You are on page 1of 79

Engineering Encyclopedia

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

PIPE WALL THICKNESS CALCULATION

Note: The source of the technical material in this volume is the Professional
Engineering Development Program (PEDP) of Engineering Services.
Warning: The material contained in this document was developed for Saudi
Aramco and is intended for the exclusive use of Saudi Aramcos employees.
Any material contained in this document which is not already in the public
domain may not be copied, reproduced, sold, given, or disclosed to third
parties, or otherwise used in whole, or in part, without the written permission
of the Vice President, Engineering Services, Saudi Aramco.

Chapter : Mechanical
File Reference: MEX-101.03

For additional information on this subject, contact


PEDD Coordinator on 874-6556

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Section

Page

INFORMATION ............................................................................................................... 5
INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................. 5
FACTORS AFFECTING WALL THICKNESS CALCULATION........................................ 6
BACKGROUND ON PIPEWALL THICKNESS................................................................ 7
STEPS FOR CALCULATING PIPE WALL THICKNESS................................................. 9
PIPE WALL THICKNESS FOR THE INTERNAL DESIGN PRESSURE ....................... 11
Transportation Piping: ASME B31.4 and B31.8 (Thickness for Internal Pressure) .. 11
Design Pressure [P]............................................................................................ 12
Pipe Diameter [D] ............................................................................................... 14
The allowable stress [SETF]............................................................................... 14
Longitudinal Joint Factor [E] ............................................................................... 16
Temperature Derating Factor [T] ........................................................................ 16
Design Factors [F] .............................................................................................. 17
RER & PDI.......................................................................................................... 18
Sample Problem 1: Transportation Piping .............................................................. 21
Solution .............................................................................................................. 22
PROCESS PIPING: ASME B31.3, MINIMUM THICKNESS FOR INTERNAL
PRESSURE .................................................................................................................. 25
Design Pressure and Temperature .......................................................................... 26
Longitudinal Joint Factor [E] ............................................................................... 27
Basic Allowable Hoop Stress [S] ........................................................................ 28
The "Y" Factor for Plant Piping ................................................................................ 29
CORROSION, EROSION, AND THREAD ALLOWANCES........................................... 31

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Manufacturer Mill Tolerance .................................................................................... 31


SAES Limitations on Pipe Schedule ........................................................................ 32
Sample Problem 2 ................................................................................................... 33
Solution .............................................................................................................. 34
PIPE WALL THICKNESS FOR EXTERNAL PRESSURE............................................. 36
GUIDELINES FOR EXTERNAL PRESSURE CALCULATIONS ................................... 38
Sample Problem 3: External Pressure for Pipeline ................................................. 44
Solution .............................................................................................................. 44
Sample Problem 4: External Pressure for Plant Piping ........................................... 45
Solution .............................................................................................................. 45
TRAFFIC AND SOIL LOADS OVER BURIED PIPE ..................................................... 46
THE MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE OPERATING PRESSURE (MAOP).............................. 47
Guidelines for Calculating Maximum Design Pressure....................................... 47
MAOP of a Pipeline.................................................................................................. 49
Sample Problem 5. MAOP of a Pipeline ................................................................ 49
Solution .............................................................................................................. 50
Maximum Design Pressure for Process Plant Piping............................................... 51
Sample Problem 6: Process Piping......................................................................... 52
TYPICAL MISTAKES IN PIPE WALL THICKNESS CALCULATION ............................ 53
SUMMARY.................................................................................................................... 54
ADDENDUM ................................................................................................................. 55
ADDENDUM A .............................................................................................................. 56
ADDENDUM B .............................................................................................................. 62
ADDENDUM C.............................................................................................................. 69

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

ii

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1. Stresses in the Pipe Shell due to Internal Pressure ....................................... 7
Figure 2. Schematic Diagram Explaining the Concept of RER and PDI ...................... 19
Figure 3. Variation of the Basic Allowable Stresses with Temperature for Grade B
Material. ......................................................................................................... 28
Figure 4. Effects of External Pressure ........................................................................ 37
Figure 5. Geometrical Factor A for External Pressure Calculations ............................. 41
Figure 5. Geometrical Factor A for External Pressure Calculations (continued) ......... 42
Figure 6. Material Factor B for External Pressure Calculations ................................... 43

LIST OF TABLES
Table 1. Level of Safety for Different Pipe Material Grade ......................................... 15
Table 2. Location Class and Design Factors for Transportation Piping ....................... 20
Table 3. The Y Factor as Extracted From ASME B1.3 TABLE 304.1.1 .................... 29
Table 4. Minimum Wall Thickness Schedule for Carbon Steel .................................... 32
Table A-1: ASME/ANSI B31.8 (Appendix D: Specified Minimum Yield
Strength for Steel Pipe) ............................................................................................... 56
Table A-2. ASME/ANSI Code B31.8, Table 841.115A, (Excerpt) Longitudinal
Joint Factor E. ............................................................................................................... 59
Table A-3. ASME/ANSI B31.8 Table 841.116A (Excerpt)Temperature
Derating Factor for Steel Pipe ..................................................................................... 60
Table A-4. SAES B-064 Rupture Exposure Radius ..................................................... 61

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

iii

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Table B-1. ASME/ANSI B31.3 (Excerpt) Basic Allowable Stresses In Tension


for Metals ............................................................................................................. 62
Table B-2. Basic Quality Factors for Longitudinal Weld Joints In Pipes,
Tubes, and Fittings E ............................................................................................ 67
Table C-1. Table of Properties of Pipe ......................................................................... 70

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

iv

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

INFORMATION
INTRODUCTION
This module discusses the process of determining pipe wall
thickness, which is one of the first steps in specifying the design
of piping system components. Pipe wall thickness is based on
the internal pressure of a pipe and, if necessary, external
pressure or any additional loads. The pipe wall thickness is
calculated by using the equation for internal pressure thickness
in the applicable ASME B31 Code, modifying the thickness for
any external pressure or additional loads, selecting pipe
schedule based on manufacturer's tolerance. Also, calculating
the Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure (MAOP) for the
pipe after determining the pipe wall thickness will be covered.
The previous module discussed an early step in designing a
piping system: selecting pipe material. Selecting pipe material
sets parameters for the other facets of piping design and is
required to determine allowable design stress, which is
necessary to calculate the required wall thickness.
Knowledge of the following is necessary to achieve the
objectives of MEX 101.03:

Scope and application of the ASME/ANSI B31 piping codes,


as discussed in MEX 101.01.

Pipe material selection, as discussed in MEX 101.02.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

FACTORS AFFECTING WALL THICKNESS CALCULATION


In the process of calculating the wall thickness of a pipe several
parameters must be considered and accurately specified.
These parameters are listed below.
Pipe material: The pipe material will be specified as has been
discussed in the previous chapter. The material type identifies
basic design parameter, which is the allowable stress to be
explained in the coming sections.
Internal pressure: This the crucial parameter in piping design
because the main purpose pressure piping Codes and
Standards is to contain the pressurized fluid from escaping out
or rupturing the pipe.
Fluid temperature: The fluid temperature affects the allowable
stresses of the material and the designated Code because each
Code has temperature limitation.
External loads: These loads could be caused by external
pressure due to vacuum or water static head for submarine
lines. Also, dead weight of soil, snow or sand over burden load
on the pipe.
Construction: Construction of pipelines whether on land or off
shore could add additional construction requirement that may
increase the wall thickness of the pipe. In fact for off shore
pipeline, stresses on the pipe exerted on the pipe during lay-off
from the barges are the detrimental factor of the pipe wall
thickness. Another example is the elastic bend requirement to
follow the pipeline terrain for on land pipelines.
The industry Codes provide rules and guidelines for establishing
these parameters, however Saudi Aramco have established its
own rules that generally follow the industry Codes but with more
stringent requirement.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

BACKGROUND ON PIPEWALL THICKNESS


The main objective of piping codes is to insure that piping
systems will not under pressure. Piping systems are designed
and constructed to convey pressurized fluid, mostly flammable
and could be toxic, therefore Codes tend to very conservative in
respect to pressure containment of the pressurized fluids. This
explains why there are few failures reported due to
overpressure of the piping systems.
The basic theory for designing of wall thickness of a piping
system that contains the internal pressure is based on limiting
the hope stress developed by this pressure to an acceptable
value by the Code. The calculated hope stress in pipe shell,
refer to Figure-1, is based on Lame equation as follows:

Figure 1. Stresses in the Pipe Shell due to Internal Pressure


Equation 1.

