, all of the variables that come
high-strength bolting materials “. . . . with consideration of sustained loads, together in making up a flange-joint
may be used with all listed materials displacement strains, and occasional specification have to do so in a com-
and all gaskets.” The intermediate- loads (see Paragraphs. 302.3.5 and plementary fashion. Simply selecting
strength bolting materials “. . . . may 302.3.6), and strength of the flanges.” a gasket based on material selection
be used with all listed materials and In specifying flange bolts, as well as and not taking into account the pres-
all gaskets, provided it has been veri- the gasket, it is necessary to consider sure rating requirement could provide
fied that a sealed joint can be main- not only design pressure and temper- a gasket that would get crushed under
tained under rated working pressure ature but also fluid service compat- necessary torque requirements rather
and temperature”. The low-strength ibility, the critical nature (if any) of than withstand the bolt load and cre-
bolting materials “. . . . may be used the fluid service, and environmental ate a seal.
with all listed materials but are lim- conditions, all in conjunction with one Selecting a low-strength bolt to be
ited to Class 150 and Class 300 joints,” another. To aid in understanding the used with a Class 600 flange joint with
and can only be used with selected relationships among these criteria, proper gasketing will require the bolts
gaskets as defined in ASME B16.5. some clarification follows: to be torqued beyond their yield point,
ASME B31.3 further clarifies in • The design pressure and tempera- or, at the very least, beyond their elas-
Paragraph 309.2.1, “Bolting having ture jointly determine the pressure tic range. To explain this briefly, bolts
not more than 30 ksi specified mini- class of a flange set. That in turn, act as springs when they are installed
mum yield strength shall not be used along with flange size, will deter- and loaded properly. In order for the
for flanged joints rated ASME B16.5 mine the number and size of the flange joint to maintain a gasket seal,
Class 400 and higher, nor for flanged flange bolts. The flange class will it requires dynamic loading. Dynamic
joints using metallic gaskets, unless also determine the compressibility loading of flange bolts allows expan-
calculations have been made showing range of the gasket material sion and contraction movement in and
60 Chemical Engineering March 2007

56-61 CHE 3-07.indd 60 2/27/07 6:50:11 PM

around the joint while maintaining a states that the proper grade for bolts with one another in order for the joint
seal. This is achieved by applying suf- to be used for pipe flange applications assembly to perform in a way that it is
ficient stress to the bolt to take it into is Grade B. The standard goes fur- expected to for a given application. ■
the material’s elastic range. ther to state that when used for pipe Edited by Nicholas P. Chopey
If the bolts are not stressed suffi- flanges, Grade B bolts require a Heavy
ciently into their elastic range, any re- Hex Grade A nut under ASTM A563. Author
laxation in the gasket could reduce the In writing a pipe specification that W. M. (Bill) Huitt has been
involved in industrial pip-
sealing ability of the joint. To the other included the A307 bolt, you would not ing design, engineering and
construction since 1965. Posi-
extreme, if the bolts were stressed be- need to specify the nut, since it is al- tions have included design en-
yond their elastic range and into the ready defined in A307. gineer, piping design instruc-
tor, project engineer, project
plastic range of their material of con- However, ASTM A193, alloy and supervisor, piping depart-
struction the same issue would apply; stainless-steel bolts, goes only so far ment supervisor, engineering
manager and president of W.
they would lose their dynamic load on when it states that nuts shall conform M. Huitt Co. a piping con-
the gasket. In that case, if they did not to ASTM A194 — there are several sulting firm founded in 1987.
His experience covers both the engineering and
shear, they would take a set. Any re- grades of A194 nuts to select among. construction fields and crosses industrial lines
to include petroleum refining, chemical, petro-
laxation in the gasket will then result This is an example of where the match- chemical, pharmaceutical, pulp & paper, nuclear
in the reduction or elimination of the ing nut is not always explicitly called power, and coal gasification. He has written nu-
merous specifications including engineering and
joints sealing ability. out in the ASTM standard. Because construction guidelines to ensure that design
The nut should be selected to com- the ASTM standards are inconsistent and construction comply with code requirements,
Owner expectations and good design practices.
plement the bolt. The bolt material in that regard, the specification writer Bill is a member of ISPE (International Society
specification will steer you, either must make sure that the nut is cov- of Pharmaceutical Engineers), CSI (Construction
Specifications Institute) and ASME (American
partially or completely, into the proper ered in a specification. Society of Mechanical Engineers). He is a con-
tributor to ASME-BPE and sets on two corporate
nut selection. In summary, all four components specification review boards. He can be reached
ASTM A307, a material standard — flanges, bolts, nuts and gaskets at: W. M. Huitt Co., P O Box 31154, St. Louis, MO
63131-0154, (314)966-8919. His email address is
for bolts in the low-strength category, — have to be selected in conjunction


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Circle 35 on p. 78 or go to

Chemical Engineering March 2007

56-61 CHE 3-07.indd 61 2/27/07 6:51:05 PM

Feature Report
Engineeering Practice

Piping Design, Part 3 —

Design Elements
W. M. Huitt
W. M. Huitt Co. Design requires a systematic methodology, planning,
technical ability, interdisciplinary coordination,

iping design is the job of con-
figuring the physical aspects
of pipe and components in an
foresight and, above all, experience
effort to conform with piping
and instrumentation diagrams tion. Piping specifications, as an over- Procurement personnel, too, will
(P&IDs), fluid-service requirements, view, should provide essential material need detailed specifications to limit
associated material specifications, detail for design, procurement and fab- the assumptions they will have to
equipment-data sheets, and current rication. Guidelines, both design and make or the questions they will have
good manufacturing practices (GMP) construction, should provide sufficient to ask in preparing purchase orders.
while meeting owner expectations. All definition in a well organized manner The piping specification should make
of this must be accomplished within to allow the designer and constructor clear exactly what the material of
a pre-determined, three-dimensional the insight and direction they need construction is for each component,
assigned space, while coordinating the in order to provide a facility that will and to what standard that component
activity with that of the architecture, meet the expectation of the owner with is manufactured. Also included in
structural steel, HVAC (heating, ven- minimal in-process direction from the the component description should be
tilation air conditioning), electrical, owner or construction manager. pressure rating, end-connection type
video, data-and-security conduit and and surface finish where required.
trays, and operational requirements. Piping specifications There are a few rather common mis-
Pulling together and coordinating A piping specification is the document takes that companies make in devel-
these activities to achieve such a com- that will describe the physical char- oping or maintaining specifications:
pilation of design requires a system- acteristics and specific material at- 1. The specification itself is either not
atic methodology, planning, technical tributes of pipe, fittings and manual definitive enough or too definitive; 2.
ability, interdisciplinary coordination, valves necessary to the needs of both The specifications are not updated in
foresight, and above all, experience. design and procurement personnel. a timely manner; and 3. The specifica-
This third part in a series on piping These documents also become contrac- tions are too broad in their content.
design* discusses a number of key tual to the project and the contractors Let’s consider each of these points in
elements, including how to prepare that work under them. Designers will more detail.
specifications and guidelines, and require a sufficient degree of informa- Point 1. When defining pipe and com-
some insights on flanges, surface fin- tion in a specification that will allow ponents in a specification, you should
ish, design temperature and pressure, for determining the service limitations provide enough information to identify
and charge accumulation. Although of the specification and what fluid ser- each component without “hamstring-
computer-aided design (CAD) has be- vices the specification’s material is ing” yourself or procurement person-
come an integral part of piping design, compatible with. For example, a proj- nel in the process. In other words, do
it will not be discussed in this article. ect may have, among other fluid ser- not get so specific or proprietary with
vices, sulfuric acid and chilled water. the specification that only one manu-
Specs and guidelines The economic and technical feasibility facturer is qualified to provide the
One of the first activities the piping of the material selection for chilled component (unless that is the actual
engineer will be involved with is devel- water service would not be technically intent). With standard pipe and fit-
opment of piping specifications (specs) feasible for sulfuric acid. Inversely, the tings, it’s difficult to provide too much
and guidelines on design and construc- economic and technical material selec- information. However, with valves and
tion for sulfuric acid service would not other inline equipment, overspecifica-
*Part 1: The Basics, CE February, pp. 42–47; be economically feasible for chilled tion can happen quite easily.
Part 2: Flanges, CE March, pp. 56–61 water service. A common practice is to write a
50 Chemical Engineering July 2007

50-57 CHE 7-07.indd 50 6/28/07 8:29:11 PM




Figure 1. Shown here is a magnified image (2,000x) of a bio- Figure 2. The proper surface roughness can maximize the
film [1] cleaning of biofilm from a pipe [1]

specification for a generic type valve, product from a specific manufacturer considered for adoption into company
one that can be bid on by multiple — almost. By almost, what is meant specs, prompting a new revision.
potential suppliers, by using the de- is that, if you write the spec as Viton Point 3. Specs that are too broad in
scription of one particular valve as a you would most likely get the original their content refers to an attempt at
template. What happens is that pro- formulation, which is Viton A. The making the specs all-inclusive. A pip-
prietary manufacturer trade names, fluid service may be more suited for ing specification should contain only
such as some of the trim materials, are an FKM with polytetrafluoroethylene those components and information
carried over to the generic valve spec. in it (Viton GF) or an FKM suitable that would typically be used from job
When the procurement person for the for colder temperatures may be a bet- to job. That would include the follow-
mechanical contractor, or whoever is ter choice (Viton GFLT). Be specific for ing (as an example):
buying the valves for the project, gets those who have to use the specs for de- 1. Pressure and temperature limit of
ready to purchase this valve, the only sign and purchase of the material. the specification
manufacturer that can supply it with If, in developing a specification, you 2. Limiting factor for pressure and
the specified proprietary trim is the wish to establish minimum require- temperature
one from which the spec was copied. ments for a component or a material, 3. Pipe material
You would think that doing this it is certainly acceptable to identify a 4. Fitting type, rating and material
would eliminate multiple bids for the specific proprietary item as a bench- 5. Flange type, rating and material
valve based on the unintentional pro- mark. In doing this — and we’ll stay 6. Gasket type, rating and material
prietary requirements in the spec. In- with the fluorocarbon gasket or seal 7. Bolt and nut type and material
stead, it creates confusion and propa- example — you could identify Viton 8. Manual valves, grouped by type
gates questions. The valve bidders, GF or equal, which would indicate 9. Notes
other than the one the spec was based that a comparable material from one 10. Branch chart matrix with corro-
on, will bid the valve with an excep- of the other fluorocarbon manufactur- sion allowance
tion to the proprietary material, or ers would be acceptable so long as the These ten line items provide the pri-
they will contact the purchasing agent fluid service compatibility and pres- mary component information and
for clarification. Since the purchas- sure/temperature ranges were equal to notations required for a typical pip-
ing agent won’t have the answer, the or greater than the Viton GF material. ing system. Some specifications are
question or clarification goes back to Point 2. All too often after a specifica- written to include components, such
the engineer and/or the owner. The tion is developed it will reside in the as steam traps, sight glasses, three- or
time necessary for responding to these company’s database without being pe- four-way valves, strainers, and other
types of issues is better spent on more riodically reviewed and updated. How- miscellaneous items. These miscella-
pressing matters. ever, industry standards change, part neous items are better referred to as
When developing a spec, be specific, numbers change, manufacturers are specialty items (or some other simi-
but try not to include proprietary data bought and sold, manufacturers im- larly descriptive name) and are sized
unless you intend to. For example, prove their products, and so on. All of and specified for each particular appli-
when specifying Viton you are speci- these things constitute the need and cation. This does not make them good
fying a generic DuPont product — ge- necessity to review and revise specifi- candidates for inclusion into a basic
neric in that there are several differ- cations on a timely basis. pipe specification.
ent types of Viton, such as Viton A, A company that houses its own set To explain the above we can use,
Viton B, Viton GF, Viton GFLT and so of specifications should review them as an example, a carbon-steel piping
on. Each of these has a specific formu- at least every two years. This timing system that is specified to be used in
lation, which gives it different fluid- works out for a couple reasons. Firstly, a 150-psig steam service. The pipe,
service compatibility and pressure industry standards, on average, pub- flanges, fittings, bolts, gaskets and
and temperature ranges. lish every two years, and secondly, valves can all be used at any point in
Viton is a type of fluorocarbon. Fluo- capital projects, from design through the system as specified. The specifica-
rocarbons are designated FKM under close-out, will arguably have an aver- tion for a steam trap, however, will
ASTM D-1418, so when specifying age duration of two years. Lessons- vary depending on its intended appli-
“Viton” you are identifying a specific learned from projects can then be cation. And depending on its applica-
Chemical Engineering July 2007 51

50-57 CHE 7-07.indd 51 6/28/07 8:29:49 PM

Engineeering Practice

tion, the load requirements for each specifications in applying them to JOUZQJDBM
trap may vary. For example, a steam- good design practice. Without these (SPVOEJOHMVHMPDBUJPO
trap application at a drip leg will have guidelines as part of any bid pack-
a light steady load, whereas a steam- age or request-for-proposal package, Figure 3. Incorporating a grounding
trap application at a shell-and-tube the owner is essentially leaving it up lug into the pipe will ensure proper ground-
ing, even if the pipe has been painted
heat exchanger may have a heavier to the engineer and/or constructor
modulating load. And that doesn’t take to bring their own set of guidelines
into account the need for the different to the table. And this may or may not fications and guidelines. In the older,
types of traps, including F&T (float- be a good thing. Leaving the full facil- more established petroleum-refining
and-thermostatic), inverted bucket, ity’s delivery to the engineer and con- and chemical companies you will see
and thermodynamic. structor depends a great deal on the entire departments whose mission is
You could, depending on the size of qualifications of the engineer and the to create, maintain and refine all of
the project, have multiple variations constructor, and whether or not consis- the specifications and guidelines nec-
of the four basic types of steam traps tency from plant to plant and project essary to execute a project. When a
with anywhere from 30 to 300 or more to project is an issue. project is approved to go out for bid
traps in multiple sizes and various If the owner approaches a proj- to an engineer, the necessary specifi-
load requirements. I think you can see ect with expectations as to how they cations and guidelines along with the
why this type of requirement needs to would like their plant or facility de- requisite drawings are assembled,
be its own specification and not a part signed and built, then some prepara- packaged and provided to the engineer
of the piping specification. tion, on the owner’s part, is in order. as bid documents, and beyond that as
A piping specification should be con- Preparation should include, not only working documents in the design, en-
cise, definitive and repeatable. Adding material specifications as described gineering and construction efforts.
specialty type items to the specifica- earlier, but also the guidelines and In Scenario 2, the owner, or cus-
tion makes it convoluted and difficult narratives (yes, narratives) necessary tomer, has some specifications and
to control and interpret. Users of these to define the design and construction guidelines that have possibly not been
specifications are designers, bidders, requirements. updated for several years. These are
procurement personnel, fabricators, I mention the use of narratives here provided to the engineer with the un-
receipt verification clerks, validation because a narrative helps facilitate derstanding and stipulation that any
and maintenance personnel. the understanding and conveys the errors or omissions in the documents
With this in mind, you can better magnitude of the, in most cases, reams should be addressed and corrected
understand, or at least value the fact, of specifications and guidelines neces- by the engineer. These, too, would be
that these documents have to be in- sary to build an industrial facility of used in the bid process as well as on
terpreted and used by a wide range of any appreciable size. the project itself.
personnel. These personnel are look- In general, a narrative should ex- In Scenario 3, the owner, or cus-
ing for particular information, written plain in simple, straight-forward lan- tomer, brings no specifications or
in a concise manner that will allow guage, for each discipline: the number- guidelines to the project table. Speci-
them to design and order or verify ing scheme used for the specifications fication development becomes part of
components within that specification. and guidelines; association between the overall project engineering effort.
Inclusion of the specialty type items the material specifications and the Scenarios 1 and 3 are at opposite
will, at the very least, complicate and guidelines; an explanation as to why ends of the spectrum, but afford the
exacerbate the process. the project is governed by a particular best situation for both the owner and
code or codes; and a brief description engineer/constructor. By providing
Design/construction guidelines of expectation. the engineer and constructor, as in
In conjunction with the piping speci- The narrative allows you to be more Scenario 1, with a full set of current
fications, the design and construction explanatory and descriptive than a specifications and well articulated
guidelines should convey to the de- formal point-by-point specification. It guidelines, the assumption is made
signer and constructor point-by-point gives the bidder/engineer a “Readers that both the engineer and construc-
requirements as to how a facility is Digest” version of the stacks of speci- tor are qualified for the level of work
to be designed and constructed. The fications and guidelines they are ex- required, and can very effectively ex-
guidelines should not be a rhetorical pected to read through and assimilate ecute the design, engineering and con-
essay, but instead should follow an in- within a matter of a few weeks. struction for the project.
dustry standard format, preferably a How piping specifications are deliv- Scenario 3 allows the engineer and
CSI (Construction Specifications In- ered to a project can have a significant constructor to bring their own game-
stitute) format. impact on the project itself. There are, plan to the project. This too is effective,
Look at it this way: the material generally speaking, three scenarios in due only to the fact that the learning
specifications tell the designer and which project specifications and guide- curve is minimal. Most engineering
constructor what material to use; lines are delivered to a project. In Sce- firms will be prepared to execute a
the guidelines should tell them how nario 1, the owner, or customer, has project with their own set of specifi-
to assimilate and use the material developed a complete arsenal of speci- cations and guidelines. This applies
52 Chemical Engineering July 2007

50-57 CHE 7-07.indd 52 6/28/07 8:30:18 PM



is instead learned by experience.

Ongoing learning can be in the form
1MBUF 'MBOHF of organized classes, a mentor or any
other means available to help learn
and understand the physical require-
ments and restraints of various sys-
MBSHFIFYIFBETDSFX tems and industries.
$POUJOVJUZQMBUF -PDLXBTIFS Since we do not have enough space
here to cover all of the design elements,
%SJMMUBQJOYJOEFFQ I will key in on a few topics for clarifi-
cation. (And this doesn’t even scratch
'MBOHF the surface.) We will discuss flanges,
pipe internal-surface finish, weld seam
factor, pipe wall thickness, MAWP and
$POUJOVJUZGMBOHFQMBUF MADP, design pressure and tempera-
ture, and charge accumulation.

