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Report 0723A

Review of the ASME Code Section VIII Division 2 2007

as it affects API specifications

For The American Petroleum Institute, Washington, DC

The ASME Code Section VIII Division 2 has been totally rewritten with the 2007
edition. Several API Specifications reference this Code for quality control and design
methods. The main areas of concern are those specifications that use ASME Section VIII
Division 2 Appendix 4 design methodology, Appendix 5 fatigue analysis methodology,
and Appendix 6 experimental stress analysis. Since Appendix 6 has been replaced by a
substantially identical Annex 5.F in the new specification, this report focuses mainly on
Appendices 4 and 5 in the old specification and the corresponding Parts 5.0 and 5.5 in the
new Code, with additional consideration of rules in Part 4.0 of the new Code. Changes to
API Specifications 6A, 16A, 16C, and 17D are recommended.

Prepared by _________________________________________ Date _____________
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1.0 Objectives
An objective of this report is to provide a comparison of the rules of the ASME Code
Section VIII Division 2 before and after the 2007 rewrite of the specification. A further
objective is to clarify how the API Specs which reference the ASME Code have changed
the allowable stresses of the code. A third objective is to recommend how the API
Specifications should address the new Code if at all.
2.0 Items in ASME Section VIII Div 2 referenced in API

API Specifications 6A makes use of the ASME Code Section VIII Division 2 in an
alternative way to calculate the size of a Qualification Test Coupon used to determine
material properties. API Specifications 6A, 6H, 16AS, 16C, and 17D all reference the
design methods of Appendix 4 but permit a higher allowable stress. API 17D references
the fatigue analysis of Appendix 5. API Specifications 6A,
Ref in Old Div 2 Location in New Where referenced Comments
AM201, 202 3.10.4 6A: 5.6.2 c,
16A: N/A
17D: Ref. 6A
Alternative sizing rules
for QTCs: New code
virtually identical to old.
Appendix 4 Part 5 6A:,; 6H: 5.1a.
16C: 3.1.1
17D: Appendix E
Strength analysis:
methods changed.
Appendix 5 Part 5.5 17D: 303 Fatigue analysis: methods
Appendix 6 Annex 5.F 6A:;
6H: 5.1c;
16C: 3.1.3
Experimental stress
analysis: no significant
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3.0 Comparison of methodology and allowable
3.1 Differences in methodology
The new ASME Section VIII Division 2 has been reorganized but still has very similar
methodology. The principal difference is that the new code uses von Mises equivalent
stress, while the old code used stress intensity
Stress intensity is based on the Tresca, or maximum shear stress theory of failure. The
stress intensity is defined as twice the yield stress due to the combined stresses. When the
stress intensity reaches the yield strength of the material, yielding is expected to occur.
Equivalent stress is based on the value of the distortion energy due to the combined
stresses at a point. Distortion energy is the portion of the strain energy that results in a
shape change of the material, not merely a volume change. Von Mises and others
observed that failure in ductile materials can more accurately be predicted by comparing
the distortion energy to a critical value where yielding will occur. The equivalent stress
is a number that can be compared to the yield strength to predict yielding.
Equivalent stress is considered a more accurate predictor of failure than stress intensity. It
is either equal or lower in value than the stress intensity, thus it is less conservative.
3.2 Basic allowable stresses
Old Section VIII Division 2: New Section VIII Division
API 6A, 16A, 16C, 17D
Design stresses based on
stress intensity.
Design based on von Mises
equivalent stress
Design stresses based on
stress intensity.
Design stress or stress intensity =lower of:
1/3 S
/2.4 6A, 17D: 0.5 S

(1.1* S
)/3 6A, 17D: 0.5 S

2/3 S
/1.5 2/3 S

2/3 S
/1.5 2/3 S

=temperature derating factor for tensile strength
=temperature derating factor for yield strength
=minimum specified tensile strength
=minimum specified yield strength
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3.3 Allowable stresses at test pressure
Allowable general primary membrane equivalent stress or stress intensity
Old Div. 2 New Div. 2 6A, 17D

16A, 16C:

Reference AD-151.1 Reference
Hydrostatic Test Pneumatic (gas) Test
0.9 S
0.95 S
0.80 S
0.83 S
0.9 S