Sh = P [0.5x(D/t) 2 (D/t) + 1] / [(D/t)-1]

Boardman's empirical equation has further simplified Lame


equation based on an intermediate diameter and introduced a Y
factor to correct the difference. Boardman's equation has
become the basis for calculating wall thickness B31 Codes for
pressure containing piping. Boardman's equation is as follows:

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Equation 2.

Sh = P (D Y t ) / 2 t

For thin pipe where D/t > 6, and outside diameter D, Y is


considered 0.4. For thicker pipe Y can be calculated as will be
discussed later.
Each code provides an equation that is used to calculate
internal pressure thickness. The equations may look different
and / or the approach varies, but the basic concept is the same.
The main concept is to limit the hoop stress, Sh, to an
acceptable and safe level.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

STEPS FOR CALCULATING PIPE WALL THICKNESS


Each engineer should be familiar with the steps followed to
determine the wall thickness of the pipe. He should be aware
that the thickness shall not be less than the minimum required
by the Code otherwise this would be a basic violation to the
relevant Code. At the same time it should not be over specified
because that would be reflected as unnecessary capital cost.
Over specifying wall thickness mostly will have significant
impact on capital investment in terms of millions of dollars. The
cost of line pipe is determined mainly by the tonnage, i.e. the
pipe diameter, wall thickness, length of order, as well as the
pipe grade and the type of alloying elements.
The steps to be followed during the process of wall thickness
calculation are as follow:
1. Determining the applicable ASME/ANSI B31 Code for the
piping system of concern. This has been discussed in MEX
101.01. The latest SAES should be always referenced, and
if there are potential savings by using different Code other
than specified, the issue should be highlighted to the
concerned specialists in CSD.
2. Identifying the applicable formula from the code for
calculating the wall thickness to sustain the internal design
pressure.
3. Setting the design parameters as specified in the design
data and in compliance with SAES-L-002 and SAES-L-003,
Design Stress Criteria for Pressure Piping.
4. Evaluating whether the minimum thickness is adequate for
structural rigidity (excessive deflection or buckling under the
pipe own weight.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

5. Increasing the calculated thickness, as needed, to account


for corrosion allowance and mill tolerance. This is
dependent on the Code and the SAES.
6. Checking if the calculated thickness for internal pressure is
also acceptable for external pressure and other applied
loads, as applicable such as traffic load, sand dunes dead
weight, etc.
7. Selecting a thickness from an ANSI/API table of standard
pipe thickness and checking the thickness against the Saudi
Aramco minimum thickness requirements. Selecting a
scheduled pipe is not always applicable for pipeline projects
involved with long distances and large diameter pipe.
The text of MEX 101.03 refers to ASME/ANSI B31.3 for plant
piping and B31.8, for transportation piping. The process
discussed in this module is consistent for all the B31 piping
codes. However, the equations, variables, and definitions or
values for allowable stress differ.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

10

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

PIPE WALL THICKNESS FOR THE INTERNAL DESIGN PRESSURE


Calculating the required pipe wall thickness to contain internal
pressure is the first step in determining pipe wall thickness. As
explained earlier the applicable Code for a particular piping
system will determine the method and rules governing the pipe
wall thickness calculations. Identifying the Code has been
already discussed in MEX-101.01. Therefore, in the following
two sections the calculation procedure and requirement for the
internal pressure design will be discussed. One section will
focus on the transportation piping and the other one will explain
internal pressure design for plant piping.
Transportation Piping: ASME B31.4 and B31.8 (Thickness for Internal Pressure)
This section outlines the method for calculating the pipe wall
thickness for piping systems that are designated as
transportation piping, ASME/ANSI B31.8, paragraph 841.11
states the rule for calculating the design pressure as follows:
Equation 3.

P = [2 S t / D] x FET

Even though this equation is given in the AMSE B31.8 Code for
gas transportation system, Saudi Aramco Standard calls for
applying it for all other transportation piping systems regardless
of the nature of the service. The differences will be in the
design factors and de-rating factors as discussed bellow.
This equation could be re-arranged to calculate the wall
thickness required for internal pressure containment for gas
transmission and distribution piping (as well as other
transportation piping) as follows:
Equation 4

t = P D / [ 2 SETF]

Where:
t

= Internal pressure wall thickness, in.

P = Design pressure, psig.


D = Outside diameter of pipe, in.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

11

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

S = Specified Minimum Yield Strength (SMYS), psi.


E = Longitudinal-joint quality factor.
T = Temperature derating factor.
F = Design factor.
Each of the above parameters will be discussed thoroughly
next.
Design Pressure
[P]
In order to understand the significance of the pressure term in
the Equation - 4 the following topics will be discussed:

Pipeline optimization study

Pump & compressor shutoff

Static head and pressure drop

Pressure surge

Pipeline Optimization Study: Closer evaluation on Equation


4, shows us that the wall thickness is directly proportional to the
pressure, i.e. as the pressure becomes higher the thicker the
pipe becomes. On the other hand, as the pipe diameter
increases the pressure required to achieve certain flow drops
down. Consequently, maybe lower wall thickness is needed.
However, both the pipe wall and the diameter contribute to the
pipe cost. On the other hand lowering the discharge pressure
most probably will decrease the overall operating cost.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

12

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Therefore, the designer should go through a very detailed


exercise trying to optimize between the design pressure, pipe
diameter and pipe wall thickness in one side and the operating
cost in the other hand. These kind of studies are called
Pipeline Optimization Study. Details of this studies are
beyond the scope of this course.
Pumps & compressors shutoff: The design pressure is
dictated by the hydraulic requirement to achieve certain flow
rate through the pipeline. Also, the source of the pressure
upstream, such as the oil reservoir shut-in pressure, dictates the
design pressure. For a pipeline system connected to a pump or
a compressor, the design pressure will be affected by the pump
or compressor shut-off pressure in case the flow downstream
these rotating machinery was blocked and the pump or
compressor continue to operate. The pipeline will be subjected
to the highest pressure that the machine can produce.
Static head and pressure drop: Also, the hydrostatic head in a
liquid-filled piping system could also could be a detrimental
factor in cases where there is a large difference in elevation
along the pipeline route. In all cases the static head must be
considered when it is positive and adding to the internal of the
fluid. Our Standards do not allow taking advantage of or
pressure reduction due to pressure drop or due to negative
static head.
Pressure surge: The pressure surge condition in liquid
transportation pipeline must be considered, because sudden
change in the flow velocity caused by closure of a down stream
isolation or sudden stop of a downstream pump will create a
pressure surge in the line. This pressure surge will be
transmitted backward at the speed of sound in the transported
fluid and will create radial pressure in the line. The
development of pressure surges must be accounted in the
design of a pipeline. There are several approaches to reduce
the effect of pressure surges, for example increasing the closure
time of the valve that is creating the surge, slowing down the
rate at which the pump is stopped, or installing pressure surge
relief systems.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