Figure 4. Nonconducting gaskets between flanges can lead to improper ground- Flanges
ing between pipes. Introducing a continuity plate between the flanges is one way to
In Parts 1 and 2 of this series of ar-
ensure proper grounding
ticles (see footnote on first page), we
discussed ASME flanges and their
to qualified constructors as well. The 2. A narrative for each discipline that classifications. Most designers are
down side of this is in the project-to- allows the writer to expand and familiar with ASME flange classifica-
project inconsistency in specifications define, in a much more descriptive tions such as 150, 300, 400, and so on.
and methodology when using different manner, the points that aren’t made And even though verbally stating 150
engineers and constructors. clear enough, or readily apparent in pound flange (the origin of this term is
Scenario 2 is a worse case situation. the more formal format discussed in Part 2) rolls off the tongue
Ineffective and outdated owner speci- The guideline can be structured on one much easier and is still an industry
fications create confusion and ineffi- of the CSI formats. The format exam- accepted term, Class 150 is the proper
cient iterations in both the bid process ples provided by CSI give a company terminology and designation.
and the execution of a project. Sce- sufficient flexibility in writing guide- What may be less familiar is that
nario 2 additionally creates the great- lines, or specifications for that matter, the class designation is a factor in the
est opportunity for conflicts between to allow the document to conform to its calculation for determining the rated
owner documents and the engineer’s own particular brand of requirements working pressure of a flange. That cal-
documents. For project management, and nuances. The format also lends a culation is:
this translates into change orders at degree of intra-industry conformity to PT  Pr S1 / 8, 750 b Pc
some point in a project. the guidelines and specifications, pro- (1)
A guideline should explain to the viding a degree of familiarity to the where
engineering firm or constructor, in a engineers and constructors who will Pc = Ceiling pressure, psig, as speci-
concise, definitive manner, just what have to adhere to them. fied in ASME B16.5, paragraph
the owner expects in executing the D3, at temperature T
design and construction of a facility. Design elements PT = Rated working pressure, psig, for
By actively and methodically devel- In the first paragraph of this article, the specified material at temper-
oping a set of guidelines, an owner or I described the act of designing pip- ature T
customer does not have to rely on an ing systems for a facility as bringing Pr = Pressure rating class index, psi
outside resource, such as an engineer- a number of technical components to- (for instance, Pr = 300 psi for
ing firm or constructor, to provide the gether to make the pipe conform to a Class 300). Note: This definition
facility required and hoped for. specific set of requirements, within a of Pr does not apply to Class 150.
Developing guidelines to convey prescribed area. See ASME B16.5, paragraphs
your company’s requirements and That’s pretty simplistic, and does D2.2, D2.3 and D2.4
expectations can be accomplished not really convey the magnitude of S1 = Selected stress, psi, for the speci-
using one or both of the following the experience, technical background fied material at temperature T.
two basic methods: or the imagination required to ex- See ASME B16.5, paragraphs
1. A formal point-by-point format that ecute such a task. Experience is the D2.2, D2.3 and D2.4
covers all necessary criteria that essential component here. And that is
you, as the owner, require on a pro- simply because, aside from whatever Pipe internal-surface finish
prietary basis, plus a listing and de- innate ability a good designer might Internal surface roughness is a topic
scription of the necessary code and possess, the required knowledge is not that is specific to the pharmaceutical,
GMP requirements taught through formal education, but bio-pharmaceutical and semiconduc-
Chemical Engineering July 2007 53

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Engineeering Practice

tor sectors, but can also be an issue sults indicate that the surface finish for when t < D/6
throughout the CPI. Quantifying and range best suited to reduce biofilm
P ( d + 2c)
specifying a maximum surface rough- adherence to the internal pipe wall t=
ness for internal pipe wall for use in surface is from 0.4Ra µm to 1.0Ra µm 2[ SE − P (1 − Y )] (3)
what is referred to as direct impact (15.7Ra µin. to 58.8Ra µin.). What this for when t ≥ D/6
fluid services, is a necessity in the implies is that, while we currently do
tm = t + c
above-mentioned sectors. Direct im- not have the means to prevent the (4)
pact piping systems are those systems onset of biofilm on the internal walls where
that carry product or carry a fluid ser- of hygienic or semiconductor piping t = Pressure design thickness
vice that ultimately comes in contact systems, we can facilitate its removal tm = Minimum required thickness, in-
with product. in the cleaning process by specifying cluding mechanical, corrosion and
The need for a relatively smooth in- the proper surface finish of the inter- erosion allowances
ternal pipe wall is predicated on three nal pipe walls. c = Sum of the mechanical allowances
primary issues: 1. Cleanability and The accepted maximum surface (thread or groove depth) plus cor-
drainability; 2. The ability to hinder finish in the pharmaceutical and bio- rosion and erosion allowances.
the growth of biofilm and to enhance pharmaceutical industries is 25Ra For threaded components, the
the ability to remove it once it does ap- µin. (0.6 µm). In the semiconductor in- nominal thread depth (dimension
pear; and 3. To reduce, to a microscopic dustry you might typically see surface h of ASME B1.20.1, or equivalent)
level, crevices in which microscopic finishes in the range of 7Ra µin. to shall apply. For machined surfaces
particles can reside and at some point 15Ra µin., particularly in gas delivery or grooves where the tolerance is
dislodge and get carried along in the systems. While the pharmaceutical not specified, the tolerance shall
fluid stream to damage product. industry is concerned with bacterial be assumed to be 0.02 in. (0.5 mm)
Regarding the first point, cleanabil- growth and cross contamination, the in addition to the specified depth
ity and drainability are associative; in semiconductor industry is concerned of the cut
order for a system to be fully cleanable more with particulate damage to prod- D = Actual pipe OD
it has to be designed and laid out in a uct on the microscopic level. This per- d = Pipe ID
manner that will eliminate any pock- tains to point three above. P = Internal design gage pressure
ets and provide enough slope to elimi- S = Stress value for material from
nate any residual liquid (drainable). Pipe weld seam factor ASME B31.3 Table A-1, at design
Not only is this residual liquid (or Part 2 of this series of articles men- temperature
holdup) a contaminant — from both tioned the fact that the weld seam in E = Quality factor, or joint efficiency
a bacterial standpoint and as a cross longitudinally welded pipe is a fac- factor
batch contaminant — but it can also tor in the pipe-wall-pressure-design Y = Coefficient from ASME B31.3
be expensive due to the high cost of thickness calculation. Table 304.1.1
some drug products. Along those lines, In ASME B31.3, there are two pipe- To determine wall thickness for pipe
the ASME-BPE Standard provides wall thicknesses for calculations. One under external pressure conditions,
criteria for minimum slope, maximum is pressure design thickness (t) and refer to the Boiler and Pressure Ves-
deadleg, gasket intrusion, gasket con- the other is minimum required thick- sel Code (BPVC) Section VIII, Division
cavity, and many other criteria for ness (tm). 1, UG-28 through UG-30 and ASME
design of cleanable and drainable hy- There are two equations for finding B31.3, paragraph 304.1.3.
gienic piping systems. pressure-design thickness for straight Keep in mind that for seamless pipe,
Regarding the second point, biofilm pipe under internal pressure. Equa- E will be removed from Equations 2
is defined as a bacterial population tion 2 is where t < D/6, where D is the and 3.
composed of cells that are firmly at- actual pipe outer diameter (OD); this
tached as microcolonies to a solid sur- calculation is based on internal pres- Determining MAWP
face (see Figure 1). sure, the actual (not nominal) OD of Taking a page from the BPVC, we will
At a recent ASME-BPE symposium the pipe, stress value of the material go through a few brief steps to deter-
[1], Frank Riedewald, a senior process at design temperature, joint efficiency mine maximum-allowable working
engineer with Lockwood-Greene IDC factor, and the coefficient Y [a factor pressure (MAWP) for straight pipe. But
Ltd., explained the results of testing used to adjust internal pressure (P) let me begin by saying that MAWP is
that was performed to determine the for a nominal material at tempera- not a B31.3 expression, it comes from
relationship between the formation of ture]. Equation 3 is used when t ≥ D/6; the BPVC. We will instead transpose
biofilm, pipe wall-surface finish and this calculation is based on the above- this term to MADP (maximum-allow-
pipe wall-surface cleanability. listed criteria except that ID is used able design pressure), which is also
One of the many interesting factors instead of OD, and the sum of all me- not a B31.3 term, but more closely re-
that came from these studies is the chanical allowances is included. lates to piping.
fact that the internal surface of the PD When a vessel goes into design it is
pipe wall can actually be too smooth. t= (2) assigned a coincidental design pres-
Referring to the graph in Figure 2, re- 2( SE + PY ) sure and temperature. These are the
54 Chemical Engineering July 2007

50-57 CHE 7-07.indd 54 6/28/07 8:31:24 PM

(minimum or maximum)
expected during service.
B31.3 goes on to state:
The most severe condition
is that which results in
the greatest required com-
ponent thickness and the
highest component rating.
How do you determine
these values and where
do you apply them? We’ll
cover the where first. The
discussion on determin-
maximum conditions the vessel is ex- The Barlow formula: ing pipe wall thickness was based on
pected to experience while in service, design conditions, in which P is the
2 × TF × ST
and what the engineers will design PBA = internal design gage pressure and S
the vessel to handle. The material, it’s D (5) is the stress value at the design tem-
thickness, welds, nozzles, flanges, and The Boardman formula: perature. Design conditions are also
so on are all designed predicated on 2 × TF × ST used to determine component ratings
this predetermined design criteria. PBO = and as a basis for determining leak
Throughout design, the vessel’s in- D − (0.8 × T ) (6) test pressure.
tended maximum pressure is referred The Lamè formula: There is no published standard, or
to as its design pressure. All calcula- ST × ( D 2 − d 2 ) genuine industry consensus, on how
tions are based on specified material PL = to determine design conditions. It ba-
and component tolerances along with ( D2 + d2 ) (7) sically comes down to an owner’s or
fabrication specifics, meaning types where engineer’s experience. What I will pro-
and sizes of welds, reinforcement and PBA = Burst pressure, psig (Barlow) vide here is a resultant philosophy de-
so on. Not until after the vessel is fab- PBO = Burst pressure, psig (Board- veloped from many sources along with
ricated can the engineer know what man) my own experiences.
the actual material thickness is, the PL = Burst pressure, psig (Lamè) To understand what constitutes de-
type and size of each weld, thickness D = Actual pipe OD, in. sign conditions, we first need to define
of each nozzle neck, and so on. Only d = Pipe ID, in. them. The following are some accepted
when all of the factual data of con- TF = Wall thickness (minus factory terms and their definitions:
struction is accumulated and entered tolerance), in. System operating pressure: The
into vessel engineering programs can ST = Minimum tensile strength, psi, pressure at which a fluid service is ex-
the MAWP be determined. This value, from B31.3 Table A-1 pected to normally operate.
once determined, then replaces the Sf = Safety factor, a factor of 3 or 4 System design pressure: Unless ex-
design pressure, and is calculated is applied to burst pressure to tenuating process conditions dictate
based on the installed configuration of determine MADP otherwise, the design pressure is the
the vessel (that is, mounted vertically Using any of the three results from pressure at the most severe coinci-
or horizontally; mounted on legs; or any one of the above equations we dent of internal or external pressure
mounted on lugs). can then determine MADP (M) as fol- and temperature (minimum or maxi-
The difference between the design lows: mum) expected during service, plus
pressure and the MAWP is that the Pi the greater of 30 psi or 10%.
engineer will design to the design M = S (8) System operating temperature: The
pressure, but the final MAWP is the temperature at which a fluid service is
limiting pressure of the vessel. The where the subscript i is BA, BO, or L, expected to normally operate.
MAWP may exceed the design pres- depending on which formula is used. System design temperature: Unless
sure, but it can never be less than the extenuating process conditions dictate
design pressure. Design pressure & temperature otherwise, the design temperature, for
In applying this to piping we will The ASME B31.3 definition for design operating temperatures between 32°F
first calculate the burst pressure pressure and design temperature is and 750°F, this value shall be equal to
of the pipe and then determine the stated as two separate definitions. I the maximum anticipated operating
MAWP, or, as was mentioned earlier, will integrate them into one by stat- temperature, plus 25°F rounded off to
a term more closely related to piping, ing: The design pressure and tempera- the next higher 5°.
the MADP. ture of each component in a piping Applying a sort of philosophy cre-
There are three equations generally system shall be not less than the most ated by the above definitions is
used in calculating burst pressure for severe condition of coincident internal somewhat straightforward for utility
pipe. They are: or external pressure and temperature services, such as steam, water, and
Chemical Engineering July 2007 55

50-57 CHE 7-07.indd 55 6/28/07 8:31:53 PM

Engineeering Practice

non-reactive chemicals. However, that sible bare metal contact with the other TABLE 1.
part of the above definitions for design bolts, allowing the washers, as they
conditions that provide the caveat, were tightened, to scrape away the Liquid BS 5958 recom-
conductivity mended flow velocity
“…extenuating process conditions…” prime coat so that contact was made
implies a slightly different set of rules with the bare metal of the flange. With >1,000 pS/m No restriction
for process systems. improved prime coat material this is 50 – 1,000 Less than 7 m/s
Extenuating process conditions no longer a guarantee. pS/m
can mean increased pressure and If continuity from spool to spool Less than 50 Less than 1 m/s
temperature, beyond that defined is not achieved, any charge genera- pS/m
above, due to chemical reaction, loss tion resulting from an internal or Note: pS/m (picosiemens/meter)
of temperature control in heat trans- an external source cannot readily
fer, and so on. dissipate to ground. The voltage in the environment, and 2. The initial
triboelectric charge generation will charge that burned through the liner
Charge buildup in lined pipe build until it is strong enough to is now charging the outer metal pipe.
Internal and external charge accumu- jump to the closest grounded object If continuity has not been achieved for
lation, known as static electricity, or creating an undesired spark of elec- the outer pipe, a spark of triboelectric
more technically known as triboelec- tricity (ESD). charge is, at some point, going to jump
tric charge accumulation, is the result ICA. With regard to pipe, ICA is to ground and cause a spark.
of charge that is unable to dissipate. unique to thermoplastic lined pipe
If a charge generated in a flowing and solid thermoplastic pipe. Without Corrective action
fluid is allowed to dissipate to ground, being impregnated with a conduc- ECG. The simplest method to ensure
as it does in grounded metallic pipe, tive material, thermoplastics are not continuity is to sand away any primer
then there is no problem. However, if good conductors of electricity. PTFE on the back side of each flange to en-
a charge cannot dissipate and is al- (polytetrafluoroethylene), as an ex- sure good metal-to-metal contact be-
lowed to accumulate, as it may in non- ample, has a high (>1016 Ohms/unit tween nut and flange. Aside from
conductive pipe liners, it now becomes area), resistivity factor. This is a rela- that or the use of a conductive prime
a problem by potentially becoming tively high resistance to conductivity, paint, the current ready-made solu-
strong enough to create an electro- which means that any charge created tion to the external continuity problem
static discharge (ESD). With regard to inside the pipe cannot readily be con- is the addition of stud bolts located in
thermoplastic lined pipe there are two ducted away to ground by way of the close proximity to flanges on both pipe
forms of this to be considered: external PTFE liner. Instead, the charge will spools and fittings (see Figure 3). These
charge accumulation (ECA) and inter- be allowed to build until it exceeds studs can be applied at the factory or in
nal charge accumulation (ICA). its total dielectric strength and burns the field. At each flange joint a ground-
ECA. This is a concern with lined pipe a pinhole in the liner to the internal ing strap (jumper) is then affixed to a
due to the possibility of not achiev- metal wall of the casement pipe. It stud on one spool with a nut, extended
ing spool-to-spool continuity during isn’t charge generation itself that is over the flange joint and attached to a
installation due, in large part, to im- the problem, it’s the charge accumula- stud on the connecting spool complet-
proved paint primer on flanges. When tion. When the rate of charge genera- ing continuity throughout the chain of
pipe spools (lined or unlined) are tion is greater than the rate of charge connecting spools and fittings.
joined by flanges using non-metallic relaxation (the ability of material to Another method of creating continu-
gaskets, the only thing that completes conduct away the generated charge), ity at flange joints, while being less ob-
the spool-to-spool continuity is the charge accumulation occurs. trusive and more integral, is described
bolting. The improved paint primer on The dielectric strength of PTFE is as follows.
lined pipe flanges makes this more dif- 450 to 500 volts/mil. This indicates Referring to Figure 4, flanges would
ficult to achieve because normal bolt that for every 0.001 in. of PTFE liner be purchased pre-drilled and tapped
tightening doesn’t guarantee metal- 450 V of triboelectric charge will be in the center of the outer edge of the
to-metal contact between the nut and required to penetrate the liner. For a flange between the backside of the
the flange. 2-in. pipeline with a 0.130-in. thick flange and the face side of the flange.
Pipe generally does not come with a liner, this translates into 58,500 V of The drilled and tapped hole in each
prime coat of paint; however, lined pipe triboelectric charge to burn through flange will need to be centered between
does. Since flange bolts are used to the liner thickness. bolt holes so that they line up after the
complete continuity from spool to spool, When the liner is penetrated by flange bolts are installed. The tapped
the installer has to make certain, when an accumulated charge, two addi- hole is 1/4-in. dia. x 1/2-in. deep.
installing lined pipe, that the bolts, at tional problems are created: 1. Corro- After a flange set is installed and
least one of the bolts, has penetrated sive fluid (a major use of lined pipe) fully bolted, the continuity plate
the primer and made contact with is now in contact with and corroding (Figure 4) can be installed using two
bare metal. This was achieved in the the metal pipe wall and at some point, 1/4-in. x 1/2-in. long hex-head screws
past by using star washers on at least depending on rate of corrosion, will and two lock washers. The Continu-
one flange bolt while assuming pos- fail locally and cause fluid to leak to ity Plate has two 0.312-in. slotted
56 Chemical Engineering July 2007