Allowable primary membrane plus bending stress intensity =lower
1.35 S
1.43 S
1.20 S
2.15 S
2.43 S
2.20 S
=primary membrane stress
NR =no requirement

API 6A, 16A, 16C and 17D allow design based on the distortion energy theory, limiting
maximum von Mises equivalent stress to the yield strength at test pressure. Specs 6A and
17D exempt secondary and peak stresses from this limit, however Specs 16A and 16C do
Note that the new Section VIII Division 2 has imposed lower maximum stresses for gas
testing, than either the old code or the API specifications.
3.4 Wall thickness comparison
The following chart shows the ratio of required wall thickness to inside radius for several
pressure ratings. This comparison assumes that the new ASME Section VIII Division 2 is
used with the same allowable equivalent stresses as the existing API rules specify for
allowable stress intensities. Test pressure is used as the controlling case with an 83% of
yield strength as the limiting membrane stress intensity or equivalent stress.
As can be seen, the new Section VIII Division 2 Part 5 rules permit thinner walls than
any of the other current methods for operating pressures of 10,000 psi and higher. The
largest percentage difference is in the 20,000 psi rated equipment where a 7% reduction
in wall thickness would be possible.

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WP, psi P
, psi S
, ksi 6A, 17D
API Dist.
Old Div
New Div
2 Part 4
New Div
2 Part 5
2,000 4,000 60 0.084 0.077 0.063 0.084 0.084 0.073 -15.381
3,000 6,000 60 0.128 0.118 0.100 0.128 0.128 0.111 -11.262
5,000 7,500 60 0.163 0.149 0.130 0.163 0.163 0.140 -7.904
10,000 15,000 60 0.355 0.323 0.328 0.355 0.351 0.300 7.121
10,000 15,000 75 0.355 0.323 0.237 0.274 0.272 0.233 1.657
15,000 22,500 75 0.441 0.400 0.443 0.441 0.435 0.372 7.000
20,000 30,000 75 0.635 0.571 0.804 0.635 0.619 0.528 7.531
The use of the von Mises equivalent stress instead of stress intensity is the reason for the
difference between the Old Div. 2 and New Div. 2 columns.
The API Distortion Energy method is the alternative allowed by 6A, 16A and C, and
17D. This method permits the equivalent stress at the inside surface to reach the yield
strength at test pressure. This method permits thinner walls at low pressures, even thinner
than the new ASME rules.
The new ASME Code Section VIII Division 2 has two design sections. Part 4 is called
Design by Rules and Part 5, Design by Analysis.
Part 4 of the new code contains rules for designing wall thickness for a variety of vessel
shapes, reinforcement around outlets, flanges and clamps, and other common vessel
configurations. The rules are relatively conservative compared to Part 5. The equation for
minimum wall thickness is t =

[cxp j
[ - 1, where D is the inside diameter, P the
pressure, S the allowable stress, and E the joint efficiency or casting quality factor.
Part 5 has rules for design by analysis, which can be by finite-element analysis or other
means. Wall thickness in the above table is based on the general primary membrane
equivalent stress in an infinitely long cylinder with full pressure end load. The data in the
table above were calculated based on membrane equivalent stress in an infinite cylinder.
Specification 17D has special rules in Appendix E for the pressure design of mudline
equipment. The method uses elastic analysis and equivalent stress, with higher allowable
stresses than the methods shown above. All stresses are considered primary so no high
secondary stresses are allowed. As an alternative, the ASME rules are also permitted.
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3.5 Allowable bolting stress
Section VIII flange design
by rules (old & new)
Section VIII Division 2
design by analysis (old &
API 6A, 16A, 16C, 17D
Lowest of:
/ 5
/ 4
/ 4
2 S
/ 3
0.83 S
up to 250 F (121 C)
0.83 S
over 250 F