13

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

However, assuming that pressure surges are not avoidable, or it


is not practical to install surge relief systems, then the wall
thickness of the line must be designed to withstand these
pressure surges. The ASME B31.4, paragraph 402.2.4 states
that the MATP, maximum allowable transient pressure due to
the pressure surges, shall not exceed 110% of the design
pressure (MAOP) in the line.
Saudi Aramco SAES requires that a formal surge analysis shall
be made for liquid-packed services. In case that it is not
economical to increase the pipe thickness and pressure surge
could not be eliminated, then, surge protection systems shall be
installed if surge pressures are calculated to exceed 110% of
the MAOP. The Surge protection systems shall be of fail-safe
design with an installed, spare, surge-relief valve for each surge
protection system.
Pipe Diameter [D]
The design Equation-4 is based on the actual outside diameter
of the pipe. The engineer must be aware that the designated
outside diameter in the pipe data in API-5L or ASTM A53 or
other source of information provides NPS, nominal pipe sizes.
The nominal pipe size is less than the actual outside diameter
for NPS 12 inches and lowers and it is equal to the actual
outside diameter for 14 inches and above. Therefore, careful
review should be exercised during the calculation otherwise
fatal mistakes could happen. The table showing pipe
dimensions and other data are provided in Addendum A of this
module.
The allowable
stress [SETF]
The combined term of SEFT is actually gives the limiting
allowable hope stress for produced by internal pressure.
Accordingly, this term will determine the minimum pipe wall
thickness required for holding the internal pressure. A key
parameter in this combined term is S. The parameter SA is the
Specified Minimum Yield Strength (SMYS) of the material as
explained previously in MEX-101-02. The ASME codes B31.4 &
Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

14

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

B31.8 provide the acceptable materials together with their


SMYS. These tables are shown in Appendix A-1 of this chapter.
The engineer should be aware that the allowable stress for
transportation piping is based on material yield point. The main
reason for that is economical, because pipelines usually extend
for long distances therefore the intent of the Code is to utilize
the material to its limits of yielding. This approach is simple
which has some reasoning behind it because pipeline
construction and configuration are also relatively simple and not
complicated. However, grater caution should be exercised
when dealing with higher-grade materials.
To make this point clear, we must understand that the pipe
bursting pressure is governed by the ultimate tensile strength of
the material rather than the yield strength. Equation 5.
Equation 1 for the design pressure can be re-arranged as
follows:
Pd

SMYS x [t ET/ D] x F

Pd

SMYS x [t / D] x F; Assuming E & T equal to 1

It is known fact and tested that the rupture pressure depend on


the tensile strength of the material and defined as follows:
Pb

U t x [t D]; Assume A= t D

S x A; (A is a factor combining all other


parameters)

Table 1. Level of Safety for Different Pipe Material Grade


Material
Grade

SMYS
psig

Ultimate
Tensile U t
psig

Design
Pressure
Pd

Bursting
Pressure
Pb

Pb / Pd

35000

60000

35000xAF

60000xA

1.71 / F

X52

52000

66000

52000xAF

66000xA

1.27 / F

X60

60000

75000

60000xAF

75000xA

1.25 / F

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

15

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

X70

70000

82000

70000xAF

82000xA

1.17 / F

The above table provides parametric calculations for the design


and burst pressure. The last column which gives the ratio
between the burst pressure to the design pressure shows that
as the pipe material become higher, the ration becomes less.
This implies that the actual safety factor is jeopardized as
materials with higher grade are used.
Longitudinal Joint
Factor [E]
The longitudinal joint factor is safety factor that represents the
quality of the pipe seam weld. As explained earlier in MEX101.2, this factor is dependent on both the manufacturing
process and the intended Code. Seamless pipe has a
longitudinal joint factor of on1 because in seamless pipes there
is no seam weld. All other welded pipe must have an E factor
ranging from 1 to 0.6. This factor will reduce the allowable
stress; consequently the wall thickness will increase. Appendix
A-2 of this chapter is an extract from AMSE B31.8, Table
841.115A.
The engineer should always refer to the latest edition of the
Code because this factor could be revised to be higher due to
improvement in the manufacturing process and inspection
techniques. At the same time it could be lowered due to
lessons learned or a more conservative approach by the Code
Committee.
Temperature Derating
Factor [T]

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

16

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

In general, the design temperature of transportation piping is


constant and relatively low. Also, we should remember that
both ASME B31.4 & B31.8, as mentioned in MEX-101.01, are
limited in the design temperature to 250o F and 450o F
respectively. The temperature derating factor accounts for the
fact that the yield strength of materials is reduced as the metal
temperature increases. ASME B31.4 has no temperature
derating factor because it is limited to 250o F while ASME B31.8
provide Table 841.116A for these values. This table is in
Appendix A-3.
The design temperature is mostly dictated by the upstream
condition of the fluid transported in the pipeline. However, there
are cases when the temperature will increase as the fluid
progress due to turbulence in the flow or picking heat from sun
radiation. These effects should be carefully studied because
they could have adverse impact either on the safety of the
piping system if ignored. On the other hand, they have
significant cost impact if very conservative approach is utilized.
For example, a conservative approach may lead to assigning a
temperature derating factor which will be translated into heavier
pipe wall and more cost to be spent. Also, it may lead to
installing coolers downstream the pipeline that will never be
operated but have added cost to the initial investment and
additional cost for operation and maintenance.
Design Factors [F]
The design factor [F], sometimes called DF, is a safety factor
that accounts for the relative hazard created by the presence of
the pipeline to the surrounding population, environment, and
facilities. This design factor is affected by many factor some of
which are:
1. The nature of the fluid transported, service, whether it is
farmable, toxic, explosive or pollutant.
2. The density of the population in the area where this line is
passing through. The higher the population density the more
safety factor should be imposed.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

17

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

3. Government laws and regulations.


4. Level of conservatism of the Committee members
developing the Standards
ASME B31.4 has identified one single design factor equals to
0.72, while ASME B 31.8 goes further step and assign a
different design factor for a different area classification. Saudi
Aramco is further step ahead in this issue, where the concept of
location classification has been applied to liquid hydrocarbon
pipelines as well as gas pipelines. To determine the design
factor, F, both Standards SAES-B-064 and SAES-L-003 shall be
used identify the piping system location class.
RER & PDI
In the case of pipelines, to determine the design another factor
another two concepts need to be explained. Those are the
Rupture Exposure Radius (RER) and the Population Density
Index (PDI). As shown in Figure-2, RER is a measure of the
extent of the risk that a pipeline could make to the surroundings
when it ruptures. The second, PDI, is a measure of the
vulnerability of people to that risk. The rules and guidelines for
calculating RER and PDI are given is AMSE B31.8 paragraph
840.2 and further superseded by SAES-B-064. The, SAES-B064 specifies the values for RER based on pipeline service,
True Vapor Pressure, H2S concentration and the line size. The
values of RER based on SAES-B-064, issue 1997, are
summarized in a table in Addendum A-4.
PDI is measured by the number of existing buildings intended
for human occupancy and the land area planned for future
development, all falling within the RER as shown in Figure-2. It
is worth mentioning that temporary facilities which will be in
place for less than six consecutive months are not to be
included in these calculations The method of calculation is
detailed in the next Sample Problem 1.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

18

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Figure 2. Schematic Diagram Explaining the Concept of RER and PDI


The values of the design factor, F, corresponding to the location
class and the PDI are provided in Table-2. Most probably, a
single transportation pipeline may have multiple location
classifications associated with it, based on the PDA results
along its length. It is very essential that engineers must
understand the intent of these factors rather than using them as
they are. These factors if not well understood and regularly reevaluated, this may lead to situation where some of the
pipelines may become safety hazard to people and
environment. On the other hand, these factors could
substantially increase the pipeline construction cost with no
logical reason.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

19

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Table 2. Location Class and Design Factors for Transportation Piping


Location
Class

Design
Factor F

Population
Density
Index PDI

0.72

10

Commentary and Examples

Desert area non developed areas


Water service lines.

