Archive: Jan 2024

Process Piping Systems

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Specialized equipment installed in manufacturing facilities will require mechanical piping systems that are engineered to handle the rigorous conditions of their processes. Some of these conditions are:

  • Temperatures: (Cryogenic -267F to Saturated Steam 2000F plus)
  • Pressures: (Vacuum to HP steam at 2,000 psig )
  • Fluid types: Acids, caustics, corrosive and flammable chemicals, at various viscosities

Controlling these conditions are critical and can involve a multitude of different types of steel piping, gaskets, valves, flanges and fittings.

Most of the design requirements for Process Piping Systems are covered under ASME B31.3 codes.
This code will provide the roadmap for piping design in chemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, paper mills, mining, semiconductor and food & beverage manufacturing facilities.
Similarly, ASME B31.1 codes provide a complete design guide for Power Piping Systems, which include most power generating facilities and industrial plants utilizing high pressure steam.

The specifications for what type of piping metallurgy to be used is dictated by these ASME codes. The various types of metallurgy are:

  • Stainless Steel: grades 304, 316, P11, P22, P-91, Chrome -Moly, Inconel, Hastelloy and Monel
  • Carbon Steel: Schedule 5 thru 160. Seamless or welded. The higher the number; the greater the pressure resistance and the thicker the pipe wall dimension.

B36.10 is the specification for carbon steel pipe dimensions
B36.19 is the specification for stainless steel pipe dimensions
ASTM A270 is the material specification for hygienic sanitary stainless steel pipe and tubing

The contractor may determine what type of connection system will be utilized depending on the application. If the process requires welding the piping, then the most common welding methods are:

Gas Metal Arc- GMAW / MIG Gas Tungsten Arc – GTAW/ TIG
Shielded Metal Arc – SMAW / Stick
Flux Core Arc – FCAW

Most process piping systems incorporate both fitted pipe connections and welded pipe connections. The welded pipe connections are usually butt weld or socket weld. These welds typically connect the piping to flanges, valves or tee’s and fittings.

The testing of these pipe systems is usually one of the following:
Non-Destructive – Liquid Dye Penetrant, Ultrasonic or Radiography
Hydrostatic – which is a pressure test using water.

The true formula for ensuring the success and longevity of a process piping system requires strict adherence to the ASME codes listed under B31.1 and B31.3 and documentation of the process (which should involve an approved Quality Assurance and Quality Control Manual.) This will demonstrate the experience and skill of the welders, certify the origin of purchased materials including traceability and the inspection and testing of the entire piping system.

Waco has built our reputation on providing these components in every application, whether large or small, and we will continue these efforts on all future projects.

Contact us today to discuss how we can be of service to you on your next process piping application.