50-57 CHE 7-07.indd 56 6/28/07 8:32:27 PM

boltholes allowing for misalignment sume that all fluid services in lined
and movement. pipe systems are susceptible. In say-
The entire continuity plate assem- ing that, we then have to declare that
bly is relatively simple to install, un- a company’s pipe specifications need
obtrusive and establishes integral to reflect a global resolution that will
contact with the pipeline. affect all installations.
ICG. One of the first options in pre- With regard to ECA, the recommen-
venting internal charge accumulation dation for future installations with
is by minimizing charge generation. the least impact would be to specify
This can be done by adjusting the flow pipe with no prime coat or at least
velocity relative to the liquid’s conduc- no primer on the flanges, or a prime
tivity. To minimize design impact, cost coat using a conductive paint. The un-
and even schedule impact on a project,
ICG needs to be evaluated early in
primed pipe would be primed prior to
installation with care given to primer
the project due to the possibility of a
change in line size.
touchup on flanges after installation.
This would better ensure spool-to-
Inversina –
To retard charge generation by re-
ducing flow velocities, British Stan-
spool external continuity.
For existing installations, either the
the gentle way
dard (BS) suggests the values pre-
sented Table 1 (per BS 5958).
studs or the continuity plate installa-
tion would work. It can also be sug- of mixing.
If velocity reduction is not an op- gested that the continuity plates can
tion, or if further safeguards against be tacked on to one flange rather than The Inversina mixes solids or liquids
charge accumulation are warranted, drilling and tapping both flanges. thoroughly and efficiently. The process
then a mechanical solution to pro- For dissipating ICG, the orifice is clean, because mixing takes place in
vide a path to ground for ICG might plate, as shown in Figure 5, is the only closed containers that can be quickly
be nrcessary. recommendation. ■ interchanged. The Inversina mixes a
One method for conducting charge Edited by Gerald Ondrey diverse range of components rapidly
accumulation from the interior of the
and in an extremely gentle way.
pipe to ground is indicated in Figure 5. References
Segregation does not occur, even
What is shown is an orifice plate made 1. Riedewald, Frank, “Microbial Biofilms
of conductive (static dissipative) mate-
— Are they a problem in the pharmaceuti- after extended mixing times, by virtue
cal industry?”ASME-BPE Symposium, Cork,
rial that is compatible with the fluid Ireland, June 2004. of the eversion phenomenon ( Paul
service. The orifice itself is off center Schatz principle ) .
to the OD of the plate and the pipeline Acknowledgement Applications for the Inversina: analyti-
itself. With the shallow portion of the I wish to thank Earl Lamson, senior project cal labs, metal finishing shops, powder
manager at Eli Lilly and Co., for taking time out
ID at the invert of the pipe, the orifice of a busy schedule to read this article with the metallurgy and nuclear industry,
allows the piping to drain in horizon- same skill, intelligence and insight he brings to
manufacture of batteries, cement,
everything he does. His comments kept me con-
tal runs. cise and on track. ceramics, cosmetics, dental products,
The tab portion of the plate extends diamond tools, dyes and pigments,
beyond the flange OD. On the tab is Author
W. M. (Bill) Huitt has been electrical and electronic devices,
a bolthole for attaching the modified involved in industrial pip- explosives and pyrotechnics, foods,
continuity flange plate. The plate ing design, engineering and
is designed to come in contact with
construction since 1965. homeopathic products, household
Positions have included de-
the interior surface of the liner wall sign engineer, piping design products, medicines and pharmaceu-
instructor, project engineer,
as well as protrude into the flowing project supervisor, pip- ticals, plastics, printing inks and many
fluid to provide a conduit for inter- ing department supervisor, other products. The Bioengineering
engineering manager and
nally generated charge. Continuity is president of W. M. Huitt Co. Inversina is available with capacities
(P.O. Box 31154, St. Louis,
achieved by attaching the plate to the MO 63131-0154. Phone: 314-966-8919; Email: of 2, 20, 50, 100 and 300 L .
flange OD that is in contact with the a piping consulting firm
founded in 1987. His experience covers both the
piping, which is, in turn, grounded engineering and construction fields and crosses
through equipment. industrial lines to include petroleum refining,
chemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, pulp
& paper, nuclear power, and coal gasification.
Recommendations He has written numerous specifications includ-
ing engineering and construction guidelines to Bioengineering, Inc.
It is difficult to pre-determine what ensure that design and construction comply
with code requirements, owner expectations Waltham, MA 02451, USA
fluid services and systems will be and good design practices. Bill is a member of
Bioengineering AG
candidates for charge accumulation ISPE (International Society of Pharmaceutical
prevention and electrostatic dis-
Engineers), CSI (Construction Specifications 8636 Wald, Switzerland
Institute) and ASME (American Society of
charge protection. The simplest and Mechanical Engineers). He is a contributor to
ASME-BPE and sits on two corporate specifica-
most conservative answer is to as- tion review boards.
Circle 44 on p. 82 or go to

50-57 CHE 7-07.indd 57 6/28/07 8:32:49 PM

Feature Report
Engineering Practice

Piping for Process Plants, Part 4:

Codes and Fabrication

William M. Huitt
W.M. Huitt Co.
Besides flanges, there are also several different

his fourth in a series of articles*
on piping for process plants ex- types of joints and welding processes to choose
amines two topics that may, at
first, seem to fall outside the from. Additional decisions involve piping codes
scope of chemical engineering — pip-
ing codes and the pipe fabrication.
Obviously chemical engineers will not sensus standard?” When phrased this (American Soc. for Testing and Mate-
be welding pipes together, but under- way, the question supports the au- rials), International Plumbing Code
standing the benefits and limitations thor’s contention that many engineers and others are not mandatory in and
of different types of welding processes, and designers do not fully understand of themselves. However, federal, state,
for example, can help the engineer the difference between a code and a city and other local codes are manda-
when designing the system that needs standard. And it doesn’t help matters tory. In these municipal codes you will
to be welded. when some standards are published find regulations that establish various
But before we get into fabrication, as a code, and some codes are pub- requirements taken in whole, or in part
a general overview of piping codes is lished as a standard. This is certainly from the standards published by the
presented in order to answer the fol- nothing to get excited about, but it is above listed organizations, and others,
lowing questions: Why is it necessary something worth pointing out. as legally binding requirements. These
to comply with piping codes? What My take on the reason for the mis- standards, as adopted, then become
is the difference between a code and understanding of these two closely re- code, which is enforceable by law.
a concensus standard? Which code lated terms, standard and code, is that When not addressed on a municipal
should I follow? they get bounced around so often in level, but included in corporate speci-
the same context that designers and fications, the standard becomes a legal
PIPING CODE engineers simply begin interchanging code on a contractual basis.
Codes and standards the two terms without much consider- Compliance with these codes, irre-
The querry, “Why do we, as a company, ation for their different meanings. The spective of government regulations or
need to comply with a piping code?” is difference between a standard and a corporate requirements, doesn’t cost
actually a trick question. Code, by defi- code will be explained shortly, but first the builder any more than if it didn’t
nition is law with statutory force. There- lets respond to the first question. comply. It does, however, cost more to
fore the reason for complying with a fabricate and install piping systems
code is because you literally have to, or Why comply? that have a high degree of integrity as
else be penalized for non-compliance. Consensus standards such as those opposed to systems that don’t.
A better question would be, “Why published by ASME (American Soc. Hiring non-certified welders and
comply with or adopt a piping con- of Mechanical Engineering), ANSI plumbers, bypassing inspections, ex-
(American National Standards Inst.), aminations and testing, using material
* Part 1: The Basics, CE February, pp. 42–47; API (Americal Petroleum Inst.), NFPA that may potentially not withstand
Part 2: Flanges, CE March, pp. 56–61; Part 3:
Design Elements, CE July, pp. 50–57) (National Fire Protection Assn.), ASTM service pressures and temperatures,
68 Chemical Engineering October 2007

68-76 CHE 10-07.indd 68 9/29/07 5:38:39 PM

4: and supporting this type of system
with potentially inadequate supports
Those numbers fell off drastically as
the code was adopted. Uniformity and

is less costly initially, but there’s too regulation does have its place.
much at risk. I don’t think anyone in
good conscience would intentionally Which code to follow?
attempt to do something like that in Like the seatbelt law, code compliance
order to save money. is not just the law, it makes good sense.
If anyone intends on fabricating A professional consensus standard is,
and installing a piping system plans very simply put, a code waiting to be
to perform any of the following points, adopted. Take the ASME Boiler and
then they are essentially complying Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC): since
with code: its first publication in 1915 it has been
• Use listed material
• Specify material that meets the re-
adopted by 49 states, all the provinces
of Canada, and accepted by regulatory
quirements for fluid service, pres-
sure and temperature
authorities in over 80 countries.
On May 18, 2005, it was finally ad-
Inversina –
• Inspect the material for MOC (mate-
rial of construction), size and rating
opted by the 50th state, South Caro-
lina. And this doesn’t mean the BPVC
the gentle way
• Use certified welders and plumbers
• Inspect welds and brazing
is adopted in its entirety. A state, or
corporation for that matter, can adopt of mixing.
• Adequately support the pipe a single section or multiple sections
• Test the pipe for tightness of the BPVC, or it can adopt the code The Inversina mixes solids or liquids
The code simply explains how to do in its entirety. Until South Carolina thoroughly and efficiently. The process
each of these activities in a formal, adopted the BPVC, it was actually no is clean, because mixing takes place in
well thought-out manner. more than a standard in that state and closed containers that can be quickly
There is not a reason sufficiently only required compliance when stipu- interchanged. The Inversina mixes a
good enough to not comply with ap- lated in a specification. However, in all diverse range of components rapidly
propriate industry standards and honesty you would not get a U.S. boiler
and in an extremely gentle way.
codes. If there was a fee involved for or pressure vessel manufacturer to by-
Segregation does not occur, even
compliance, this might be a stimulus pass code compliance. That is, unless
for debate. But there is no fee, and you wanted to pay their potential at- after extended mixing times, by virtue
there is usually just too much at stake torneys’ fees. of the eversion phenomenon ( Paul
to ignore them. Even with utility sys- With regard to code compliance, Schatz principle ) .
tems in an administration building or the question often asked is, “How do I Applications for the Inversina: analyti-
an institutional facility, the potential determine which piping code, or stan- cal labs, metal finishing shops, powder
damage from a ruptured pipeline, or dard, I should comply with for my par- metallurgy and nuclear industry,
a slow leak at an untested joint could ticular project?” manufacture of batteries, cement,
easily overshadow any savings gained Determining proper code applica- ceramics, cosmetics, dental products,
in non-compliance. That’s without con- tion is relatively straightforward and diamond tools, dyes and pigments,
sidering the safety risk to personnel. at the same time comes with a certain
electrical and electronic devices,
The first thing that someone should degree of latitude to the owner in mak-
explosives and pyrotechnics, foods,
do, if they are considering to do oth- ing the final determination. In some
erwise, is check local and state codes. cases that determination is made for homeopathic products, household
They may find regulations that require the engineer or contractor at the state products, medicines and pharmaceu-
adherence to ASME, the International level, the local level or by an owner ticals, plastics, printing inks and many
Plumbing Code or some of the other company itself. Providing guidelines other products. The Bioengineering
consensus standards. If not already for code adoption on a project basis is Inversina is available with capacities
included, this should be a requirement direction that should be included in of 2, 20, 50, 100 and 300 L .
within any company’s specifications. any company’s set of specifications,
Finally, it is worth taking a histori- but quite often is not. This can cause a
cal aside to make a point. ASME pub- number of disconnects through design
lished the first edition of the Boiler and construction.
and Pressure Vessel Code in 1914– In order to answer the question
Bioengineering, Inc.
1915. Prior to creation of the code, about code assignment some history
Waltham, MA 02451, USA
and what played a large part in insti- has to be told. In keeping this brief I
Bioengineering AG
gating its creation, was that between will just touch on the high points. In
1870 and 1910 approximately 14,000 1942, ASA B31.1 — American Stan- 8636 Wald, Switzerland
boilers had exploded. Some were dev- dard Code for Pressure Piping was
astating to both people and property. published by the American Standards
Circle 51 on p. 122 or go to

68-76 CHE 10-07.indd 69 9/29/07 5:40:07 PM

Engineering Practice

Association (ASA). This would later Through the years since then they 1942. Its general scope reads: “Rules
change to B31.1 — Power Piping. have created, not necessarily in this for this Code Section have been devel-
In the early 1950’s the decision was order: B31.4 — Liquid Transportation oped considering the needs for appli-
made to create additional B31 Codes Piping; B31.5 — Refrigeration Piping; cations which include piping typically
in order to better define the require- B31.9 — Building Services Piping; found in electric power generating sta-
ments for more specific needs. The and B31.11 — Slurry Transportation tions, in industrial and institutional
first of those Standards was ASA Piping. Each of these standards is con- plants, geothermal heating systems,
B31.8 — Gas Transmission and Dis- sidered a stand-alone section of the and central and district heating and
tribution Piping Systems, which was ASME Code for Pressure Piping, B31. cooling systems.”
published in 1955. In 1959 the first What the B31 committee has ac- The general scope of ASME B31.3
ASA B31.3 — Petroleum Refinery Pip- complished, and is continuing to im- — Process Piping, reads: “Rules for the
ing Standard was published. prove upon, are standards that are Process Piping Code have been devel-
After some reorganization and or- better focused on specific segments of oped considering piping typically found
ganizational name changes the ASA industry. This alleviates the need for a in petroleum refineries, chemical, phar-
became ANSI. Subsequent code revi- designer or constructor building an in- maceutical, textile, paper, semiconduc-
sions were designated as ANSI Codes. stitutional type facility from having to tor and cryogenic plants; and related
In 1978, ASME was granted accredita- familiarize themselves with the more processing plants and terminals.”
tion by ANSI to organize the B31 Com- voluminous B31.3 or even a B31.1. ASME B31.5 — Refrigeration Pip-
mittee as the ASME Code for Pressure They can work within the much less ing, applies to refrigerant and second-
Piping. This changed the code designa- stringent and extensive requirements ary coolant piping systems.
tion to ANSI/ASME B31. of B31.9, a standard created for and Closely related to B31.1, but not
Since 1955 the B31 Committee much more suitable to that type of de- having the size, pressure or tempera-
has continued to categorize, create sign and construction. ture range, B31.9 was first published
and better define code requirements As mentioned above, ASME B31.1 in 1982. It was created to fill the need
for specific segments of the industry. — Power Piping, was first published in for piping in limited service require-
ments. Its scope is narrowly focused
on only those service conditions that
may be required to service the utility
needs of operating a commercial, insti-
tutional or residential building.
From its shear scope of responsibil-
ity, B31.3 encompasses virtually all
piping, including those also covered
by B31.1 (except for boiler external
piping), B31.5 and B31.9. The differ-
ence, and distinction, as to which code
S ince 1956 the employees of Mueller
Steam Specialty have been dedi-
cated to the manufacture of high quality
should apply to a particular project,
lies with the definition and scope of
the project itself.
products delivered on time and with
If a project includes only the instal-
superior customer service. Our core line of
lation of perhaps a refrigeration sys-
rugged strainers is available in a wide
tem, B31.5 would apply. If a project’s
range of types and materials. Whether you
scope of work consists of an office, lab-
require basket strainers, Y strainers,
oratory, research facility, institutional
“Tee” type strainers, duplex strainers, or
facility or any combination thereof,
even temporary strainers, Mueller will
B31.1 or B31.9 and possibly B31.5
deliver your order from stock or custom
would apply. A laboratory or research
engineer and manufacture it to your require-
facility could possibly require fluid
ments. In addition to its strainer line,
services beyond the fluid service lim-
Mueller offers a full line of check valves,
its of B31.9. In that case, B31.3 would
butterfly valves, pump protection and
be adopted for those services.
specialty products for a variety of industries
In the case of a process manufactur-
and applications. Choose Mueller Steam
ing facility, B31.3 would be the govern-
Specialty for your next project.
ing code. Since B31.3 covers all piping,
B31.5 or B31.9 would not need to be
included, not even necessarily with as-
sociated laboratory, office and research
facilities. The only time B31.5 or B31.9
would become governing codes, in as-
Circle 57 on p. 122 or go to
70 Chemical Engineering October 2007