0.60

11-29

0.50

30 and above

0.40

Special
Cases

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

Hydrocarbon service, in populated


areas or parallel to highways
Plant piping designed to B31.4 /
B31.8
Highly populated complexes such
as hospitals and malls.

20

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Sample Problem 1: Transportation Piping


A 48-inch cross-country pipeline conveying sour gas from
Uthmaniyah to Shedgum. Refer to Fihgure-2 for clarification.
Most of the pipeline passes through a desert except for 2-Km
section that traverses along the border of an industrial park.
The industrial park is 400 meters away from the pipeline. Also,
within this industrial park, there is an area planned for future
development. Identify the design factor for this pipeline and
calculate the minimum wall thickness required for internal
pressure. The following data is given.
Pipe Diameter: 48 inches
Design Pressure: 740 psig
Design temperature: 175oF
Pipe specification: API 5L carbon steel,
Material grade: X65
Pipe manufacturing: Double Submerge Arc Welded (DSAW)
Two-story building is: 11 buildings
Five-story building is: 4 buildings
Future development: 1200 m2

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

21

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Solution
Since this is a transportation piping system,
Equation 2 applies as follow:
t

= P D / [ 2 SETF]

P = 740 psig
D = 48 inches
S = 65000 psi (Addendum A-1 for API 5L X-65)
E = 1 (Addendum A-2 for DSAW pipe)
T = 1 (Addendum A-3 for T < 250 oF)
What is left to identify is the design factor F. At this point we
should be aware that there is a possibility that two design
factors may be assigned to this pipeline.
F for the undeveloped and desert area:
Based on Table-1 the pipeline is considered in location class1,
therefore
F = 0.72
t

= 730 x 48 / ( 2 x 1.0 x 1.0 x 0.72 x 65000 )


t

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

0.374 inches

22

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

F for the section area close to the industrial Park:


To determine the design factor, F, a population density analysis
must be performed.
RER = 5000 m for the 48 sour gas pipeline, (based on SAESB-064 shown in Addendum A-4)
This means that the industrial park is located within the RER.
Therefore, a formal population density analysis (PDA) must be
conducted to determine the location class, thus the design
factor F.
PDI

= Existing DI + Virtual DI

PDI

= EDI + VDI

EDI

= N1 + N3

N1 = Number of 3-story
N3 = Number of more than 3-sorty x Number of the
stories / 3 (rounded to the next number)
N1 = 11
N3 = 4 x 5 / 3 = 6.666
N3 = 7
EDI

= N1 + N3 = 11 + 7 = 18

VDI

= 0.00075 x 1200 = 0.9 = 1

PDI

= EDI + VDI =18 + 1

PDI

= 20

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

23

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Based on Table-1, for PDI = 20, this section of the pipeline is


considered in location class-2, therefore
F = 0.60
t = 730 x 48 / ( 2 x 1.0 x 1.0 x 0.60 x 65000 )

0.449 inches

Since no corrosion or other allowance was specified, the


calculation is complete.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

24

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

PROCESS PIPING:

ASME B31.3, MINIMUM THICKNESS FOR


INTERNAL PRESSURE
This section outlines the method for calculating the minimum
pipe wall thickness for plant piping systems designated as
process plant piping ASME B31.3., as discussed in earlier in
MEX-101.01. The minimum pipe wall thickness for Process
Piping requires meeting three criteria. Those are:
1. Internal pressure requirement
2. Corrosion, erosion and mechanical requirement
3. Mill under-tolerance must be considered
The first and the second factors are composed in the equation
of paragraph 340 of ASME B31.3 as follows:
Equation 6.
t

tm

= t+c

= minimum wall thickness for pressure or mechanical


strength

c = corrosion, erosion and mechanical allowance.


Calculation of t for internal pressure is detailed as follows.
ASME B31.3, paragraph 304 gives the rule for calculating the
wall thickness requirement. Also, it provides several equations
to conduct the calculation. The following equation is the mostly
used one.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

25

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Equation 7. t = PD / [ 2( SE + PY ) ]
where:
t

= Internal pressure design thickness, in.

P = Internal design pressure, psig.


D = Outside diameter of pipe, in.
E = Longitudinal-joint quality factor.
S = Basic Allowable (hot) hoop stress, psi.
Y = Wall thickness correction factor.
For thickness t < D/6, the internal pressure thickness for straight
pipe shall not be less than that calculated in the above equation.
For t > D/6 or for P/SE > 0.385, calculation of pressure design
thickness for straight pipe requires special consideration of
factors such as theory of failure, effects of fatigue, and thermal
stress. This module will not discuss this situation.
The parameters for calculating wall thickness of the process
plant piping are similar to the transportation piping, but the
parameters are different. These parameters will be explained
afterward.
Design Pressure and Temperature
The design pressure and temperature are used to calculate the
internal pressure thickness of pipe. The design pressure is
used directly in the thickness calculation equation, as previously
shown. The design temperature is used to determine the
allowable stresses from the ASME B31, 3 tables for Basic
Allowable Stress. The worst combination of design pressure
and temperature should be used for piping thickness
calculations. The process engineer based on process
requirements typically determines these values for design
pressure and temperature

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

26

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Piping system design conditions generally are determined


based on the design conditions of the equipment to which the
piping is attached. Determining the piping design conditions
consists of:
1. Identifying the equipment to which the piping system is
attached.
2. Determining the design pressure and design temperature for
the equipment.
3. Considering contingent design conditions, such as upsets
not protected by pressure-relieving devices.
4. Verifying values with the process engineer.
For example, a plant piping system that is attached to two
process vessels, each with different design conditions, will have
specified design pressure and design temperature based on the
more severe design conditions of the two vessels.
In another example regarding variation of T and P is a
regeneration line which may be subjected to different
combination of pressure and temperature. During steaming out
the temperature is very high but the pressure is low, while
during processing the pressure is high and the temperature is
low.
Longitudinal Joint
Factor [E]
As stated earlier the longitudinal joint factor is dependent on
piping Code as well as manufacturing process itself. Therefore,
there is possibility that for the same pipe manufacturing
process, two different factors E will be assigned by the two
different Codes.
Generally, the values for E are lower for ASME B31.3 Process
Piping Code than those for Transportation piping Codes.
These values are listed in Table A-1B of the Code and attached
in Addendum B-2 of this module. Comparing the value of E in
this table we could tell that they are generally lower than the

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

27

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

corresponding values for transportation piping. For ASME


B31.3 piping, only seamless pipe has a longitudinal weld factor
equivalent to one.
Basic Allowable
Hoop Stress [S]
The basic allowable hoop stress (stress in the circumferential
direction) is the allowable stress in tension for the pipe material
It is defined by ASME B31.3 and appears in Table A-1 in an
appendix-A of B31.3. An excerpt for these tables are shown in
Addendum B-1.
For plant piping, the allowable hoop stresses is a function of
temperature and material, and considers the yield, tensile, and
creep strengths of the material at the design temperature.
Figure 3 gives graphical presentation of how these allowable
stresses are defined and developed.

Figure 3. Variation of the Basic Allowable Stresses with


Temperature for Grade B Material.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

28

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Table A-1 is used in the following manner to determine


allowable stress for plant piping.

Pipe material and design temperature must be known.

Identify material Spec. No. and Grade in the table.

Obtain the allowable stress by looking under the appropriate


temperature column at the specified material, and use linear
interpolation between temperatures if required.

Using a pipe material at temperatures beyond the single


solid line is not recommended. Going beyond the double
solid line is prohibited.

The "Y" Factor for Plant Piping


The Y factor is a correction factor for simplifying the original
Lame equation. It accounts for geometrical relation between D
& t. The "Y" factor is a function of the type of steel and the
temperature, and is determined from Table 304.1.1 of
ASME/ANSI B31.3, which is shown in Table 3 next.
Table 3. The Y Factor as Extracted From ASME B1.3 TABLE 304.1.1
o
Temperature, F

950

1,000

1,050

1,100

1150
and
above

482 and
below

510

538

566

593

621 and
above

Ferritic Steels

0.4

0.5

0.7

0.7

0.7

0.7

Austenitic Steels

0.4

0.4

0.4

0.4

0.5

0.7

Other Ductile
Metals

0.4

0.4

0.4

0.4

0.4

0.4

o
Temperature, C

900
and
below

General Note: The value of Y may be interpolated between 0

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

0.

29

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

The following notes should be clarified regarding Y factor in


relation to Equation 4:
For D/t > 6 , Y can be calculated as:
Y= ( d + c ) / ( D + d + 2c )
where:
D = outside diameter
d = inside diameter
c

= mechanical, erosion and corrosion allowance

For a conservative approach and simplicity, Y can be assumed


equals to 0.4 or ignored.
The Y factor becomes significant for the combination of very
high pressure and small diameter. The factor should be used in
the case of high temperature and pressure because significant
saving in material could be achieved specially for alloy
materials.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

30

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

CORROSION, EROSION, AND THREAD ALLOWANCES


Allowances for corrosion, erosion, or threads must be
accounted for in determining the required pipe wall thickness.
This is more of a problem in plant piping because high fluid
velocities or changes in the pressure of the fluid can corrode a
pipe. Thread allowances apply only to smaller diameter pipes,
which may be threaded. Corrosion, erosion, and thread
allowances are determined in conjunction with the corrosion or
process engineer and are often specified in a pipe specification.
The appropriate allowance is added to the thickness that was
calculated for internal pressure to arrive at a total required pipe
wall thickness.
The following Sample Problems-2 will be used to illustrate the
method of calculating the pipe wall thickness for the process
piping.
Manufacturer Mill Tolerance
The pipe specification for manufacturing pipe such as API 5L
and ASTM A 53 or ASTM-A106, allow the manufacturer certain
tolerance in the wall thickness positive and negative. There are
some legitimate reasons for these tolerances because any
manufacturing process always works within some specified
range. The maximum manufacturer's under-tolerance for pipe
wall thickness is 12.5% for carbon and low-alloy steels. For
high-alloy steels it is 10%. Most seamless piping systems will
be in the 12.5% category. When pipe is supplied, the actual
thickness can be minus 12.5% of the nominal thickness.
Therefore, for ASME B31.3 piping, after the required minimum
wall thickness is determined, the next greater available standard
pipe thickness must be selected, taking into account the
manufacturer's under tolerance. In other word, the pipe wall
thickness after deducting the negative mill tolerance must be m,
equal to or more than t, specified in Equation 7.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

31

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

However, this process of correcting the wall thickness for mill


tolerance was not addressed for transportation pipelines. One
reason is that it is not economical to add for the mill tolerance,
because pipelines usually extend for long distances, could be
thousands of kilometers. Another reason is that the Code
consider the mill tolerance indirectly in the design safety factor.
SAES Limitations on Pipe Schedule
SAES-L-005 and SAES-L-006 impose additional requirement
over the calculated wall thickness. The minimum wall thickness
(Schedule) of carbon steel pipe shall be as follows:
Table 4. Minimum Wall Thickness Schedule for Carbon Steel
Nominal Size

mm

Hydrocarbon
Service

Low-Pressure
Utility Service

in.

50

SCH 80

SCH 40 (see 3.9)

3-6

75 - 150

SCH 40

SCH 40

8 - 32

200 - 800

6.5 mm (0.250 in.)

6.5 mm (0.250 in.)

34

850

Diameter /135

Diameter/135

Note: Schedule 160 nipples shall be used for 50 mm (2 in.) and smaller
pipe sizes in vibration service where bracing cannot be effectively provided.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

32

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Sample Problem 2
A 16 re-generation line will be installed to connect to the
reactor at Ras Tanura Refinery.
The following data is provided:
Pipe Diameter: 16 inches
Pipe specification: ASTM 335, (1/1-4 Cr - 1/2 Mo)
Pipe material grade: P11
Pipe manufacturing: Seamless

CASE 1: Design Pressure: 300 psig


Temperature: 1000 oF

CASE 2: Design Pressure: 900 psig


Temperature: 400 oF
Corrosion allowance: 0.0625 inches
Perform the following calculations:
1. Find the minimum wall thickness for the internal design
pressure
2. The minimum wall thickness by ASME B31.3 code
3. Select the pipe schedule that meets the Code requirements.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

33

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Solution
The minimum wall thickness for the internal design pressure:
Since this is a process plant piping system, Equation 6 applies
as follows:
t

= PD / [ 2( SE + PY ) ]

E = 1 (Addendum B-2, for seamless pipe, per B31.3 Appendix


A-1B)
In order to determine the thickness the calculation must be
performed for both cases independently.
CASE 1:
P = 300 psig
T = 1000 oF
S = 6300 psi (Addendum B-1, B31.3 Appendix A-1)
Y = 0.7 (based on Table-3)
t = 300 x 16 / [2 x ( 6300x1 + 300x0.7 ) ]
t = 0.369 inches

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

34

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

CASE 2:
P = 900 psig
T = 400 oF
S = 2000 psi (Addendum B-1, B31.3 Appendix A-1)
Y = 0.4 (based on Table-3)
t = 900 x 16 / [2 x ( 20000 x 1 + 900 x 0.4) ]
t = 0.354 inches
Therefore the required t, thickness for internal pressure case is
t = 0.369 inches
The minimum wall thickness by ASME B31.3 code:
In this case, a 15 mm (0.0625 in.) corrosion allowance has been
specified. Therefore:
tm = t + c = 0.369 + 0.0625
tm = 0.4315 inches
The pipe schedule which meets the Code requirements:
Checking the pipe data available in Addendum C-3:
The next pipe schedule above t
0.500

= 0.4315 , is XS with T =

Tu = T x (1- 12.5/100) = 0.5 x 0.875 = 0.4375 inches


Therefore 16 XS pipe meets the Code requirement.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

35

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

PIPE WALL THICKNESS FOR EXTERNAL PRESSURE


A piping system may be exposed to an external pressure, and
external pressure rather than internal pressure may govern the
required wall thickness. This might be the case for largediameter/thin-walled process plant piping that is subject to
vacuum conditions, or underwater pipelines, which must
withstand the hydrostatic head of the water above them.
Therefore, calculations must be conducted to ensure that the
pipe wall thickness is adequate for a given external pressure. If
it is not adequate, the thickness must be increased.
Pipe is subject to compressive forces such as those caused by
dead weight, wind, earthquake, and vacuum. The process
engineer often identifies these forces. For example, a
submarine pipeline may be exposed to an external pressure due
to the liquid head of surrounding water being greater than the
internal pressure. Piping components behave differently under
these forces than when they are exposed to internal pressure.
This difference in behavior is due to buckling or elastic instability
that makes the pipe weaker in compression than in tension.
In failure by elastic instability, the pipe may collapse or buckle.
This applies particularly to pipe that has a fairly low internal
pressure, large diameter, and thin wall. Figure 4 shows a
section of pipe that bucked under external pressure.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

36

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Figure 4. Effects of External Pressure


The left photo shows the pipe that buckled under external
pressure developed between the pipe and the sleeve. The right
shows the section after removal from the sleeve.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