68-76 CHE 10-07.indd 70 9/29/07 5:40:38 PM

should be well defined. prompt the decision as to which type
The final determination of connection to use in the assembly
as to what constitutes a of a piping system. To start with, any
governing code, within mechanical joint is considered a po-
" # $
the purview of the above tential leak point and should be mini-
Figure 1. Problems can arise with a clamped joint mentioned codes, is left mized. Also, the decision as to which
if not properly installed. Overtightening the clamp can to the owner and/or to the type of joint should be specified comes
cause the gasket to intrude into the tubing (A), whereas
undertightening results in pockets where residue can local governing jurisdic- down to accessibility requirements,
accumulate (B). The ideal situation is joint C tion. Engineering specifi- installation requirements and joint
cations should clarify and integrity. Using that as our premise,
sociation with a manufacturing facil- reflect the intent of the owner and the we can continue to discuss the vari-
ity, is if a refrigeration unit, or an of- respective codes in an attempt to pro- ous joining methods.
fice, laboratory and/or research facility vide consistency and direction across
were under a separate design/construct all projects within a company. Threaded joint
contract from the process manufactur- Pipe thread, designated as NPT
ing facility. Or if it was a substantial PIPE FABRICATION (National Pipe Taper) under ASME
part of the overall project. Entering this section on fabrication B1.20.1, is the type of thread used in
As an example, project XYZ consists does not mean that we leave engineer- joining pipe. This is a tapered thread
of a process manufacturing facility, ing behind. Indeed, the majority, if not that, with sealant, allows the threads to
related office building and lab facili- all, fabricators (referring to the fabri- form a leak-tight seal by jamming them
ties. If the utility service piping for the cators that are qualified for heavy in- together as the joint is tightened.
office and lab facilities is a small per- dustrial work) will have an engineer- The same criteria described (in Part
centage of the overall project, and/or ing staff. 2) for the threaded flange joint apply
the design and construction contracts As a project moves from the design also to threaded fittings, in which the
for those facilities are a part of the phase into the construction phase, benefits of the threaded joint is both
overall process manufacturing facility, anyone with a modicum of project ex- in cost savings and in eliminating
all piping, with code exclusions, could perience can acknowledge the fact that the need for welding. In this regard,
be governed by B31.3. there will most certainly be conflicts, threaded components are sometimes
If, however, the office and labora- errors and omissions, no matter how used in high-pressure service in which
tory facilities were a substantial part diligent one thinks he or she is during the operating temperature is ambient.
of the overall project, or they were to design. This is inherent in the meth- They are not suitable where high tem-
go to a separate constructor, it may odology of today’s design/engineering peratures, cyclic conditions or bending
be more beneficial to determine bat- process. Although there are methods stresses can be potential concerns.
tery limits for those facilities and and approaches to design in which
designate anything inside those bat- this expected result can be minimized, Hygienic clamp joint
tery limits as B31.1 or B31.9 and/or it is always prudent to be prepared for The clamped joint refers to the sanitary
B31.5. In such a case, separate pipe such errors and omissions. or hygienic clamp (Figure 1). Three in-
specifications may have to be issued If, on the other hand, the assump- stalled conditions of the hygienic joint,
for those portions of the project des- tion is made that the Issued for Con- minus the clamp are presented in Fig-
ignated as being governed by B31.9. struction design drawings will facili- ure 1. Joint A represents a clamp con-
This is due to the range of fluid ser- tate fabrication and installation with nection that has been over tightened
vices and the corresponding pressure minimal problems, then you can ex- causing the gasket to intrude into the
and temperature limits of B31.9 com- pect to compound whatever problems inner diameter (ID) of the tubing. This
pared to those of B31.3. These differ- do occur because you weren’t prepared creates a damming effect, preventing
ences in code assignment and battery to handle them. The greatest asset a the system from completely draining.
limits may be a driver for the project’s project manager can have is the abil- In joint B, the clamp wasn’t tight-
contracting strategy. ity to learn from past experience and ened enough and left a recess at the
Many piping service requirements, the talent to put into practice what he gasket area. This creates a pocket
such as steam, air, chilled water and or she has learned. where residue can accumulate, so
so on, can come under the auspices of Pipe fabrication, in the context of cleanability becomes an issue.
multiple codes. These fluid services, this article, is defined as the construc- Joint C represents a joint in which
which fall within the definition of tion of piping systems by forming and the proper torque was applied to the
B31.3 Category D fluid services, can assembling pipe and components with clamp leaving the ID of the gasket
just as easily fall within the require- the use of flanged, threaded, clamped, flush with the ID of the tubing.
ments of B31.1 or B31.9 as well. In an grooved, crimped and welded joints. The clamp C representation is the
effort at maintaining a high degree of In Part 2 of this series, we dis- result that we want to achieve with
continuity in the process of making cussed the flange joint; the others the hygienic clamp. The problem is
the determination of which code to will be discussed here. There are var- that this is very difficult to control on
apply to a project, company guidelines ious factors, or considerations, that a repeatable basis. Even when the gas-
Chemical Engineering October 2007 71

68-76 CHE 10-07.indd 71 9/29/07 5:41:06 PM

Engineering Practice
ket and ferrules are initially lined up ing on acceptable gasket materials
with proper assembly and torque on that have reduced creep relaxation
the joint, some gasket materials have factors, as well as compression con-
a tendency to creep (creep relaxation), trolled gasket designs.
or cold flow. What is meant by acceptable gasket
Creep relaxation is defined as: A material is a gasket that is not only #PMUOVU
transient stress-strain condition in compatible with the hygienic fluid ser-
which strain increases concurrently vice, but also meets certain U.S. FDA
with the decay of stress. More simply (or comparable) requirements. Those
put, it is the loss of tightness in a gas- requirements include gasket material Figure 2. When properly supported,
the grooved joint can perform as well as
ket, measurable by torque loss. that complies with USP Biological Re- a flanged joint
Cold flow is defined as: Permanent activity Test #87 & 88 Class VI for Plas-
and continual deformation of a ma- tics and FDA CFR Title 21 Part 177. allowable at the coupling. This stress
terial that occurs as a result of pro- can be alleviated with proper support.
longed compression or extension at or Grooved joint Because of this design characteristic, the
near room temperature. The grooved joint (Figure 2), from a static manufacturers of grooved joint systems
There have been a number of both internal-pressure-containment stand- have focused their efforts and created a
gasket and fitting manufacturers point, is as good as or, in some cases, niche in the fire-protection and utility-
that have been investing a great deal superior to the ASME Class 150 flange fluid service requirements, with the ex-
of research in attempting to resolve joint. In the smaller sizes (1 to 4 in.), the ception of steam and steam condensate.
this issue with the clamp joint. Some working pressure limit will be equal to The grooved joint is comparatively
of the solutions regarding fittings that of a Class 300, carbon-steel, ASTM easy to install, which is particularly
were addressed in Part 2 of this se- A105, ASME B16.5 flange. important in areas that would require
ries. Additionally, gasket manufac- The main weakness of the grooved a fire card for welding. Since no weld-
turers and others have been work- joint is the bending and torsional stress ing is required, modifications can be
made while operation continues. Some
contractors choose to couple at every

F REE T RIALS joint and fitting, while others choose
to selectively locate couplings, much
as you would selectively locate a flange

MAX ® 5000
joint in a system. It’s a decision that
24-H OUR should be made based on the particu-
lar requirements or preference of a
project or facility.

The pressed joint (Figure 3) is actually
(800) 528.7411
(602) 470.1414
ANALYZER a system that uses thin wall pipe, up
through 2-in. NPT, to enable the join-
ing of pipe and fittings with the use
O NE S IMPLE T EST FOR of a compression tool. Welding is not
required, and threading is only neces-
M OISTURE , S OLIDS AND A SH sary when required for instrument or
equipment connection.
These types of systems are available
ESULTS IN M INUTES from various manufacturers in carbon
steel, 316 and 304 stainless steel and
N O H AZARDOUS C HEMICALS OR R EAGENTS copper. Because of the thin wall pipe,
corrosion allowance becomes a big
600°C consideration with carbon steel.
COME VISIT US AT: While the static internal pressure
rating of these systems is comparable
NEW YORK, NY to an ASME Class 150 flange joint,
BOOTH #943 there are additional fluid-service and
OCT. 30-NOV. 1, 2007
installation characteristics that need
to be considered. With axial and tor-
sional loading being the weak spots in
where water hammer is a potential,
Circle 52 on p. 122 or go to
72 Chemical Engineering October 2007

68-76 CHE 10-07.indd 72 9/29/07 5:41:36 PM


(tungsten inert gas); SMAW GMAW process is better used indoors
(shielded metal arc welding) or or in an area protected from the wind.
MMA (manual metal arc) or stick If the shielding gas is disturbed, the
welding; and FCAW (flux cored weld area can be affected.
automatic welding). GTAW: Most often referred to as TIG,
PMUOVU *OTFSUJPO 1BUFOUFE GMAW: Often referred to as MIG, welding, GTAW can be automatic or
NBSL #FBE )PVTJOH 1SFTTGJUUPPM GMAW can be an automatic or manual. It uses a nonconsumable
&YBHHFSBUFEGPSDMBSJUZ semi-automatic welding process. tungsten electrode to make the weld
It is a process by which a shield- (Figure 4b), which can be done with
Figure 3. Welding is not required for the ing gas and a continuous, consum- filler metal or without filler metal
pressed joint, but corrosion can be an issue able wire electrode is fed through (autogenous). The TIG process is more
due to the thin walls
the same gun (Figure 4a). The exacting, but also more complex and
such as in steam-condensate service. shielding gas is an inert or semi-inert slower than MIG welding.
The axial load consideration carries gas such as argon or CO2 that protects In Part 2 of this series, the use of
over to supporting the pipe as well. the weld area from atmospheric gases, orbital welding was mentioned for
Ensure that vertical runs of this pipe which can detrimentally affect the hygienic tube welding. Orbital weld-
are supported properly from beneath. weld area. ing uses the GTAW method. Once the
Do not allow joints in vertical runs to There are four commonly used orbital welder is programmed for the
be under tension. They must be sup- methods of metal transfer used in material it is welding, it will provide
ported properly from the base of the GMAW. They are: excellent welds on a consistent basis
vertical run. • globular — provided, that is, that the chemistry
• short-circuiting of the base material is within allow-
Welded joint • spray able ranges.
The welded joint is by far the most in- • pulsed-spray A wide differential in sulfur content
tegrated and secure joint you can have. With the use of a shielding gas, the between the two components being
When done properly, a welded joint is
as strong as the pipe itself. The key
to a weld’s integrity lies in the crafts-
manship of the welder or welding op-
erator, the performance qualification A d v a n c e d P r o c e s s S o l u t i o ns
of the welder or welding operator, and LEADING WORLDWIDE IN MIXING TECHNOLOGIES
the weld procedure specification.
Before going further, I want to ex-
plain the difference between the
terms welder and welding operator. A
welder is someone who welds by hand,
or manually. A welding operator is
someone who operates an automatic
welding machine. The ends of the pipe The EKATO GROUP provides their customers with the technical excellence and
still have to be prepared and aligned experience of a global market leader. The companies within the EKATO GROUP
manually, and the automatic welding operate across the spectrum of mixing technologies.
machine has to be programmed.
The advantage of machine welding
is apparent in doing production welds.
This is shop welding in which there
is a quantity of welds to be made on
the same material type, wall thick-
ness and nominal pipe size. Once the From simple laboratory mixers to turnkey production plants, the EKATO GROUP provides a range of
machine is set up for a run of typical engineering services and custom-made solutions for the most challenging customer applications. The
synergies within the EKATO GROUP ensure that reliable and cost-effective solutions can be provided
pipe like this, it is very efficient and
to the highest quality standards for every application. This is supported by a global service network.
consistent in its weld quality.
This is another topic that could
easily stand alone as an article, but
instead, here we will focus on some
of the primary types of welding used Your contact in Europe
Tel.: +49 7622 29-0
GROUP Your contact in the USA
Tel.: +1 201 825 4684
with pipe. Those types include the fol-
lowing: GMAW (gas metal arc weld- e-mail: e-mail:

ing) or MIG (metal inert gas); GTAW

(gas tungsten arc welding) or TIG
Circle 58 on p. 122 or go to
Chemical Engineering October 2007 73

68-76 CHE 10-07.indd 73 9/29/07 5:42:12 PM

, "   / , /  " Ê
Engineering Practice (BTOP[[MF 1 / ,    / , /  " Ê
FMFDUSPEF UVCF  "   / , /  " ÊÊ
Figure 4. Gas metal arc welding TIJFME 8FME
(GMAW; top) uses a shielding gas to 1BSFOU 8FME "SD
protect the weld area from atmospheric NFUBM QPPM
gases. Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW;
center) is more exacting than GTAW, but

also more complex and slower. Shielded
metal arc welding (SMAW; bottom) is the
most common form of welding. SMAW
is performed manually, whereas GMAW /P[[MF
and SMAW can be either performed
manually or by an automated system
joined can cause the weld to drift
into the high sulfur side. This can
cause welds to be rejected due to
lack of full penetration.
SMAW: Also referred to as MMA
welding, or just simply stick weld- 1BSFOUQMBUF 8FMEQPPM
ing, SMAW is the most common
form of welding used. It is a manual $POTVNBCMF 4c.
form of welding that uses a consum-
able electrode, which is coated with 'MVYDPWFSJOH
a flux (Figure 4c). As the weld is &WPMWFEHBTTIJFME
being made, the flux breaks down to 4MBH NFUBM
form a shielding gas that protects 8FMENFUBM 8FME
the weld from the atmosphere. QPPM
The SMAW welding process is ver-
satile and simple, which allows it to be
the most common weld done today.
FCAW: Flux cored arc welding is a semi- Hygenic fabrication
automatic or automatic welding process. Hygienic and semiconductor pipe
It is similar to MIG welding, but the fabrication uses automatic autog-
continuously fed, consumable wire has enous welding in the form of orbital
a flux core. The flux provides the shield- welding. This is a weld without the
ing gas that protects the weld area from use of filler metal. It uses the orbital
the atmosphere during welding. welding TIG process. In some cases,
hand welding is required, but this is
Welding pipe kept to a minimum, and will gener- œÀʓœÀiÊ̅>˜Ê{Ê`iV>`iÃʘœÜÊÜiʅ>ÛiÊLii˜Ê
The majority of welds you will see in ally require pre-approval. ܜÀŽˆ˜}ÊÛiÀÞÊÃÕVViÃÃvՏÞʜ˜Ê̅iÊ`iÛiœ«“i˜ÌÊ
pipe fabrication will be full-penetra- When fabricating pipe for hygienic
tion circumferential buttwelds, fillet services it will be necessary to com-
œ˜}‡ÃÌ>˜`ˆ˜}Ê iÝ«iÀˆi˜ViÊ ˆÃÊ iÃÃi˜Ìˆ>Ê vœÀÊ ÕðÊ
welds or a combination of the two. ply with, not only a specific method of ÌʈÃʘœÌʜ˜ÞÊ>˜Êˆ˜`ˆÃ«i˜Ã>LiÊVœÕ˜ÌiÀ«>ÀÌÊ̜Ê
The circumferential buttwelds are welding, but also an extensive amount œÕÀÊ«ÀœviÃȜ˜>ÊVœ“«iÌi˜ViÊLÕÌÊ>ÃœÊ̅iʎiÞÊ
the welds used to weld two pipe ends of documentation. Developing and ̜ʫÀœÛˆ`ˆ˜}ÊޜÕÊ܈̅ʫÀœ`ÕVÌÃʜvÊ̅iʅˆ}…iÃÌÊ
together or other components with maintaining the required documenta- µÕ>ˆÌÞÊ>˜`ʓ>݈“Õ“Ê«iÀvœÀ“>˜Vi°
buttweld ends. Fillet welds are used tion for hygienic pipe fabrication and
at socketweld joints and at slip-on installation can add an additional 30 Please visit us at the Chem Show. Booth #431
flanges. Welds in which a combination to 40% to the piping cost of a project.
of the buttweld and fillet weld would The documentation needed, from
be used would be at a stub-in joint or the fabrication effort for validation,
a similar joint. may include, but is not limited to:
A stub-in joint (not to be confused 1. Incoming material examination
with a stub-end) is a connection in reports
which the end of a pipe is welded to 2. Material certification: 
," 9 Ê
the longitudinal run of another pipe a. MTRs /
 "" -Ê

(Figure 5). Depending on what the de- b. Certification of compliance *°Ê"°Ê œÝʙnÓș
sign conditions are, this can be a re- 3. Weld-gas certification ,>iˆ}…]Ê
inforced connection or an unreinforced 4. Signature logs *…œ˜iÊää£Ê‡Ê™£™Ê‡ÊÎ{£‡x™ÎÈ
connection. The branch connection can 5. WPQs (welder and welding opera ˆ˜vœJ“ˆVÀœ`ޘ‡˜>`ˆÀ°Vœ“
be at 90 deg. or less from the longitu- tor performance qualification) 777°
," 9 ‡  ,°
dinal pipe run. 6. Welder and welding operator Circle 53 on p. 122 or go to

55,6x254_baer_engl.indd 2 16.02.2007 9:35:54 Uhr

68-76 CHE 10-07.indd 75 9/29/07 5:42:58 PM


Engineering Practice
5S 5I
5I 5I UD


Figure 5. Stub-in joint connections, such as the three samples shown here, are
used for welding the end of a pipe to the longitudinal run of another pipe

inspection summary imperative it is that all necessary
7. Mechanical and electropolishing documentation be identified up front.
procedures It needs to be procured throughout the

8. Examiner qualification process and assimilated in a turnover
9. Inspector qualification (TO) package in a manner that makes
10. Welder qualification summary it relatively easy to locate needed
11. Gage calibration certifications information while also allowing the

Scalable 12. Weld continuity report

13. WPSs (weld procedure specifica-
14. PQRs (procedure qualification
information to be cross indexed and
traceable within the TO package.
The term validation is a broad, gener-
alized, self-defining term that includes
Why is CADWorx one of the fastest record) the act of commissioning and qualifica-
growing and most productive plant 15. Weld coupon log tion. Commissioning and qualification,
design suites on the market? 16. Weld maps while they go hand in hand, are two
17. Slope maps activities that are essentially distinct
Because it has all the tools to produce
18. Weld logs within themselves.  n
intelligent plant designs, including:
19. Leak test reports Edited by Gerald Ondrey
• Piping 20. Inspection reports
• Steel
• Cable trays/ducting
21. Passivation records Acknowledgement:
• Collision detection 22. Detail mechanical layouts The author wishes to thank Earl Lamson, senior
project manager with Eli Lilly and Company, for
• Equipment 23. Technical specifications for com- being kind enough in taking time out of a busy
• Bills of material ponents schedule to read through the draft of this article.
Earl has a remarkable set of project and engi-
• Isometrics 24. As-built isometrics neering skills that set him apart from many I
• Flow schematics 25. Original IFC isometrics have worked with. That and the fact that I value
• Instrument loop diagrams his opinion are the reasons I asked him to review
26. Documentation recording any this article.
• Bi-directional links to analysis programs
• Walkthrough and visualization
 changes from IFC to as-built
CADWorx delivers! The above listed documentation,
©2007 COADE, Inc. Autodesk, the Autodesk logo, and AutoCAD are registered trademarks of Autodesk, Inc.

which closely parallels the list in

Contact us to find out how you can W. M. (Bill) Huitt has been
improve your design efficiency. ASME-BPE, is that which is generally involved in industrial pip-
required to move an installed hygienic ing design, engineering and
construction since 1965.
system through validation, commis- Positions have included de-
sign engineer, piping design
sioning and qualification (C&Q). And instructor, project engineer,
this isn’t all that’s required. There is project supervisor, pip-
ing department supervisor,
additional supporting documentation engineering manager and
such as P&ID’s, procedural documents, president of W. M. Huitt Co.
(P.O. Box 31154, St. Louis,
and so on, which are also required. De- MO 63131-0154. Phone: 314-966-8919; Email:
pending on the size and type of a proj- a piping consulting firm
founded in 1987. His experience covers both the
Plant Focused. ect it can be a massive undertaking. If engineering and construction fields and crosses
industrial lines to include petroleum refining,
not properly set up and orchestrated,
Industry Driven. SM

it can become a logistical nightmare.

chemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, pulp
& paper, nuclear power, and coal gasification.
He has written numerous specifications includ-
What you do not want to do is dis- ing engineering and construction guidelines to
cover during C&Q that you are miss- ensure that design and construction comply
+1 281-890-4566 • with code requirements, owner expectations
ing a portion of the required documen- and good design practices. Huitt is a member
tation. Resurrecting this information of ISPE (International Society of Pharmaceu- is labor intensive and can delay a
tical Engineers), CSI (Construction Specifica-
tions Institute) and ASME (American Society
DOWNLOAD FREE DEMO of Mechanical Engineers). He is a contributor
project’s turnover significantly. I can- to ASME-BPE and sits on two corporate speci-
Circle 54 on p. 122 or go to not stress strongly enough just how fication review boards.
76 Chemical Engineering October 2007

68-76 CHE 10-07.indd 76 9/29/07 5:44:00 PM

Feature Report
Engineering Practice

Piping Design Part 5:

Installation and Cleaning
These practical guidelines for deciding
which installation procedure to follow, and for
cleaning a new pipeline system can prevent
problems from happening during startup
W. M. Huitt
W. M. Huitt Co.

his fifth in a series of articles ity while doing so — it would
[1–4] on piping design discusses make sense to do it in that
the practical issues of installa- manner. However, before mak-
tion and cleaning. ing that final decision, let’s
look at some of the pros and
PIPE INSTALLATION cons of field fabrication:
The installation of pipe follows its fab- Pros:
rication and is very frequently a part • Only raw material (pipe, fit-
of it. The installation of pipe can be tings, valves and so on) need to be Cons:
accomplished in the following four pri- shipped to the site location. Such • Weather is arguably the biggest
mary ways, or combinations thereof: materials are much easier to handle deterrent. If the facility under con-
1. Field fabricate and install and store than multi-plane configu- struction is not enclosed, then pro-
2.Shop fabricate and field erected rations of pre-fabricated pipe tection from the elements will have
3. Skid fabrication, assembly and in- • No time-consuming need to carefully to be provided
stallation crib, tie-down and chock pre-fabri- • When welding has to be done in con-
4.Modular construction cated spool* pieces for transport to ditions that are not environmentally
the job site controlled, then pre-heating will be
Field fabricate and install • Reduced risk of damage to spool required if the ambient temperature
In the first method, the pipe is fabri- pieces (not the metal surface temperature)
cated onsite, either in place or in seg- • More efficient opportunity to fabri- is 0°F or below
ments, at an onsite field-fabrication cate around unexpected obstacles • In a new facility, as opposed to hav-
area and then erected. A number of (structural steel, duct, cable tray, ing to route piping through an
factors will dictate whether or not it and so on) array of poorly located existing pipe
is feasible to field fabricate, includ- • Fabricate-as-you-install reduces and equipment, field fabrication of
ing the following: the size and type the rework risk assumed when buttwelded pipe is not as efficient
of the project; pipe size and material; pre-fabricating spools, or the cost and cost effective as shop fabrication
the facility itself; weather conditions; related to field verification prior to • There may be concerns about safety
availability of qualified personnel; ex- shop fabrication and efficiency when working in a
isting building operations; cleanliness • The field-routing installation of pipe facility while it is in operation in
requirements; and time available to through an array of insufficiently advance of a turnaround or to begin
do the work. documented locations of existing pipe advance work on a plant expansion
Efficiency, quality and safety are and equipment, on a retrofit project, Generally speaking, threaded, sock-
the imperatives that are factored in is quite frequently more effective etweld, grooved, and other propri-
when considering field fabrication. than attempting to pre-fabricate pipe etary-type joints that do not require
And cost is the fallout of those factors. based on dimensional assumptions buttwelding are field fabricated and
Logistically speaking, if all pipe could *Spool pieces are the pre-fabricated sections of installed. Buttwelding of small, 1
be fabricated onsite in a safe and ef- pipe that are fabricated and numbered in the 1/2-in. NPS and less, are very often
shop, then shipped to the job site for installa-
ficient manner — maintaining qual- tion. field fabricated and installed because

17_CHE_041508_EP_GSO.indd 48 3/24/08 7:42:52 AM

of the added risk of installed location of the pipe assembly tory-acceptance testing (FAT) at the
damage during trans- itself. Odds are that all equipment and fabricator’s facility. The skid is then
port, in pre-fabricated piping will not be installed exactly shipped to the job site where it is in-
form, from the shop to where indicated on design drawings. stalled in its final location. After in-
the site. The dimensional location of the stallation it would typically go through
equipment items given on design a follow-up site-acceptance test (SAT),
Shop fabricate drawings is not a finite location, it is including additional hydrotesting.
and install merely an intended location, as are This is basically a system shake-down
Shop fabrication refers dinensional locations on drawings for to determine that everything is intact,
to, generally speaking, building steel, pipe supports and oth- and that those things that did not re-
any pipe, fittings and ers. What factors into the installation main intact during transport are dis-
components that are of shop-fabricated pipe is the actual covered and repaired.
assembled by welding location of the equipment nozzle it Logistics and the necessary skill set
into spool assemblies will be connecting to in relation to the required for the installation, connec-
at the fabricator’s fa- pipe’s installed location. tion and startup of a particular skid
cility. The spools are In connecting to equipment there is package will dictate to what extent
then labeled with an a build-up, or stack-up, of tolerances the skid fabricator will be involved
identifier and trans- that will effectively place the actual, after it is shipped to the job site.
ported to the job site or final, location of the nozzle at some
for installation. point in three-dimensional space, other Modular construction
Each spool piece than where the design drawing indi- The term module or modular construc-
needs its own identifier cates. The tolerance stack-up results tion is quite often, in this context, inter-
marked on the piece from the following circumstances: changed with the term skid fabrication.
itself in some fashion • Manufacturing tolerances in mate- A module can refer to pre-fabricated
that will make it easy rial forming, nozzle location, and units that actually form the structure
to know where its desti- vessel support location of a facility as each is installed. Or, the
nation is in the facility • The actual set-in-place location of units may be smaller sub-assemblies
and where it belongs in the vessel that, when combined, make up a com-
a multi-spool system of • Load cell installation (when appli- plete process or utility system.
pipe. This will allow the installer to ef- cable) Modules also consist of all or some of
ficiently stage the piece and ready it • The actual set-in-place pipe run- the following: vessels, rotating equip-
for installation. up location ment, piping, automation components,
As part of the process of developing In order to allow for these inevitable HVAC, instrumentation, electrical wir-
spool sections, field-welded joints need deviations between the drawing di- ing and connectors, framework, walls,
to be designated. These are welded mensions used to fabricate the vessel, architectural components, lighting,
joints that connect the pre-fabricated set the vessel and install the pipe as- supports, inline piping components,
spools. In doing this the designer or sembly and the actual installed loca- and insulation. This, as an example,
fabricator will identify two different tion of the connecting points, a field- allows a complete locker-room module
types of field-welded joints: field weld closure piece, or two, will be required to be placed and connected to a com-
(FW) and field closure weld (FCW). for that final adjustment. plete water-treatment module.
FW indicates a joint in which the The field-closure piece is a designated The smaller sub-assembly modules,
end of a pipe segment is prepared for section of the pipe assembly in which a in many cases, are interchanged with
the installer to set in place and weld to field-closure weld has been indicated. the term skid. Misconception can be
its connecting joint without additional avoided when a company defines these
modification in the field. This means Skid (super skid) fabrication terms, both for internal discussion
that the length of pipe that is joined A skid is a pre-packaged assembly that and for the purpose of making it clear
to another in the field is cut precisely may contain all or some of the follow- to outside contractors, as to what is
to length and the end prepared in the ing that make up an operating system: meant when using the term module.
shop for welding. vessels, rotating equipment, piping,
FCW provides the installer with an automation components, operator in- Installation approach
additional length of pipe, usually 4 terfaces, instrumentation, gages, elec- Now that we have a general idea of
to 6 in. longer than what is indicated trical panels, wiring and connectors, the four primary approaches to piping
on the design drawings, to allow for framework, supports, inline piping installations how do we decide which
field adjustment. components, and insulation. A single is the best method, or combination of
What has to be considered, and what process or utility system may fit onto methods, to use for a particular proj-
prompts the need for a FCW, is the ac- one skid or, depending on size re- ect? Each project is unique with its
tual, as-installed, location of both the straints, may comprise multiple skids. own particular set of decision drivers
fixed equipment that the pipe assem- After fabrication of a skid is com- with regard to a selected execution
blies may connect to and the actual plete, it will typically go through fac- approach. There are no hard and fast

17_CHE_041508_EP_GSO.indd 49 3/19/08 1:05:20 PM

Engineering Practice

rules for determining a best approach. ity control aspect, better equipment The clean-build philosophy, there-
It requires experienced personnel to (generally speaking), a routine meth- fore, dictates more stringent and strict
assign values to the various aspects of odology of how a piece of work pro- requirements for controlling and in-
project execution, overlay a timeline, gresses through the shop, and better specting for debris on an ongoing basis
and then assess logistics. It sounds control, through a developed routine throughout construction and startup.
simple, but in actuality can be a very of required documentation. It will be necessary, on a clean-build
complex process. Industry: The various sectors of the site, to adhere to the following rather
Therefore, the following is a guide- chemical process industries (CPI) can simple rules:
line and not a hard and fast set of rules. be grouped into two categories: clean/ • Smoking or smokeless tobacco prod-
There are simply too many project vari- indoor build and non-clean/outdoor ucts of any kind are not allowed on
ables and complexities otherwise. build. Realizing that there will be the site property
When considering an approach, exceptions to this generalization, we • Provide for offsite break and lunch
keep in mind that the method of in- can include in the clean/indoor built areas; no food or drink, other than
stallation needs to be weighed against category: pharmaceutical, biophar- water, are allowed on the site
a contractor’s preferred methodology. maceutical, semiconductor and food premises
This does not imply that the contrac- and dairy. Under non-clean/outdoor • Do not begin installing pipe, duct or
tor’s preferred methodology should build we can include: petroleum refin- equipment until, at the very least, a
drive your decision on how to execute ing; bulk chemicals; pulp and paper; roof is installed
a job. On the contrary, once you deter- off-shore; pipeline (oil and gas); and • After roof and walls are installed,
mine how the job needs to be executed, power generation. ensure that there is no standing
then look to only those contractors The clean-build philosophy comes water remaining in the facility
whose preferred methodology agrees from the need to construct certain fa- • Prior to and during the construc-
with your project execution plans. cilities with a more stringent control tion of hollow walls, such as those
Some contractors prefer to do most, on construction debris. Those indus- framed and dry-walled, ensure on a
if not all, fabrication in the shop, oth- tries included in this category often re- daily basis that there is no moisture
ers prefer to set up at the job site, quire a facility — at least a portion of a or debris in the wall cavity
while others are flexible enough to facility — to be microbial and particu- • Duct work delivered to the job site
utilize the best of both methods. late free, as stipulated by the design. shall have the ends covered with a
The three main criteria discussed There can be no debris, organic or plastic sheet material, which shall
above — efficiency, quality and safety inorganic, remaining after construc- remain on the ends until connected
— would apply here as well. Using tion in accessible or inaccessible in place
these three elements as a basis for spaces of the facility. Of particular • Fabricated pipe delivered to the job
making a determination, let us look at concern with pharmaceutical, bio- site shall have the ends covered in a
some common variables. pharm and food-and-dairy facilities suitable fashion with suitable ma-
Environment: The environment is are food waste and hidden moisture. terial, and the cover shall remain
only a factor when work has to be Food waste can entice and support ro- on the ends until pipe is ready to be
done in an open-air structure or other dents and insects, and hidden mois- connected in place
outdoor installation (such as tank ture can propagate mold, which can • During and after flushing and test-
farm, pipeline, pipe rack or yard pip- eventually become airborne. If these ing of pipelines, all water spills
ing). Working in an open-air structure intruders are not discovered until the shall be controlled to the extent
will require protection from the ele- facility is in operation, the impact, possible and shall be cleaned after
ments (such as rain, snow, wind and upon discovery, can potentially be each flushing and testing or at the
cold). In addition, there may also be a devastating to production. end of the work day
requirement to work in elevated areas Such contamination can be found
with the use of scaffolding. All of this in one of two ways. Discovery at the Type of project
can have a potential impact on safety source, possibly behind a wall or some While the type of project is not the
and efficiency. other out-of-the-way place, means that main influence in determining how
Pipe-rack installation consists not only does current production have you approach the execution of a proj-
mainly of straight runs of pipe, and to cease, but product will have to be an- ect, it does play a key role. It will help
will not necessarily have a require- alyzed for possible contamination. Once drive the decision as to how the piping
ment or need for pre-fabrication. found, it then has to be remediated. should be fabricated and installed.
That is, unless it is pre-fabricated as The other method of discovery For example, if the project is a ret-
modular-skid units. Depending on the comes from the continuous testing rofit, it will require much of the pipe,
project, it could be cost effective on an and validation of the product stream. regardless of size and joint connec-
overall strategic basis to modularize If a contaminant is discovered in tion, to be field fabricated and in-
the pipe rack, steel and all. the product, the production line is stalled. This is due simply to the fact
The big advantage to shop fabrica- stopped, and the problem becomes an that the effort and cost necessary to
tion is the controlled environment in investigation into finding the source verify the location of all existing pipe,
which it’s done. This includes the qual- of the contamination. equipment, walls, columns, duct and
50 Chemical Engineering April 2008

17_CHE_041508_EP_GSO.indd 50 3/19/08 1:06:21 PM

Size (in.) Material Joint Shop or field
≤1½ Pipe 1, 2, 3, 6 Field
≤1½ Pipe 4&5 Shop
≥2 Pipe 3&6 Field
≥2 Pipe 4&5 Shop
so on, in a somewhat precise
≤1 Tubing 5 Field
manner, would not be very
≤1 Tubing 5 Shop (a, b)
practical. You would be bet-
≥1½ Tubing 5 Shop
ter served by field verifying
Joint Type:
the approximate location of 1 = Socketweld
the above items with existing 23 == Threaded
Grooved – Fully (Grooved fittings and pipe ends.)
drawings, for planning and 4 = Grooved – Partially (Shop-welded spools with grooved
logistic purposes, then shop 5 = ends.) Buttweld
or field fabricate, verify and 6 = Flanged – Lined or unlined Pipe
install as you go. a. Hygienic tubing
A fast track project, one that b. Special cribbing and support for transport
has a compressed schedule,
will require parallel activities where to a minimum at the job site is not
possible. Shop and skid fabrication an absolute, but is one of the key con-
would be utilized as much as possible siderations to the efficiency of pipe
simply to expend more man-hours installation. Following that logic,
over a shorter time period while at- most of the buttwelded pipe should
tempting to maintain efficiency, even be shop fabricated. A couple of things
though there may be added cost to to consider, when determining which
this approach. This approach is time buttwelded pipe to shop fabricate, are
driven and not budgetary driven. size and material.
A new grassroots facility still re-
quires routing verification as you go, Pipe material and size range
but certainly not the much-more in- Shop-fabricated spools need to be
volved need to locate previously in- transported to the job site, which re-
stalled obstructions that is necessary quires handling. Handling and trans-
when working with an existing facility. porting small diameter pipe and thin-
If the project is a clean-build project wall tubing spools create the potential
inside an environmentally controlled for damage to those spools.
area, it will be more practical to shop If you are shop fabricating every-
fabricate or utilize skid or modular fab- thing and the distance from shop to
rication for most, if not all of the piping. site is across town, the risk to dam-
This will reduce the number of person- aging small-diameter pipe spools is a
nel and the amount of fabrication de- great deal less than if they have to be
bris in the facility, and provide better shipped halfway across the U.S., Eu-
control for keeping it out of the pipe rope or Asia, or even across an ocean.
itself. With personnel, you could have In transporting spools over long
food wrappers, drink cans and bottles, distances, unless there is a great deal
food waste, and clothing items. Fabrica- of thought and care given to cribbing
tion debris could include metal filings, the load of spools, it may not be ben-
cutting oil, pieces of pipe, weld-rod and eficial to transport buttwelded pipe
weld-wire remnants, and so on. spools NPS 1 1/2 in. and less. It may be
If the project is not a clean-build, but more practical to fabricate these sizes
is still inside an environmentally con- on site, unless you are fabricating hy-
trolled facility, the same logic does not gienic or semiconductor piping; these
necessarily apply. The decision to shop types of systems require a great deal
fabricate and install or to field fabri- more control and a cleaner fabrication,
cate and install becomes one based meaning that pipe fabrication will re-
on efficiency rather than how best to quire a clean shop area onsite, or the
maintain a clean area. But that’s not to pipe will need to be fabricated at an
say that if it doesn’t qualify as a clean- offsite, better controlled shop facility.
build project then the construction de- A practical rule of thumb in deter-
bris can just be allowed to pile up. mining what to fabricate in the shop
There is still safety and efficiency or in the field is provided in Table 1.
to consider on any project, and a clean Dictates of the project and a contrac-
job site is a major part of that. Main- tors’ standard operating proceedures
taining a clean job site is an integral will determine how best to define
component of good project execution. what is shop fabricated and what is
Keeping personnel and equipment field fabricated.
Circle 30 on p. 76 or go to