37

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

GUIDELINES FOR EXTERNAL PRESSURE CALCULATIONS


The pressure piping Codes do not outline procedure to perform
the calculation for external pressure but refer to the ASME
Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section VIII, Division 1,
Paragraph UG-28. That paragraph provides a procedure for
evaluating cylindrical shells under external pressure. Pipe
geometry factors, (unsupported length, outside diameter, and
thickness), material strength, and design temperature are used
to determine the thickness required to resist external pressure.
1. Determine the maximum unstiffened length of the pipe, L.
2. Use the value of t as determined for internal pressure
thickness as a starting point. Calculate L/D and D/t (D is
equivalent to DO in the ASME Code procedure).
3. Enter Figure G of part D, subpart 2 of the ASME Code,
Section II, with L/D. For L/D greater than 50, use L/D = 50.
This figure is excerpted in Figure 5.
4. Move horizontally to the line for D/t. Use linear interpolation
for intermediate values of D/t. Move vertically downward to
find Factor A.
5. Using the value of A, enter the applicable figure from Section
II, Part D of the ASME code based on the pipe material,
such as Figure CS-2, excerpted in Figure 8. Move vertically
to an intersection with the material/temperature line. Use
linear interpolation for intermediate temperatures. If A falls
to the right of the material/temperature line, use the
horizontal projection of the line. If A falls to the left of the
material/temperature line, go to Step 8. Note that the ASME
Code contains figures similar to Figure 6 for different
material categories, and the correct figure must be used for
this evaluation.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

38

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

6. From the intersection in Step 5, move horizontally to the right


and read the value of Factor B.
7. Calculate the maximum allowable external pressures, Pa, as
follows:
Equation- 8 Pa = 4B/3(D/t)
8. If factor A falls to the left of the material/temperature line,
then:
Equation- 9 Pa = 2AE/3(D/t)
9. Note that in this case, E is equal to Youngs Modulus of
Elasticity at the design temperature, not the longitudinal-joint
quality factor. E is found from the applicable material figure
from Section II of the ASME Code as shown in Figure 6.
10. If Pa is smaller than the external design pressure, select a
larger value of t and repeat the design procedure until Pa is
equal to or exceeds the external design pressure. As an
alternative, external stiffening rings may be added or the
distance between them reduced, to reduce the value of L
that is used in the calculations.
11. Calculate tm = t + c to obtain the pipe thickness required for
external pressure and mechanical, corrosion, and erosion
allowances.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

39

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Nomenclature
t

= Pressure design thickness for external pressure, in.

L = Unstiffened length of pipe section, taken as largest of


(1) distance between flanges or welded stiffening rings
or ring girders, (2) distance between the point of
tangency on an elbow or cap and a flange or stiffening
ring, or (3) the distance between the points of
tangency of two elbows or caps if there are no
intermediate flanges or stiffening rings, in.
D = Actual outside diameter of pipe, in.
A = Factor from ASME Code, Section II.
B = Factor from ASME Code, Section II, psi.
E = Modulus of elasticity of material at design
temperature, psi.
Pa = Allowable external pressure, psi.
tm = Required external pressure thickness, including
allowances, in.
c

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

= Corrosion, erosion, other allowances, in.

40

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Figure 5. Geometrical Factor A for External Pressure Calculations

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

41

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Figure 5. Geometrical Factor A for External Pressure Calculations


(continued)

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

42

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Figure 6. Material Factor B for External Pressure Calculations

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

43

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Sample Problem 3:

External Pressure for Pipeline


Assume the pipeline discussed in Sample Problem 1 also must
be capable of withstanding full vacuum [100 kPa (15 psi)
external pressure].

Solution
T

= 0.374 inches ( use the thinner section)

L / D > 50 because no stiffening is present.


D / t = 48 / 0.374 = 128
Based on Figure-5 the A factor is found as:
A = 0.00007
Refer to Figure-6 for B factor, use the upper curve:
B = 9500
The A factor is on the left side of the curves, therefore
Use Equation 9
Pa = 2AE/3(D/t)
6

Pa = 2 x 0.00007 x 29.7x10 / (3 x 128 ) = 10.8 psia


The pipe is not adequate for vacuum, therefore alternative shall
be evaluated a follows:
1. Increase the pipe wall thickness, which is very costly
2. For underground this may need more analytical study.
3. Impose operational guideline to avoid vacuum.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

44

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Sample Problem 4:

External Pressure for Plant Piping


For Sample Problem-1, assume the longest straight pipe section
is 80 feet, otherwise there might be flanges, tee or valves acting
as stiffener. Verify if the line is capable of withstanding full
vacuum [100 kPa (15 psi) external pressure].

Solution
t

= 0.449 inches

L = 80 x 12 = 960 inches
L/D

= 960 / 16 = 60

D/t

= 16 / 0.4315 = 37

Based on Figure-5 the A factor is found as: A = 0.001


Refer to Figure-6 for B factor, use the upper chart.
T = 900 F: B = 9500
Therefore, use Equation- 8:
Pa = 4B/3(D/t)
Pa = 4 x 9500 / (3 x 37 ) = 342 psia
Therefore, the line is adequate for vacuum condition.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

45

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

TRAFFIC AND SOIL LOADS OVER BURIED PIPE


Transportation pipelines often have buried sections of pipe. The
required thickness of these buried sections will be affected by
soil and traffic loads, in addition to the design pressure. These
loads cause a circumferential bending stress in the pipe. The
Saudi Aramco engineer needs to determine if the pipe is thick
enough for these soil and traffic loads.
Specific requirements for how traffic loads are determined are
found in SAES-L-046, Pipeline Crossings Under Roads and
Railroads. The pipe must be designed for the traffic load, soil
weight, and passive soil reaction.
At railroad and highway crossings where the loads may apply,
the pipe must be designed according to API Recommended
Practice 1102, Liquid Petroleum Pipelines Crossing Railroads
and Highways. It provides the formula for determining
circumferential stress in a carrier pipe with internal pressure due
to external loads at highway and railroad crossings. The
equation gives a stress that is based upon the thickness,
internal pressure soil and traffic loads as follows:
The stress calculated in accordance with this equation is limited
to the Specified Minimum Yield Stress times the design factor,
F, without considering the longitudinal joint factor.
It should also be noted that SAES-L-046 contains criteria for
when a protective casing is required, and how the casing should
be designed.
Saudi Aramco has a computer program that makes the
calculation. This can be done through the Consulting Services
Department (CSD.) All the load factors required by SAES-L-046
are in the computer program, as well as the required
parameters. It is beyond the scope of this course to determine
the stress.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

46

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

THE MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE OPERATING PRESSURE (MAOP)


There are many cases where the purchased pipe wall is thicker
than what is required for the design pressure. This would allow
the designer to increase the actual design pressure of the pipe
as long as it is not limited by other factors, such as flange rating
as would be discussed in MEX-101.04. For transportation
piping system, this maximum permissible pressure is called
maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP). For process
plant piping this is called design pressure.
The engineer must determine MAOP for pipe as well as other
piping components. This module discusses MAOP for pipe.
The MAOP of a pipe or other piping component will be at least
equal to the design pressure. However, the MAOP can be
higher than the design pressure since use of a standard wall
thickness will typically provide an additional margin.
Guidelines for
Calculating
Maximum Design
Pressure
1. Subtract mill tolerance, (expressed as a decimal fraction), m,
from the nominal pipe wall thickness, Tn, for ASME B31.3
piping to determine the minimum possible as - supplied
thickness, T , as follows:
T = ( 1 m ) x Tn
Where: Tn is the nominal pipe wall and m is the mill
tolerance; m shall be taken as zero for ASME
B31.4 and B31.8 piping systems.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

47

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

2. Subtract any other allowances, such as corrosion allowance,


c, to calculate the minimum possible pipe thickness, t, as
follows:
t =Tc
Usually c is zero for transportation piping.
3. Reverse the applicable internal pressure equation to
calculate a value for maximum design pressure
For ASME/ANSI B31.3, Process Piping, use the following
equation to calculate Maximum Design Pressure:

MDP =

2tSE
D 2tY

For ASME/ANSI B31.4 or B31.8, Transportation Piping, use


the following equation to calculate MAOP:

2St
MAOP=
FET
D
4. Calculate maximum design pressure with the factors
identified earlier.
5. For ASME/ANSI B31.3, Process Piping, the following
equation should be used to calculate maximum design
pressure:
Maximum Design Pressure = 2x t x SE / ( D 2xtxY)
6. For ASME/ANSI B31.4 or B31.8, Transportation Piping, use
the following equation to calculate MAOP:
2St
MAOP =
FET
D

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

48

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

MAOP of a Pipeline
For transportation piping, the MAOP is calculated by Equation 3.
The pipe wall thickness to be used in the equation is the
nominal wall thickness. There should be no deduction for mill
tolerance. This is illustrated in the next sample problem.
Sample Problem 5.