17_CHE_041508_EP_GSO.indd 51 3/24/08 8:20:06 AM

Table 2. General cleaning scenarios
Category Description
Engineering Practice C-1 Flush only (water, air or inert gas)
C-2 Flush, clean with cleaning solution, flush
C-3 Clean with cleaning solution, flush
Petroleum-refining and bulk-chem- of trained and expe- C-4 Flush, clean, passivate, flush
ical projects are generally open-air rienced craftsman for
projects in which field fabrication that industry, but may Table 3. General Leak Testing Scenarios
and installation of pipe are exposed not find resources ad- Category Description
to the elements. While a clean build equate when building T-1 Initial service leak test
is not a requirement on these types a chemical plant. T-2 Hydrostatic leak test
T-3 Pneumatic leak test
of projects efficiency and, above all, Building a project in
T-4 Sensitive leak test
safety are. Because of this, it would a remote location re-
make sense to utilize shop fabrication quires the project team T-5 Alternative leak test
as much as possible. to rethink the job-as-
Fabricating pipe spools under better- usual methodology. From a logistics Flushing. This is a process by which
controlled shop conditions will provide standpoint, mobilization of personnel water, air or an inert gas is forced
improved efficiency and safer-per-hour and material become a major factor through a piping system either in
working conditions over what you will in determining the overall execution preparation for chemical cleaning or
generally find in the field. This trans- of such a project. Project planning is as the only cleaning process. Flushing
lates into fewer accidents. a big component in project execution, can be accomplished by using dynamic
Referring back to Table 1, with but is more so when attempting to pressure head or released static pres-
respect to the potential for damage build in remote areas. And this doesn’t sure head, as in a fill-and-dump proce-
during transport, pipe sizes NPS 2–3 even touch on the security aspect. dure. Blow-down can be considered as
in. and larger ship much better than Nowadays, when constructing in flushing with a gas.
smaller pipe sizes, particularly when any number of remote areas, security Passivation. In this process, a chemi-
working with thin-wall tubing. is a real concern that requires real cal solution, usually with a base of
consideration and real resolution. Re- nitric, phosphoric, citric acid or other
Location duced onsite staffing is a good counter mild oxidant, is used to promote or ac-
Job-site location is one of the key measure in reducing risk to personnel celerate the formation of a thin (25–50
markers in determining shop or field when building in remote or even non- Å), protective oxide layer (a passive
fabrication. In many cases, building a remote third-world areas. layer) on the internal surfaces of pipe,
facility in a remote location will be a fittings and equipment. In stainless
driver for utilizing a disproportionate PIPE SYSTEM CLEANING steels — the most commonly used alloy
amount of skid or module fabrication While there are requirements in at present — passivation removes any
— disproportionate in the sense that ASME for leak testing, cleaning re- free iron from the pipe surface to form
project management may look at modu- quirements do not exist. ASTM A 380 a chromium-rich oxide layer to protect
larizing the entire job, rather than mo- and 967 has standards on cleaning, the metal surface from aggressive liq-
bilize the staffing and facilities needed descaling and passivation, but there uids such as high-purity waters.
to fabricate and install on or near the is nothing in ASTM on simply flush- Note that the terms cleaning and
job site. This would constitute a larger ing and general cleaning. Defining the flushing can be interchanged when
amount of modularization over what requirements for the internal cleaning the process only requires water, air or
might normally be expected for the of piping systems falls within the re- an inert gas to meet the required level
same type project in a more metropoli- sponsibilities of the owner. of cleanliness. When the term “clean-
tan region, or an area with reasonable The term “cleaning”, in this context, ing” is used in this context it may infer
access to needed resources. is a catch-all term that also includes what is defined as flushing.
To expand on that thought; it was flushing, chemical cleaning, and pas-
pointed out to me by Earl Lamson, sivation. So before we go further, let Cleaning and testing
senior project manager with Eli Lilly me provide some definition for these With regard to cleaning and leak test-
and Co., that project resources, even terms as they apply in this context, be- ing, and which to do first, there are
in metropolitan areas, are quite fre- cause these terms are somewhat flex- drivers for both and different schools
quently siloed around a specific in- ible in their meaning, depending on of thought on the overall process. Each
dustry segment. In certain regions of source and context, and could be used contractor will have its preference. It
the U.S. for example, you may discover to describe activities other than what is in the owner’s best interest to deter-
that there is an abundance of crafts- is intended here. mine its preference or be at risk in just
man available when building a refin- leaving it to the contractor. In either
ery, but that same region may have Definitions case you should have a line of thought
difficulty, from a trained and experi- Cleaning: This is a process by which on the process, if for no other reason
enced personnel perspective, in sup- water, solvents, acids or proprietary than to be able to understand what
porting the construction of a semicon- cleaning solutions are flushed through the contractor is proposing to do.
ductor facility. a piping system to remove contami- At the very least, in advance of leak
Consequently when building a phar- nants such as cutting oils, metal fil- testing, perform either a basic flush of
maceutical facility in another region ings, weld spatter, dirt and other un- a test circuit, or perform an internal
you may find a sufficient population wanted debris. visual examination as the pipe is in-
52 Chemical Engineering April 2008

17_CHE_041508_EP_GSO.indd 52 3/19/08 1:10:39 PM

Engineering Practice

stalled. A walk-down of the test circuit Now that we have Table 4. Rate of flushing liquid (gal/
should be done just prior to filling the touched on generali- min) needed to maintain a velocity of
system with any liquid. The last thing ties, let’s take a look approximately 10 ft/s
you want to happen is to discover too at each of the clean- Pipe Pipe size (in.)
late that a joint wasn’t fully connected ing categories listed in Sch. ½ ¾ 1 1½ 2 3 4
or an inline component was taken out Table 2 and see how to 5S 12 20 34 77 123 272 460
of the pipeline. In a facility that is not apply them. 40 10 16 27 64 105 230 397
a clean-build, it can simply be a mess Cleaning Category 80 7 13 22 55 92 — —
that has to be cleaned. In a clean-build C-1: This is simply a
facility, an incident such as this can flush with water, air
potentially be costly and time consum- or inert gas. The one non-manual locity of 10 ft/s. This gets a little cum-
ing to remediate. assist that water requires in order bersome and costly unless you have
Tables 2 and 3 list general clean- for it to clean the inside of a piping pumps or compressors in place that
ing and testing procedures along with system is velocity. But what velocity can achieve the necessary flowrate.
easy-to-use indicators. is necessary? The alternative for liquid flushing
Since this article is concerned with The main concept behind flushing the larger pipe sizes other than using
new pipe installations, we will not in- a pipeline is to dislodge and remove source line pressure or a pump is to
clude steam-out cleaning or pipeline suspected debris. In order to dislodge, perform a fill-and-dump. In this pro-
pigging in our discussion. These are suspend and remove this unwanted cess, the pipe system is completely
cleaning procedures that are used on material in the piping system, it is filled with liquid and then drained
in-service piping to clean the fluid ser- necessary that water or air be forced through a full-line-size, quick-open-
vice residue buildup from interior pipe through the piping system at a veloc- ing valve. In doing this, there has to
walls after a period of use. ity sufficient to suspend the heaviest be enough static head to generate suf-
Before subjecting the system to an suspected particles and move them ficient force and velocity to achieve
internal test pressure, you should first along the pipeline. essentially the same result as the
perform a walk down of the piping to The velocity required to suspend pumped or line pressure liquid.
make certain, as mentioned earlier, the particles and move them along Cleaning Category C-2: This is a
that there are no missing or loose com- the pipeline for removal is dependent three-step process by which the piping
ponents. The system is then flushed upon their size and weight, and the system is initially flushed out with a
with water or air to make sure that flush medium. Metal filings, arguably liquid to remove most of the loose de-
there are no obstacles in the piping. the heaviest particles normally found bris. This is followed by the circulation
Over the years, we have discovered in newly fabricated pipe, will have a of a cleaning solution, which is then
everything from soda cans to shop terminal mid-range settling veloc- followed by a final flush of water.
towels, work gloves, nuts and bolts, ity, in water, of approximately 10 ft/s. Cleaning solutions are, in many
weld rod, Styrofoam cups, candy wrap- Therefore, a flushing velocity of ap- cases, proprietary detergent or acid-
pers, and other miscellaneous debris, proximately 10 ft/s should be achieved based solutions each blended for spe-
including dirt and rocks in installed during the flush. (This does not apply cific uses. Detergent-based solutions
piping systems. to acid cleaning.) Table 4 indicates the are generally used for removing dirt,
After an initial flush, which could rate of flow required to achieve ap- cutting oils and grease. Acid-based so-
also be the only flush and cleaning re- proximately 10 ft/s of velocity through lutions are used to remove the same
quired, the system is ready for chemi- various sizes and schedules of pipe. contaminants as the detergent-base
cal cleaning or leak testing. In large Purging a piping system clear of de- plus weld discoloration and residue.
systems, it may be beneficial to leak bris with air requires a velocity of ap- The acid-based solution also passiv-
test smaller test circuits and then per- proximately 25 ft/s. Table 5 indicates ates the pipe wall.
form a final cleaning once the entire the air flowrate required to achieve ap- As defined earlier, passivation
system is installed and tested. This proximately 25 ft/s of velocity through provides a protective oxide barrier
would include a final completed sys- various sizes and schedules of pipe. against corrosion. The acids used in
tem leak test that would test all of the One thing you might notice is that some cleaning solutions for ferrous
joints that connect the test circuits. the size range only extends to 4-in. and copper materials leave behind a
That is, unless these joints were tested NPS for both the liquid flush and for passivated interior pipe surface as a
as the assembly progressed. the air or gas blow-down. The reason result of the cleaning process. In util-
On large systems, if it is decided for that is the volume of liquid or gas ity water services, such as tower and
to leak test smaller segments, or test required to achieve the necessary ve- chilled water, this barrier against cor-
circuits as they are installed (prior to locity through the larger pipe sizes is rosion is maintained with corrosion
flushing the entire system), the piping quite significant. inhibitors that are injected into the
needs to be examined internally as For example, a 6-in. NPS pipeline fluid stream on an ongoing basis.
it is installed. This is to prevent any would require approximately 900 Keep in mind that the formation of
large-debris items from remaining in to 1,000 gal/min, depending on wall passivated surfaces is a natural occur-
the piping during the test. thickness of the pipe, to achieve a ve- rence with metals in an oxygen envi-
54 Chemical Engineering April 2008

17_CHE_041508_EP_GSO.indd 54 3/19/08 1:16:50 PM


ronment; the acid merely initiates and

speeds up the process.
When using stainless alloys — usu-
ally 316L, in hygienic-water services
such as water for injection (WFI), pu-
rified water, deionized (DI) water and
in some cases soft water — passiv-
ation is a final step in the preparation
for service of these pipelines.
Passivation is also a periodic ongo-
ing preventative-maintenance pro-
cedure. High-purity water is very
corrosive and attacks any free iron
found on the surface of stainless-steel
pipe. Free iron has a tendency to come
out of solution when material is cold
worked, as in bending or forming pipe
without the benefit of heat. It also oc-
curs with the threading of alloy bolts,
which are solution annealed (heat
treated) after threading. Passivation
removes this free iron while also ac-
celerating, in the presence of O2, the
oxidation rate of the stainless steel,
providing a chromium-rich, oxide cor-
rosion barrier as defined above.
Over time (and this is one hypothet-
ical thought on the subject), this very
thin corrosion barrier tends to get
depleted or worn off, particularly at
high impingement areas of the piping
system, such as elbows, tees and pump
casings. Once the passive layer wears
through, any free iron exposed to the
high purity water will oxidize, or rust.
This will show up as surface rouge.
Rouging is an unwanted surface dis-
coloration that is periodically removed
by means of a derouging process. This
We’ll take you there.
is an operational, as-needed chemical- VISIT US AT
cleaning process that will remove all BIO
or most of the rouge and also re-pas- SAN DIEGO JUNE 17 – 20
sivate the internal pipe surface. Booth #218
Discussions and research on the topic
of rouging continue. This is a subject
that has more questions than answers
at the present time. Currently, the 973.257.8011
ASME-BPE is looking into this issue.
One of the questions to be answered is
whether or not rouge is actually detri- API Manufacturing | Clinical Manufacturing | Dosage Form Manufacturing | Scale Up
mental to product streams.
Cleaning Category C-3: This is a
two-step cleaning process that uses
a detergent- or acid-based solution Circle 32 on p. 76 or go to
to clean the pipe interior of any un-
wanted residue or debris. This is then
followed by a final flush of water.
Cleaning Category C-4: This is a
three- or four-step process generally

BLEED SIZE 5.25 X 11

17_CHE_041508_EP_GSO.indd 55 3/19/08 1:18:49 PM
Engineering Practice

used in hygienic service piping. In Table 5. Rate of air flow (ft3/s) to maintain a velocity of
most cases, simply due to the clean approximately 25 ft/s
fabrication approach used in hygienic Pipe Pipe Sizes (in.)
pipe fabrication, only a water flush Sch. ½ ¾ 1 1½ 2 3 4
with deionized- (DI) quality water, or Press. 5S 0.14 0.23 0.39 0.86 1.39 3.06 5.17
better, would be necessary for cleaning 15 40 0.11 0.19 0.30 0.71 1.18 2.59 4.47
,followed by passivation of the piping psig 80 0.08 0.15 0.25 0.62 1.04 2.32 4.03
system, then a final flush of water. Press. 5S 0.30 0.51 0.84 1.88 3.02 6.67 11.3
There are variations to each of these 50 40 0.23 0.41 0.66 1.56 2.56 5.65 9.73
primary cleaning functions and it psig 80 0.18 0.33 0.55 1.35 2.26 5.05 8.79
would be in an owner’s best interest to
define these requirements, by fluid ser- modate suggestions to a procedure During the flushing procedure, and
vice, in advance of the work to be done. from a contractor when they don’t as the system is placed into service,
compromise the intent of the owner’s all joints shall be checked for leaks.
Cleaning procedures requirements and are likely to im- d. Any leaks discovered during the flush-
This section describes some fundamen- prove the efficiency of the contractor. ing process, or during the process of
tal cleaning procedures as they might If a submitted alternate procedure placing the system into service, will
appear in a specification or guideline does not compromise the intent of the require the system to be drained and
and includes the leak-test procedures owner, it is recommended that it be repaired. After which the process will
that will follow in Part 6. This will give accepted. This will allow the owner start over with Step 2.
you some idea as to what you might to see if that efficiency is really there. C-1.2 — These systems shall be
consider developing for your own set With that in mind, let’s create a couple flushed clean with potable water.
of specifications. Assuming that if your of general cleaning procedures. a. Connect a flush/test manifold at a
company repeatedly executes projects A general practice in the flushing designated inlet to the system, and
you will have cleaning and testing and cleaning process (also indicated a temporary hose or pipe on the des-
guidelines, in some form, prepared for in leak testing), is the evacuation of ignated outlet(s) of the system.
your contractor. If not, you may not get air when using liquids. Always pro- b. Route temporary hose or pipe from
what you expect. It’s better to give some vide high-point vents for evacuating potable water supply, approved by
forethought to these activities rather air during the fill cycle and low point owner, and connect to flush/test
than be surprised at the results. drains for clearing out all of the liquid manifold. Route outlet hose or pipe
Once a menu of these cleaning and when the process is complete. to sewer, or as directed by owner
testing procedures are developed, using Using the same terminology in represenative. Secure end of outlet.
pre-assigned symbols, similar to those Table 2 these cleaning procedures will c. Using a once through procedure
given in the following, they can then be be categorized as follows: (not a re-circulation), and the rate
specified in the line list with the respec- Category C-1: Flush or blowdown of flow in Table 4, perform an ini-
tive fluid services as you require. In only (water, air or inert gas) tial flush through the system with
this manner, there is no second guess- C-1.1 — These systems shall be a quantity of potable water not less
ing during construction. Each piping flushed with the fluid that the sys- than three times that contained in
circuit is assigned a specific clean and tem is intended for. There shall be the system. Use Table 6 to estimate
test protocol in advance. no hydrostatic or pneumatic leak volume of liquid in the system. Dis-
Many pre-developed procedures I test. An initial-service leak test will charge to sewer, or as directed by
have seen over the years, those de- be performed. owner representative.
veloped by owners in particular, have a. Connect system to its permanent d. After the initial flush, insert a coni-
been very simplistic, and typically out supply line. Include a permanent cal strainer into a spool piece located
of date. This is an indicator to most con- block valve at the supply line con- between the discharge of the piping
tractors that the owner’s representative nection. All outlets shall have tem- system and the outlet hose. Perform
will most likely not attempt to enforce porary hoses run to drain. Do not a second flush with a volume of po-
them. The contractor, in making that flush through coils, plates, strainers table water not less than that con-
assumption, may simply ignore them or filter elements. tained in the system.
and perform their own procedures. b. Using supply line pressure, flush e. After the second flush (Step d), pull
Your procedural guidelines should system through all outlets until the strainer and check for debris; if
be explicit and current to ensure that water is clear and free of any debris debris is found repeat Step c. If no
the contractors know that someone at all outlet points. Flush a quantity debris is found the system is ready
has given some thought to how he or of fluid through each branch not less for leak testing.
she wants that work accomplished, than three times that contained in Category C2: Flush then clean with
making it far more likely that the con- the system. Use Table 6 to estimate cleaning solution, followed by a neu-
tractors will execute your procedure volume of liquid in the system. tralization rinse. Because of the thor-
instead of their own. c. These systems are required only to oughness of the flush, clean and rinse
It is certainly acceptable to accom- undergo an initial-service leak test. process there should be no need to
56 Chemical Engineering April 2008