MAOP of a Pipeline
A 36 inch pipeline carrying crude oil passing through an area
classified as Class 2. The required design pressure is 500 psig,
and design temperature is 200 F. A double submerge arc
welded (DSAW) API 5L grade X52 pipe was specified. A 36
inch pipe with 0.375 inch wall is available. Verify if this pipe is
adequate for the design pressure by calculating the MAOP of
this pipe.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

49

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Solution
Since this a pipeline, it would be designed to ASME B31.4/
B31.8, Equation-3 will be used to find The MAOP:
P = [2 S t / D] x FET
P = MAOP psig.
D = 36 in.
S = 52000 psi.
E = 1
T = 1
F = 0.72
MAOP = 2 x 52000 x 0.375 (0.6x1x1) / 36
MAOP = 650 psig
The MAOP is higher than the design pressure of 500 psig,
therefore the line pipe is acceptable for the design condition.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

50

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Maximum Design Pressure for Process Plant Piping


From a terminology point of view, the word MAOP is not used
by the Process Piping Code ASME B31.3. Paragraph 302.2.4
gives the rules on how to exceed the design pressure. The
design pressure can be exceeded as follows:

by 33% for continuous 10 hours but not more than 100 hours
per year

or by 20% for continuous 50 hours but not more than 500


hours in a year.

However, similar to what has been made for the transportation


piping, a pipe could be purchased thicker to what is deeded for
the actual design condition. The back calculation of the
maximum design pressure (not the MAOP) will be illustrated in
the following steps. This maximum design pressure can be
used for the pressure exceeding criteria as set by the ASME
B31.3.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

51

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Sample Problem 6:

Process Piping
Using the results of Sample Problems 2, determine the
maximum design pressure that can be sustained by the pipe
and maximum permissible pressure.
T = (1-m)
Tu = (1 - 0.125) (0.50) = 0.6563 in.
t n = Tu - c
t n = 0.0.4375 - 0.0625 = 0.375 in.
MDP = 2 t n S E / ( D 2 t n Y )
Apply Case-1 ( T = 1000 o F)
MDP = 2 x 0.375 x 6300 x 1/ ( 16 2 x 0.375 x0.7 )
MDP = 305 psig
33% over MDp = 405 psig ( for 10 hours)
20% over MDp = 366 psig ( for 50 hours)
Apply Case-2 ( T = 400)
MDP = 2 x 0.375 x 20000 x 1/ ( 16 2 x 0.375 x0.4 )
MDP = 955 psig
33% over MDp = 1270 psig ( for 10 hours)
20% over MDp = 1146 psig ( for 50 hours)

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

52

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

TYPICAL MISTAKES IN PIPE WALL THICKNESS CALCULATION


Even though the calculation for wall thickness is relatively
simple and straight forward, people do make mistakes that most
of the time cost the company more capital investment than
necessary. These mistakes are summarized as follows:
1. Specifying a design pressure that is higher than what is
required to fulfill the operational requirement.
2. Selecting the wall thickness to match the flange rating and
thickness. This might be acceptable for plant piping but for
pipelines it could add additional cost.
3. Setting the design pressure based on a pre-selected or
existing flange rating more what is actually required for
operation.
4. Applying the wrong Code.
5. Specifying the wrong allowable stresses in the formula
6. Inaccurate interpretation of the SAES-L-006 regarding the
minimum wall thickness requirement. Some of these
requirements are intended for inventory purposes, therefore
for line pipe purchased to be installed for a specific project
the criteria should not be applied if there is great economic
incentives. Following the standards without understanding
the intent could lead to purchasing of line pipe thicker than
what is required which means additional material and
construction cost.
7. Surprisingly, pure mathematical mistakes are frequently
made in the calculations reflected in possibly unsafe designs
or costly material.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

53

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

SUMMARY
MEX 101.03 discussed the process of determining pipe wall
thickness, one of the first steps in specifying the design of piping
system components. Pipe wall thickness is based on the
internal pressure of a pipe, and if necessary, on any additional
external pressure or loads. The pipe wall thickness is
determined by using the equation for internal pressure thickness
in the applicable code, adjusting the thickness as necessary for
any applicable external pressure or additional loads, adding the
corrosion or other allowances, accounting for the manufacturer's
mill tolerance, and selecting pipe schedule. After selecting the
pipe schedule, the Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure for
the pipe may be calculated.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

54

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

ADDENDUM
Index of Addendum

Page(s)

ADDENDUM A .............................................................................................................. 56
ADDENDUM B .............................................................................................................. 62
ADDENDUM C.............................................................................................................. 69

LIST OF TABLES
Table A-1. ASME/ANSI B31.8 (Appendix D: Specified Minimum Yield Strength for
Steel Pipe) ................................................................................................. 56
Table A-2. ASME/ANSI Code B31.8, Table 841.115A, (Excerpt) Longitudinal Joint
Factor E ..................................................................................................... 59
Table A-3. ASME/ANSI B31.8 Table 841.116A (Excerpt)Temperature Derating
Factor for Steel Pipe.................................................................................. 60
Table A-4. SAES B-064 Rupture Exposure Radius..................................................... 61
Table B-1. ASME/ANSI B31.3 (Excerpt) Basic Allowable Stresses In Tension
for Metals................................................................................................... 62
Table B-2. Basic Quality Factors for Longitudinal Weld Joints In Pipes, Tubes,
and Fittings E ............................................................................................ 67

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

55

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

ADDENDUM A
Table A-1: ASME/ANSI B31.8
(Appendix D: Specified Minimum Yield Strength for Steel Pipe)
SPEC. NO.

GRADE

TYPE (NOTE 1)

SMYS, PSI

API 5L (Note 2)

A25

BW, ERW, S

25,000

API 5L (Note 2)

ERW, S, DSA

30,000

API 5L (Note 2)

ERW, S, DSA

35,000

API 5L (Note 2)

X42

ERW, S, DSA

42,000

API 5L (Note 2)

X46

ERW, S, DSA

46,000

API 5L (Note 2)

X52

ERW, S, DSA

52,000

API 5L (Note 2)

X56

ERW, S, DSA

56,000

API 5L (Note 2)

X60

ERW, S, DSA

60,000

API 5L (Note 2)

X65

ERW, S, DSA

65,000

API 5L (Note 2)

X70

ERW, S, DSA

70,000

API 5L (Note 2)

X80

ERW, S, DSA

80,000

ASTM A 53

TYPE F

BW

25,000

ASTM A 53

ERW, S

30,000

ASTM A 53

ERW, S

35,000

ASTM A 106

30,000

ASTM A 106

35,000

ASTM A 106

40,000

EFW

(NOTE 3)

ERW

30,000

ASTM A 134
ASTM A 135

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

56

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Table A-1. ASME/ANSI B31.8


(Appendix D: Specified Minimum Yield Strength for Steel Pipe), Continued
ASTM A 135