17_CHE_041508_EP_GSO.indd 56 3/19/08 1:19:31 PM

Engineering Practice

Table 6.Volume of water (gal) per lineal foot of pipe

Pipe Sizes (in.)
Sch. 1/2 3/4 1 11/2 2 3 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 24
5S .021 .035 .058 .129 .207 .455 .771 1.68 — — — — — — — —
20 — — — — — — — — 2.71 4.31 6.16 7.34 9.70 12.4 15.2 22.2
40 .016 .028 .045 .106 .176 .386 .664 1.51 2.61 4.11 5.84 9.22 9.22 14.5 14.5 —
80 .012 .023 .037 .093 .154 .345 .60 1.36 — — — — — — — —

check for transient debris, only for e. Discharge to sewer, or as directed by vide an idea as to the kind of dialog
neutralization. However, if circum- owner’s representative. that needs to be created in providing
stances dictate otherwise, then a final f. After completing the initial flush, guidance and direction to the contrac-
check for debris may be warranted. drain remaining water in the sys- tor responsible for the work. And, as
C-2.1 — These systems shall be pre- tem. Or, retain water if cleaning stated earlier, these procedures, for
flushed with potable water, cleaned chemicals will be added to the circu- the most part, are flexible enough
with (indicate cleaning agent) then a lating water. to accommodate suggested modifica-
rinse/neutralization followed by leak g. Configure valves and hoses to cir- tions from the contractor. ■
testing with potable water. If it is culate through pump. Connect head Edited by Gerald Ondrey
determined that the system will be tank, or other source containing
installed and tested progressively in cleaning agent, to connection pro- Acknowledgement
segments, the sequence of cleaning vided on circulation loop. The author’s deep appreciation again
and testing can be altered to follow the h. Fill the system with the pre-mea- goes to Earl Lamson, senior project
segmented installation, thereby leak sured (indicate preferred clean- manager with Eli Lilly and Co., for
testing segments of a piping system ing agent and mixing ratio or per- taking the time to review these arti-
as they are installed without clean- centage by volume) and circulate cles. His comments help make this ar-
ing. The entire system would then be through the system for 48 h. To ticle, and the others, better documents
cleaned once installed and tested. minimize corrosion, if anticipated, than they otherwise would have been.
a. Hook up flush/test manifold at a des- circulate cleaning agent at a low- He obliged me by applying the same
ignated temporary inlet to the sys- velocity rate prescribed by the skill, intelligence and insight he brings
tem between the circulating pump cleaning-agent manufacturer. to everything he does. His comments
discharge and the system inlet. In- i. Drain cleaning agent to sewer or kept me concise and on target.
stall a temporary hose or pipe on the containment, as directed by owner.
designated outlet(s) of the system. j. Reconnect, as in Step a, for the once References
b. Route temporary hose or pipe from through flush/neutralization, and 1. Huitt, W.H., Piping for Process Plants: The Ba-
sics, Chem. Eng. February 2007, pp. 42–47.
potable water supply, approved by flush system with potable water
2. Huitt, W.H., Piping for Process Plants: Flanges,
owner, and connect to flush/test using a quantity not less than three Chem. Eng. March 2007, pp. 56–61.
manifold. Route outlet hose or pipe times that of the system volume. 3. Huitt, W.H., Piping for Process Plants: Design
Elements, Chem. Eng. July 2007, pp. 50–57.
to sewer, or as directed by owner’s Since the (name cleaning agent) so-
4. Huitt, W.H., Piping for Process Plants: Codes
representative. lution has a neutral pH, the rinse and Fabrication, Chem. Eng. February 2007,
c. Close valve between the circulating water will have to be visually ex- pp. 68–76.
pump (if no valve is included in the amined for clarity. Rinse until clear. Author
system design, insert a line-blind or The rinse must be started as quickly W. M. (Bill) Huitt has been
involved in industrial pip-
install a blind flange with a drain after the cleaning cycle as possible. ing design, engineering and
valve) discharge and flush/test rig. If cleaning residue is allowed to dry construction since 1965. Posi-
tions have included design en-
Open valve between flush/test man- on the interior pipe wall, it will be gineer, piping design instruc-
ifold and piping system. more difficult to remove by simply tor, project engineer, project
supervisor, piping depart-
d. Using the once-through procedure flushing. The final rinse and neu- ment supervisor, engineering
manager and president of W.
(meaning the cleaning fluid is not tralization must be accomplished M. Huitt Co. (P.O. Box 31154,
re-circulated), and the rate of flow before any possible residue has St. Louis, MO 63131-0154.
Phone: 314-966-8919; Email: wmhuitt@aol.
in Table 4, perform an initial flush time to dry. com) a piping consulting firm founded in 1987.
through the system, bypassing the k. Test pH for neutralization. Once His experience covers both the engineering and
construction fields and crosses industrial lines
circulation pump, with a quantity neutralization is achieved proceed to include petroleum refining, chemical, petro-
of potable water equal to not less to Step l. chemical, pharmaceutical, pulp & paper, nuclear
power, and coal gasification. He has written nu-
than three times that contained in l. Remove pump and temporary circu- merous specifications including engineering and
construction guidelines to ensure that design
the system. Use Table 6 to estimate lation loop, then configure the system and construction comply with code requirements,
volume of liquid in the system. for leak testing. This may include re- owner expectations and good design practices.
Bill is a member of ISPE (International Society
(Note: During the water flush, check moval of some components, insertion of Pharmaceutical Engineers), CSI (Construction
the system for leaks. Verify no leaks of line-blinds, installation of tempo- Specifications Institute) and ASME (American
Society of Mechanical Engineers). He is a con-
prior to introducing chemical cleaning rary spools pieces and so on. tributor to ASME-BPE and sits on two corporate
solution to the piping system.) These three examples should pro- specification review boards.

58 Chemical Engineering April 2008

17_CHE_041508_EP_GSO.indd 58 3/27/08 7:17:16 AM

Feature Report
engineering Practice

Piping for Process Plants Part 6:

Testing & Verification
Proper documentation, determination of the fluid service category
and operating conditions are among the factors necessary
to perform the correct leak test on a piping system

W. M. Huitt Documentation 18. Signatures and dates

W. M. Huitt Co. In documenting the leak testing activ- Also make certain that
ity there are certain forms that will be the testing contractor has

his sixth and final part of a series needed. They consist of the following: current calibration logs of
of articles [1–5] on piping for pro- 1. A dedicated set of piping and in- his or her test instruments,
cess plants discusses practical is- strumentation diagrams (P&IDs) to such as pressure gages.
sues of leak testing and verifica- identify the limits and number the
tion of piping systems. test circuits Primary leak tests
2. A form to record components that ASME B31.3 defines five pri-
Leak testing were either installed or removed mary leak tests as follows:
Leak testing and pressure testing are prior to testing Initial service leak test. This applies
often used synonymously. However, 3. A checklist form for field supervi- only to those fluid services meeting the
pressure testing is a misnomer when sion to ensure that each step of the criteria as defined under ASME B31.3
referring to leak testing of piping sys- test process is accomplished Category D fluid service. This includes
tems. By definition, a pressure test is 4. Leak-test data forms fluids in which the following apply:
the procedure performed on a relief The two sets of documents, from • The fluid handled is nonflamma-
valve to test its set-point pressure. those listed above, that need to be ble, nontoxic, and not damaging to
The intent, when pressure testing a retained are the P&ID’s and the leak- human tissue
relief valve, is not to check for leaks, test data forms. The other two sets of • The design gage pressure does not
but to test the pressure set point of the forms are procedural checklists. exceed 1,035 kPa (150 psi)
valve by gradually adding pressure to The leak-test data forms should con- • The design temperature is from
the relief valve until it lifts the valve tain key data such as the following: –29°C (–20°F) through 186°C (366°F)
off of the seat. 1. Test circuit number The initial service leak test is a pro-
A leak test, on the other hand, is 2. P&ID number(s) cess by which the test fluid is the fluid
performed to check the sealing integ- 3. Date of test that is to be used in the intended pip-
rity of a piping system by applying 4. Project name or number, or both ing system at operating pressure and
internal pressure to a pre-determined 5. Location within facility temperature. It is accomplished by
limit, based on design conditions, then 6. Line number(s) connecting to the fluid source with a
checking joints and component seals 7. Design pressure valved connection and then gradually
for leaks. It is not intended that the 8. Test pressure opening the source valve and filling
MAWP (maximum allowable working 9. Test fluid the system. In liquid systems, air is
pressure) of a piping system be veri- 10. Test fluid temperature purged during the fill cycle through
fied or validated. 11. Time (military) recorded test begins high point vents. A rolling examination
Before discussing the various types 12. Pressure at start of test of all joints is continually performed
of leak tests and leak-test procedures 13. Time (military) recorded test ends during the fill cycle and for a period
I would like to briefly talk about con- 14. Pressure at end of test of time after the system is completely
trolling and tracking this activity. 15. Total elapsed time of test filled and is under line pressure.
Testing, like many aspects of a project, 16. Total pressure differential (plus or In a situation in which the pipeline
should be a controlled process. There minus) from the beginning to the that is being tested has distribution
should be a formal method of docu- end of test period on multiple floors of a facility, there
menting and tracking this activity as 17. Comment section (indicate if leaks will be pressure differentials between
the contractor proceeds through the were found and system was repaired the floors due to static head differ-
leak testing process. and retested or if system passed) ences. This will occur in operation
48 ChemiCal engineering www.Che.Com June 2008
a discussion of the design pressure).
PT = 1.5 ⋅ P While design pressure is held, all
joints are examined for leaks. It is not
Unlike initial service test- required that the examination take
ing, pressure variations due to place while holding test pressure.
static head differences in eleva- There is more to the entire proce-
tion have to be accommodated in dure that is not included here. Please
hydrostatic testing. That means refer to B31.3 or B31.1 for full details
the calculated test pressure is on pneumatic leak testing.
the minimum pressure required Sensitive leak test. This leak test
for the system. When hydrostati- is performed when there is a higher-
cally testing a multi-floor system, than-normal potential for fluid leak-
the minimum calculated test age, such as for hydrogen. I also recom-
pressure shall be realized at the mend its use when a fluid is classified
highest point. This is not stated, as a Category M fluid service. B31.1
but is inferred in B31.3. refers to this test as Mass-Spectrom-
Pneumatic leak test. This test eter and Halide Testing.
is performed using air or a pre- In B31.3, the process for sensitive
ferred inert gas. This is a rela- leak testing is as follows:
tively easy test to perform simply The test shall be in accordance with
from a preparation and cleanup the gas and bubble test method speci-
standpoint. However, this test has fied in the BPV Code, Section V, Article
a hazardous potential because of 10, or by another method demonstrated
the stored energy in the pressur- to have equal sensitivity. Sensitivity of
ized gas. And for that reason alone the test shall be not less than 10–3 atm.
and is acceptable under initial ser- it should be used very selectively. mL/s under test conditions.
vice test conditions. When pneumatic testing is per- a. The test pressure shall be at least the
The test pressure achieved for ini- formed, it must be done under a lesser of 105 kPa (15 psi) gage, or 25%
tial service testing is what it will be strictly controlled procedure with on- [of] the design pressure.
in operation. The only difference is site supervision in addition to coordi- b. The pressure shall be gradually in-
that the flowing fluid during opera- nation with all other crafts and per- creased until a gage pressure the lesser
tion will incur an amount of pressure sonnel in the test area. of one-half the test pressure or 170 kPa
drop that will not be present during The test pressure for pneumatic (25 psi) gage is attained, at which time
the static test. leak testing under B31.3 is calculated a preliminary check shall be made.
Hydrostatic leak test. This is the using Equation (3), for B31.9 it is cal- Then the pressure shall be gradually
most commonly used leak test and is culated using Equation (4), and for increased in steps until the test pres-
performed by using a liquid, normally B31.1 it is calculated using Equation sure is reached, the pressure being
water, and in some cases with addi- (5). held long enough at each step to equal-
tives to prevent freezing, under a pres- ize piping strains.
PT = 1.1 ⋅ P
sure calculated by Equation (1): (3) In testing fluid services that are
extremely difficult to seal against, or
1.5 ⋅ P ⋅ ST PT = 1.4 ⋅ P
PT = (1) (4) fluid services classified as a Category
S M fluid service, I would suggest the
PT = 1.2 ⋅ P to 1.5 ⋅ P
where (5) following in preparation for the pro-
PT = Test pressure, psi One misconception with pneumatic cess described under B31.3:
P = Internal design gage pressure, leak testing is in its procedure, as de- • Prior to performing the sensitive
psig scribed in B31.3. There is a misconcep- leak test, perform a low-pressure
ST = Stress value at test temperature, tion that the test pressure should be test (15 psig) with air or an inert gas
psi (see ASME B31.3, Table A-1) maintained while the joints are ex- using the bubble test method. Check
S = Stress value at design tempera- amined. This is not correct. As B31.3 every mechanical joint for leakage
ture, psi (see B31.1, Table A-1) explains, pressure is increased gradu- • After completing the preliminary
However, as long as the metal tem- ally until the test pressure is reached. low-pressure pneumatic test, purge
perature of ST remains below the At that point, the test pressure is held all of the gas from the system using
temperature at which the allowable until piping strains equalize through- helium. Once the system is thor-
stress value for ST begins to dimin- out the system. oughly purged, and contains no less
ish and the allowable stress value of After a sufficient amount of time is than 98% He, continue using He to
S and ST are equal, then ST and S allowed for piping strains to equalize, perform the sensitive leak test with
cancel each other leaving the simpler the pressure is then reduced to the a mass spectrometer tuned to He.
Equation (2): design pressure (see Reference [3] for Helium is the trace gas used in this
ChemiCal engineering www.Che.Com June 2008 49
Engineering Practice

process and has a size that is close to L = Developed length of piping be- general procedures for cleaning and
that of the hydrogen molecule; this tween anchors, in. (or mm) testing are presented below.
makes it nearly as difficult to seal U = Anchor distance, straight line As in all other project functions,
against as H2 without the volatility. between anchors, ft (or m) control and documentation is a key
Test each mechanical joint using the K1 = 208,000 SA/Ea, (mm/m)2 element in the cleaning and testing
mass spectrometer to determine leak = 30 SA/Ea, (in./ft)2 of piping systems. It does, however,
rate, if any. SA = Allowable displacement stress need to be handled in a manner that
Alternative leak test. In lieu of per- range per Equation (1a) of is dictated by the type of project.
forming an actual leak test, in which ASME B31.3, ksi (MPa) That means you don’t want to bury
internal pressure is used, the alterna- Ea = Reference modulus of elasticity yourself in unwarranted paperwork
tive leak test takes the examination at 70°F (21°C), ksi (MPa) and place an unnecessary burden on
and flexibility analysis approach. One example in which an alternative the contractor.
This test is conducted only when it leak test might be used is in making Building a commercial or institu-
is determined that either hydrostatic a branch tie-in to an existing, in-ser- tional type facility will not require
or pneumatic testing would be det- vice line using a saddle with an o-let the same level of documentation and
rimental to the piping system or the branch fitting with a weld-neck flange stringent controls that an industrial
fluid intended for the piping system, welded to that, and a valve mounted type facility would require. But even
an inherent risk to personnel, or im- to the flange. Within temperature within the industrial sector there are
practical to achieve. limitations, the fillet weld used to varying degrees of required testing
As an alternative to testing with weld the saddle to the existing pipe and documentation.
internal pressure, it is acceptable to can be examined using the dye pen- To begin with, documentation re-
qualify a system through examination etrant or magnetic particle method. quirements in industry standards are
and flexibility analysis. The process The circumferential butt or groove simplistic and somewhat generalized,
calls for the examination of all groove weld used in welding the weld neck as is apparent in ASME B31.3, which
welds, and includes longitudinal welds and the o-let fitting together should states in Para. 345.2.7:
used in the manufacture of pipe and be radiographically or ultrasonically Records shall be made of each piping
fittings that have not been previously examined. And the flange joint con- system during the testing, including:
tested hydrostatically or pneumati- necting the valve should have the (a) Date of test
cally. It requires a 100% radiograph or torque of each bolt checked after visu- (b) Identification of piping system
ultrasonic examination of those welds. ally ensuring correct type and place- tested
Where applicable, the sensitive leak ment of the gasket. (c) Test fluid
test shall be used on any untested me- There are circumstances, regarding (d) Test pressure
chanical joints. This alternative leak the tie-in scenario we just discussed (e) Certification of results by examiner
test also requires a flexibility analysis for alternative leak testing, in which These records need not be retained after
as applicable. a hydrostatic or pneumatic test can completion of the test if a certification
Very briefly, a flexibility analysis be used. It depends on what the fluid by the inspector that the piping has
verifies, on a theoretical basis, that an service is in the existing pipeline. If satisfactorily passed pressure testing
installed piping system is within the it is a fluid service that can be con- as required by this Code is retained.
allowable stress range of the material sidered a Category D, then it is quite ASME B31.3 goes on to state, in
and components under design con- possible that a hydrostatic or pneu- Para. 346.3:
ditions if a system: (a) duplicates or matic leak test can be performed on Unless otherwise specified by the
replaces without significant change, the described tie-in. engineering design, the following re-
a system operating with a successful By capping the valve with a blind cords shall be retained for at least 5
service record; (b) can be judged ad- flange modified to include a test rig of years after the record is generated for
equate by comparison with previously valves, nipples and hose connectors, the project:
analyzed systems; and (c) is of uni- you can perform a leak test rather (a) Examination procedures; and
form size, has no more than two points than an alternative leak test. As men- (b) Examination personnel qualifica-
of fixation, no intermediate restraints, tioned, this does depend on the exist- tions
and falls within the limitations of em- ing service fluid. If the existing fluid Standards that cover such a broad
pirical Equation (6). service is steam or a cryogenic fluid, array of industrial manufacturing, do
then you might want to consider the not, as a rule, attempt to get too spe-
D⋅ y alternative leak test. cific in some of their requirements. Be-
≤ K1
(L − U) (6) yond the essential requirements, such