ERW

35,000

ASTM A 139

EFW

30,000

ASTM A 139

EFW

35,000

ASTM A 139

EFW

42,000

ASTM A 139

EFW

46,000

ASTM A 139

EFW

52,000

ASTM A 333

S, ERW

30,000

ASTM A 333

S, ERW

35,000

ASTM A 333

35,000

ASTM A 333

S, ERW

35,000

ASTM A 333

S, ERW

35,000

ASTM A 333

S, ERW

75,000

ASTM A 333

S, ERW

46,000

ASTM A 381

CLASS Y-35

DSA

35,000

ASTM A 381

CLASS Y-42

DSA

42,000

ASTM A 381

CLASS Y-46

DSA

46,000

ASTM A 381

CLASS Y-48

DSA

48,000

ASTM A 381

CLASS Y-50

DSA

50,000

ASTM A 381

CLASS Y-52

DSA

52,000

ASTM A 381

CLASS Y-56

DSA

56,000

ASTM A 381

CLASS Y-60

DSA

60,000

ASTM A 381

CLASS Y-65

DSA

65,000

GENERAL NOTE: This Table is not complete. For the minimum specified yield
strength of other grades and grades in other approved specifications, refer to the
particular specification.
NOTES:

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

57

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

(1) Abbreviations: BW - furnace butt-welded; ERW - electric-resistance welded; S seamless, FW - flash-welded; EFW - electric-fusion welded; DSA - doublesubmerged arc welded.
(2) Intermediate grades are available in API 5L.
(3) See applicable plate specification for SMYS.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

58

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Table A-2. ASME/ANSI Code B31.8, Table 841.115A,


(Excerpt) Longitudinal Joint Factor E.
Spec. Number

Pipe Class

E Factor

ASTM A53

Seamless

1.00

Electric-Resistance
Welded

1.00
0.60

Furnace Welded
ASTM A106

Seamless

1.00

ASTM A134

Electric-Fusion Arc
Welded

0.80

ASTM A135

Electric-Resistance
Welded

1.00

ASTM A139

Electric-Fusion
Welded

0.80

ASTM A211

Spiral-Welded Steel
Pipe

0.80

ASTM A381

Double-Submerged
Arc Welded

1.00

ASTM A671

Electric-Fusion
Welded

1.00*

ASTM A672

Electric-Fusion
Welded

1.00*

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

59

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Table A-2. ASME/ANSI Code B31.8, Table 841.115A,


(Excerpt) Longitudinal Joint Factor E (Continued)
Spec. Number

Pipe Class

E Factor

API 5L

Seamless

1.00

Electric-Resistance
Welded

1.00

Electric-Flash Welded
Submerged Arc Welded

1.00
1.00
0.60

Furnace Butt-Welded
*1.00 for classes 12,22,32,42,52
0.80 for classes 13,23,43,53
Table A-3. ASME/ANSI B31.8 Table 841.116A
(Excerpt)Temperature Derating Factor for Steel Pipe
TEMPERATURE
o
C

TEMPERATURE
DERATING FACTOR, T
o
F

120 OR LESS

250 OR LESS

1.000

150

300

0.967

177

350

0.933

204

400

0.900

232

450

0.867

Note: For intermediate temperatures, interpolate for derating factor.


Source: ASME/ANSI B31.8 - 1992. With permission from the American
Society of Mechanical

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

60

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Table A-4. SAES B-064 Rupture Exposure Radius


Service

Diameter

TVP

H2S

RER

inches

psig

% Mole

meters

Comments

Crude

< 24

< 14.5

< 1..5

200

RER study by
LPD not required

Crude

> 24

< 14.5

< 1.5

400

RER study by
LPD not required

Gas/ liquid
hydrocarbon

< 24

> 14.5

< 1.5

1000

RER study can be


done by LPD

Gas/ liquid
hydrocarbon

< 24

> 14.5

> 1.5

3000

RER study can be


done by LPD

Gas/ liquid
hydrocarbon

> 24

> 14.5

< 1.5

2000

RER study can be


done by LPD

Gas/ liquid
hydrocarbon

> 24

> 14.5

> 1.5

5000

RER study can be


done by LPD

General Notes:
1. LPD: Loss Prevention Department, which is responsible for SAES-B-064.
2. RER study can be done for services other than the first two. The RER shall not be
less than the value specified in the first two items for the respective diameter.
3. Regardless of calculations, RER shall not be greater than the values specified in the
last for items for the respective pipeline diameter.
4. TRV: is the true vapor pressure for flammable liquid lines

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

61

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

ADDENDUM B
Table B-1. ASME/ANSI B31.3 (Excerpt)
Basic Allowable Stresses In Tension for Metals

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

62

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Table B-1. ASME/ANSI B31.3


(Excerpt) Basic Allowable Stresses In Tension for Metals (Continued)

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

63

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Table B-1. ASME/ANSI B31.3


(Excerpt) Basic Allowable Stresses In Tension for Metals (Continued)

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

64

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Table B-1. ASME/ANSI B31.3


(Excerpt) Basic Allowable Stresses In Tension for Metals (Continued)

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

65

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Table B-1. ASME/ANSI B31.3 Table A-1


(Excerpt) Basic Allowable Stresses In Tension for Metals (Continued)
51. Special P-1, Sp-2, SP-3, SP-4, and SP-5 of carbon steels
are not included in P-No 1 because of possible high-carbon,
high-manganese combinations, or micro-alloying, which
would require special consideration in qualification.
Qualification of any high-carbon, high-manganese grade
may be extended to other grades in its group.
52. Copper-silicon alloys are not always suitable when exposed
to certain media and high temperature, particularly above
212F. The user should satisfy himself that the alloy
selected is satisfactory.
53. Stress relief treatment is required for service above 450F.
54. The maximum operating temperature is arbitrarily set at
500F because hard temper adversely affects design stress
in the creep rupture ranges.
55. Pipe produced to this specification is not intended for hightemperature service. The stress values apply to either
nonexpanded or cold-expanded material in the as-rolled,
normalized, or normalized temperature conditions.
56. Because of thermal instability, this material is not
recommended for service above 800F.
57. Conversion of carbides to graphite may occur after
prolonged exposure to temperatures over 800F.
58. Conversion of carbides to graphite may occur after
prolonged exposure to temperatures over 875F.
59. For temperature above 900F, consider the advantages of
killed steel.
Source: ASME/ANSI B31.3 - 1990. With permission from the
American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

66

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Table B-2. Basic Quality Factors for Longitudinal Weld Joints In Pipes, Tubes,
and Fittings E

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

67

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Table B-2. (TABLE A-1B) Basic Quality Factors for Longitudinal Weld
Joints In Pipes, Tubes, and Fittings E (continued)

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

68

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

ADDENDUM C
Engineering and Design Data Table of Properties of Pipe
References for Pipe Data
Standard pipe wall thickness are specified in the following
standards:

ASME/ANSI B36.10, Welded and Seamless Wrought Steel


Pipe (for carbon and low-alloy steel pipe).

ASME/ANSI B36.19, Stainless Steel Pipe.

API/5L, Specification for Line Pipe (only for carbon steel


pipe that meets this specification).

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

69

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Table C-1. Table of Properties of Pipe

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

70

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Table C-1. Table of Properties of Pipe (Contd)

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

71

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Table C-1. Table of Properties of Pipe (Contd)

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

72

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Table C-1. Table of Properties of Pipe (Contd)

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

73

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Table C-1. Table of Properties of Pipe (Contd)

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

74

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Table C-1. Table of Properties of Pipe (Contd)

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

75

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Table C-1. Table of Properties of Pipe (Contd)

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

76

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Table C-1. Table of Properties of Pipe (Contd)

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

77

Engineering Encyclopedia

Piping, Pipelines & Valves


Pipe Wall Thickness Calculation

Table C-1. Table of Properties of Pipe (Contd)

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards

78