More on documentation as those indicated above, the owner,

where As seen in Equations (1–5), the leak engineer or contractor has to assume
D = Outer dia. of pipe, in. (or mm) test pressure, except for initial service responsibility and know-how for pro-
y = Resultant of total displacement testing, is based on design pressure viding more specific and proprietary
strains to be absorbed by piping and design temperature, both of which requirements for a particular project
system, in. (or mm) are described in Reference [3]. A few specific to the particular needs of the
50 ChemiCal engineering www.Che.Com June 2008
Table 1. areas under ConsideraTion for CaTegory d
group description yes no
1 Personnel occupied space √
2 Corridor frequented by personnel √
owner. The following will help, to some 3 Sensitive equipment (MCC, control room, and so on) √
extent, fill that gap. 4 Corridor infrequently used by personnel √
5 Maintenance & operations personnel only access √
Which fluid service category?
While Category-D fluid services third degree burns. An approximate a significant impact to operations and
qualify for initial service leak testing, half-minute exposure to 130°F water production. This could translate into
there are caveats that should be con- will result in third degree burns. And lost production and could be consid-
sidered. This is a situation in which an approximate ten minute exposure ered a high degree of importance.
ASME provides some flexibility in to 120°F water can result in third- You could also extend this logic a bit
testing by lowering the bar on require- degree burns. further by assigning normal fluid-ser-
ments where there is reduced risk in With the maximum temperature vice status to the primary headers of
failure, provided that if failure should limit of 366°F (185.5°C) for Category- a chilled water system and assigning
occur, the results would not cause D fluid services, what the owner Category D status to the secondary
catastrophic damage to property or ir- needs to consider are three factors: (1) distribution branches, then leak test
reparable harm to personnel. within that range of 140°F (60°C), the accordingly. You need to be cautious in
The owner’s responsibility for any temperature at which discomfort be- considering this. By applying different
fluid service selected for initial ser- gins to set in, to 366°F (185.5°C), the category significance to the same pip-
vice leak testing lies in determining upper limit of Category-D fluids, what ing system it could cause more confu-
what fluid services to place into each do we consider hazardous; (2) what is sion than it is worth. In other words
of the fluid service categories: Nor- the level of opportunity for risk to per- it may be more value added to simply
mal, Category D, Category M, and sonnel; and (3) what is the level of as- default to the more conservative cat-
High Pressure. sured integrity of the installation egory of normal.
Acids, caustics, volatile chemicals Assured integrity means that, if Once it has been established that
and petroleum products are usually there are procedures and protocols in there is a high assured integrity value
easy to identify as those not quali- place that require, validate and docu- for these piping systems, there are two
fying as a Category-D fluid service. ment third-party inspection of all pipe remaining factors to be considered.
Cooling tower water, chilled water, air fabrication, installation and testing, First, within the temperature range
and nitrogen are all easy to identify then there is a high degree of assured indicated above, at what temperature
as qualifyiers for Category-D fluid integrity in the system. If some or all should a fluid be considered hazard-
services. The fluid services that fall of these requirements are not in place ous? Second, how probable is it that
within the acceptable Category D then there is no assured integrity. personnel could be in the vicinity of a
guidelines, but still have the poten- All three of these factors — tem- leak, should one occur?
tial for being hazardous to personnel perature, risk of contact and assured For this discussion, let us deter-
are not so straight forward. integrity — have to be considered to- mine that any fluid at 160°F (71°C)
Consider water as an example. At gether to arrive at a reasonable deter- and above is hazardous upon contact
ambient conditions, water will sim- mination for borderline Category-D with human skin. If the fluid you are
ply make you wet if you get dripped fluid services. If, for instance, a fluid considering is within this tempera-
or sprayed on. By OSHA standards, service is hot enough to be considered ture range, then it has the potential
once the temperature of water exceeds hazardous, but is in an area of a fa- of being considered a normal fluid, as
140°F (60°C), it starts to become det- cility that sees very little personnel defined in B31.3, pending its location
rimental to personnel upon contact. At activity, then the fluid service could as listed in Table 1.
this point, the range of human toler- still be considered as a Category-D For example, if you have a fluid that
ance becomes a factor. However, as the fluid service. is operating at 195°F (90.6°C), it would
temperature continues to elevate, it One factor I have not included here be considered hazardous in this evalu-
eventually moves into a range that be- is the degree of relative importance of ation. But, if the system is located in
comes scalding upon human contact. a fluid service. If a system failed, how a Group 5 area (Table 1) it could still
Human tolerance is no longer a factor big of a disruption would it cause in qualify as a Category D fluid service.
because the water has become hazard- plant operation, and how does that
ous and the decision is made for you. factor into this process? Leak test examples
Before continuing, a point of clari- For example, if a safety shower After the above exercise in evaluating
fication. The 140ºF temperature men- water system has to be shut down for a fluid service, we can now continue
tioned above is with respect to sim- leak repair, the downtime to make the with a few examples of leak test pro-
ply coming in contact with an object repairs has little impact on plant oper- cedures. Using the designations given
at that temperature. Brief contact at ations. This system would therefore be in Table 2, these leak test procedures
that temperature would not be detri- of relatively low importance and not a will be categorized as follows:
mental. In various litigation related factor in this evaluation process. Testing Category T-1.
to scalding it has been determined If, on the other hand, a chilled water T-1.1 — This category covers liquid
that an approximate one-second ex- system has to be shut down for leak re- piping systems categorized by ASME
posure to 160°F water will result in pair to a main header, this could have B31.3 as Category-D fluid service and
ChemiCal engineering www.Che.Com June 2008 51
Table 2. General leak TesTinG
Engineering Practice scenarios
category Description
T-1 Initial service leak test
T-2 Hydrostatic leak test
will require initial service leak test- vice and will require initial service
ing only. leak testing. T-3 Pneumatic leak test
1. If the system is not placed into ser- 1. After completion of the blow-down T-4 Sensitive leak test
vice or tested immediately after process, the system shall be connected T-5 Alternative leak test
flushing and cleaning, and has set to its permanent supply source, if not
idle for an unspecified period of already done so, and to all of its ter- allow proper high-point venting to
time, it shall require a preliminary minal points. Open the block valve be accomplished. Hold pressure to
pneumatic test at the discretion of at the supply line and gradually feed its minimum until the system is
the owner. In doing so, air shall be the gas into the system. completely filled and vented.
supplied to the system to a pressure 2. Increase the pressure to a point 4. Once it is determined that the sys-
of 10 psig and held there for 15 min equal to the lesser of one-half the tem has been filled and vented
to ensure that joints and compo- operating pressure or 25 psig. Make properly, gradually increase pres-
nents have not been tampered with, a preliminary check of all joints by sure until 50% of the test pressure
and that the system is still intact. sound or bubble test. If leaks are is reached. Hold that pressure for
After this preliminary pressure found, release pressure, repair approximately two minutes to allow
check, proceed. leak(s) and begin again with Step 1. piping strains to equalize. Continue
2. After completion of the flushing and If no leaks are identified, continue to supply the system gradually until
cleaning process, connect the sys- to Step 3. test pressure is achieved.
tem, if not already connected, to its 3. Continue to increase pressure in 25 5. During the process of filling the sys-
permanent supply source and to all psi increments, holding that pres- tem and increasing pressure to 50%
of its terminal points. Open the block sure momentarily (approximately of the test pressure, check all joints
valve at the supply line and gradu- 2 min) after each increase to allow for leaks. Should any leaks be found,
ally feed the liquid into the system. piping strains to equalize, until the drain system, repair leak(s) and
3. Start and stop the fill process to operating pressure is reached. begin again with Step 1.
allow proper high-point venting to 4. Check for leaks by sound or bubble 6. Once the test pressure has been
be accomplished. Hold pressure to test, or both. If leaks are found, re- achieved, hold it for a minimum of
its minimum until the system is lease pressure, repair leak(s) and 30 min or until all joints have been
completely filled and vented. begin again with Step 2. If no leaks checked for leaks. This includes valve
4. Once it is determined that the sys- are found, the system is ready for and equipment seals and packing.
tem has been filled and vented prop- service. 7. If leaks are found, evacuate system
erly, gradually increase pressure 5. Record test results and fill in all re- as required, repair and repeat from
until 50% of operating pressure is quired fields on the leak test form. Step 2. If no leaks are found, evacu-
reached. Hold that pressure for ap- Category T-3.1 — Hydrostatic Leak ate system and replace all items
proximately two minutes to allow Test. T-3.1. — This category covers temporarily removed.
piping strains to equalize. Continue liquid piping systems categorized by 8. Record all data and activities on
to supply the system gradually until ASME B31.3 as normal fluid service. leak test forms.
full operating pressure is achieved. 1. If the system is not placed into ser- The three examples above should
5. During the process of filling the sys- vice or tested immediately after provide an idea as to the kind of guide-
tem, check all joints for leaks. Should flushing and cleaning, and has set line that needs to be created in provid-
leaks be found at any time during idle for an unspecified period of ing direction to the contractor respon-
this process, drain the system, re- time, it shall require a preliminary sible for the work.
pair leak(s) and begin again with pneumatic test at the discretion of
Step 1. (Caveat: Should the leak be the owner. In doing so, air shall be Preparation
no more than a drip every minute or supplied to the system to a pressure For leak testing to be successful on
two on average at a flange joint, it of 10 psig and held there for 15 min- your project, careful preparation is
could require simply checking the utes to ensure that joints and com- key. This preparation starts with
torque on the bolts without draining ponents have not been tampered gathering information on test pres-
the entire system. If someone forgot with, and that the system is still in- sures, test fluids, and the types of
to fully tighten the bolts, then do so tact. After this preliminary pressure tests that will be required. The most
now. If it happens to be a threaded check, proceed. convenient place for this information
joint you may still need to drain the 2. After completion of the flushing and to reside is the piping line list or pip-
system, disassemble the joint, clean cleaning process, with the flush/test ing system list.
the threads, add new sealant and re- manifold still in place and the tem- A piping line list and piping system
connect the joint before continuing.) porary potable water supply still list achieve the same purpose, only to
6. Record test results and fill in all re- connected (reconnect if necessary), different degrees of detail. On some
quired fields on the leak test form. open the block valve at the supply projects, it may be more practical to
T-1.2. — This category covers pneu- line and complete filling the system compile the information by entire
matic piping systems categorized by with potable water. service fluid systems. Other projects
ASME B31.3 as Category-D fluid ser- 3. Start and stop the fill process to may require a more detailed approach
52 ChemiCal engineering www.Che.Com June 2008
by listing each to and from line along ufacturing Practice (cGMP) and U.S. of having time to consider just what
with the particular data for each line. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) those requirements are and how they
The line list itself is an excellent requirements. These CFR Titles and should be defined without the time
control document that might include FDA requirements drove the need to pressures imposed when this activity
the following for each line item: demonstrate or prove compliance. is project driven.
1. Line size These requirements can cover Performing this kind of activity
2. Fluid everything from verification of ex- while in the heat of a project sched-
3. Nominal material of construction amination and inspection, documen- ule tends to force quick agreement to
4. Pipe specification tation of materials used, software specifications and requirements writ-
5. Insulation specification functionality and repeatability to ten by parties other than those with
6. P&ID welder qualification, welding ma- the owner’s best interest at heart.
7. Line sequence number chine qualification, and so on. Validating a piping system to ensure
8. From and to information The cGMP requirements under compliance and acceptability is always
9. Pipe code 29CFR Titles 210 and 211 are a beneficial and money well spent.
10. Fluid service category vague predecessor of what valida-
11. Heat tracing tion has become, and continues to FINAL remArks
12. Operating pressure become. From these basic govern- Before concluding this series of ar-
13. Design pressure mental outlines, companies, and the ticles, there are just a couple of final
14. Operating temperature pharmaceutical industry as a whole, points to be made.
15. Design temperature have increasingly provided improved
16. Type of cleaning interpretation of these guidelines to Evolving standards
17. Test pressure meet many industry-imposed, as well We have previously discussed industry
18. Test fluid as self-imposed requirements. standards and how they are selected
19. Type of test To a lesser extent, industrial proj- and applied on a project [4]. What was
Developing this type of information on a ects outside the pharmaceutical, food not covered is the fact that most proj-
single form provides everyone involved and beverage, and semi-conductor ects will actually have a need to com-
with the basic information needed for industries, industries not prone to ply with multiple industry standards.
each line. Having access to this line-by- require such in-depth scrutiny, could In a large grassroots pharmaceuti-
line information in such a concise, well- benefit from adopting some of the es- cal project you may need to include
organized manner reduces guess-work sential elements of validation, such industry compliance standards for
and errors during testing. as: material verification, leak-test re- much of the underground utility pip-
Test results, documented on the test cords, welder and welding operator- ing, ASME B31.1 for boiler external
data forms, will be maintained under qualification records, and so on. piping (if not included with packaged
separate cover. Together, the line list At face value this exercise would pro- boilers), ASME B31.3 for chemical and
provides the required information on vide an assurance that the fabricating utility piping throughout the facility,
each line or system, and the test-data and installing contractor is fulfilling its and ASME-BPE for any hygienic pip-
forms provide signed verification of contractual obligation. The added ben- ing requirements.
the actual test data of the test circuits efit is that, in knowing that this degree These and other standards, thanks
that make up each line or system. of scrutiny will take place, the contrac- in large part to the cooperation of the
tor will take extra measures to mini- standards developers and ANSI, work
VALIDATION mize the possibility of any rejects. hand-in-hand with one another by ref-
The process of validation has been This is not to imply that all con- erencing each other where necessary.
around for longer than the 40 plus tractors are out to get by with as These standards committees have
years the author has been in this little as they can. Just the opposite is enough work to do within their de-
business. You may know it by its less actually true. Most contractors quali- fined scope of work without inadver-
formal namesakes walk-down and fied to perform at this level of work tently duplicating work done by other
checkout. Compared to validation, are in it to perform well and to meet standards organizations.
walk-down and checkout procedures their obligations. Most will already An integrated set of American Na-
are not nearly as complex, stringent, have their own verification proce- tional Standards is the reason that,
or all inclusive. dure in place. when used appropriately, these stan-
Validation is actually a subset ac- The bottom line is that the owner dards can be used as needed on a proj-
tivity under the umbrella of commis- is still responsible for the end result. ect without fear of conflict between
sioning and qualification (C&Q). It is No one wants to head for the litiga- those standards.
derived from the need to authenticate tion table at the end of a project. And One thing that should be understood
and document specifically defined re- the best way to avoid that is for the with industry standards is the fact that
quirements for a project and stems in- owner to be proactive in developing they will always be in a state of flux; al-
directly from, and in response to, the its requirements prior to initiating ways changing. And this is a good thing.
Code of Federal Regulation 29CFR a project. This allows the specifica- These are changes that reflect updating
Titles 210 and 211 current Good Man- tion writers and reviewers the benefit to a new understanding, expanded clar-
ChemiCal engineering www.Che.Com June 2008 53
Engineering Practice

ification on the various sections that fication Part (CR). This is all part of dustrial piping in order to provide a
make up a standard, staying abreast the ever-evolving understanding of basic broad understanding of some
of technology, and simply building the the needs of the industrial community key points, without going into great
knowledge base of the standard. and improved clarification, through detail on any specific topic. It is hoped
For example, two new parts are discussion and debate on content. that the readers of this series will dig
being added to the seven parts cur- deeper into this subject matter to dis-
rently existing in ASME-BPE. There Conclusion cover and learn some of the more fi-
will be a Metallic Materials of Con- This series of articles attempted to nite points of what was discussed in
struction Part (MMOC), and a Certi- cover a wide range of topics on in- this and previous articles. It is hoped
that this series provides enough basic
knowledge of piping for you to recog-
nize when there is more to a piping
issue than what you are being told. n
Edited by Gerald Ondrey

My deep appreciation again goes to
Earl Lamson, senior project manager
with Eli Lilly and Co., for taking the
time to review each of these articles.
His comments help make the articles
better documents than they otherwise
would have been. He obliged me by
applying the same skill, intelligence
and insight he brings to everything he
does. His comments kept me concise
and on target.
1. Huitt, W.H., Piping for Process Plants: The
Basics, Chem. Eng. February 2007, pp. 42–47.
2. Huitt, W.H., Piping for Process Plants:
Flanges, Chem. Eng. March 2007, pp. 56–61.
3. Huitt, W.H., Piping for Process Plants: Design
Elements, Chem. Eng. July 2007, pp. 50–57.
4. Huitt, W.H., Piping for Process Plants: Codes
and Fabrication, Chem. Eng. October 2007,
pp. 68–76.
5. Huitt, W.H., Piping for Process Plants: In-
stallation and Cleaning, Chem. Eng. April
2008, pp. 48–58.

W. M. (Bill) Huitt has been
involved in industrial piping
design, engineering and con-
struction since 1965. Positions
have included design engineer,
piping design instructor, proj-
ect engineer, project supervi-
sor, piping department super-
visor, engineering manager
and president of W. M. Huitt
Co. (P.O. Box 31154, St. Louis,
MO 63131-0154. Phone: 314-
966-8919; Email: a piping
consulting firm founded in 1987. His experience
covers both the engineering and construction
fields and crosses industrial lines to include
petroleum refining, chemical, petrochemical,
pharmaceutical, pulp and paper, nuclear power,
and coal gasification. He has written numerous
specifications including engineering and con-
struction guidelines to ensure that design and
construction comply with code requirements,
owner expectations and good design practices.
Bill is a member of ISPE (International Society
of Pharmaceutical Engineers), CSI (Construction
Specifications Institute) and ASME (American
Society of Mechanical Engineers). He is a con-
tributor to ASME-BPE and sits on two corporate
specification review boards.
Circle 27 on p. 86 or go to
54 ChemiCal engineering www.Che.Com June 2008