Example: ASTM A193 GR B7 @ room temperature
25,000 psi 35,000 psi 87,150 psi

In the above table, S
is the room temperature minimum specified tensile strength, S
the room temperature minimum specified yield strength, R
is the ratio of elevated
temperature tensile strength to room temperature tensile strength, and R
is the same ratio
for yield strength.
The API allowable stresses are much higher than allowed by any other comparable code.
However the API rules require consideration of hydrostatic test loading, external loading,
and thermal loads. ASME does not require consideration of stresses at hydrostatic test
conditions but does require consideration of external loading and thermal effects.
The API type 6BX flanges were originally designed using a maximum bolt stress of 0.5
at room temperature operating conditions, which is more conservative than the present
API 6A rules.
4.0 Flange Design
An important consideration in acceptance of the new code is whether it would permit
flanges to be weaker than the current rules. The effect on Technical Reports 6AF, 6AF1,
and 6AF2 which rate flanges with combinations of external load and temperature, should
also be considered.
Traditionally the rules used for flange design are those of Appendix 2 of Section VIII
Division 1. In addition, it was permitted by Section VIII Division 2 to design flanges
using finite-element methods and the stress categories and limits imposed by Appendix 4.
This latter methodology was used in the development of TRs 6AF, 6AF1, and 6AF2.
The new rules would permit higher external loading since the stresses are evaluated using
the von Mises rather than the Tresca criterion. However, since the present ratings are
more conservative than if they were revised, there is no compelling reason to update
these publications.
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Part 4.16 of the new code documents Design by Rules methodology for flanges.
These rules are updated from the old traditional flange design methods.
First, they consider external forces and moments using the Equivalent Pressure method
of the M. W. Kellogg book, Design of Piping Systems.
Second, the equations for the various constants used in the calculations have been
combined to eliminate calculating a number of C constants. The design curves of the old
Appendix are not shown, forcing the analyst to work through all the algebra to come up
with the constants.
Allowable stresses for the flange and hub are higher than before, but bolt stresses are
limited to the same low values as Section VIII Division 1, i.e. 25,000 psi for B-7 studs.
5.0 Clamp Connection Design
The new ASME Code has a section on clamp design which is based on Appendix 24 of
Section VIII Division 1. The author believes these rules are based on the AWHEM
method developed by Dr. Harry Sweet, which was used to design the Specification 16A
clamp hubs.
6.0 Design by Analysis
The specific section of ASME Section VIII Division 2 referenced in Specs 6A, 16A, 16C,
and 17D as a design method is Appendix 4 of the old edition. This is replaced by Section
5 in the new edition.
The new code, like the old, requires analysis to determine the amount of protection from
four failure modes: plastic collapse, local failure, collapse from buckling, and failure
from cyclic loading.
6.1 Protection from Plastic Collapse
For plastic collapse, analysis by linear elastic methods is not recommended for wall
thicknesses thicker than R/4, where R is the inside radius, when yielding occurs in 5% of
the wall thickness or more. For those cases elastic-plastic analysis is required. This might
rule out elastic analysis for most 10,000 psi and higher rated equipment, as well as many
heavy-wall wellhead housings designed for lower pressures. This is a much more
stringent and costly requirement than the existing code.
When permitted, elastic analysis uses a hopper diagram similar to that of the old code.
Only primary stresses are considered for the purpose of resisting plastic collapse.
When elastic analysis is not permitted, the next resort is limit analysis. This method
involves finite-element analysis assuming an elastic perfectly plastic material. Instead
of the stress criteria for elastic analysis, the collapse load for the component is found
which must exceed the various loading combinations in Table 5.4.
The previous code also permitted limit load analysis, but simply required that the design
load be no more than two-thirds of the collapse load.
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If the component does not satisfy the limit load analysis criteria or shows weakening
under load, then an elastic-plastic analysis is required.
The elastic-plastic analysis is used to find the collapse resistance of the component based
on a representation of the material that includes work hardening after yield. This is the
most accurate method of modeling. The component is analyzed with increased loading
above the rating of the equipment, per Table 5.5, and is collapse does not occur the
component is acceptable.
For elastic-plastic analysis, the previous code simply required that the rated load be no
more than two-thirds of the collapse load. Again, a consideration of strain concentrations
was also required for any fatigue analysis.
The new Code (Tables 5.3 5.5) specifies load combinations to be used for elastic, limit
load, and elastic-plastic analysis. A difference is that in the consideration of earthquake,
wind and other occasional loads, instead of multiplying the allowable stress by 1.10, the
pressure used in the analysis is multiplied by 0.90 and the earthquake loads by 0.7. Thus,
wind, snow and other occasional loads are considered at their full value.
6.2 Protection from Local Failure
The concern related to local failure is the possibility of initiating a fracture. Two criteria
are presented for this type of failure.
First, elastic analysis may be used as above, and in addition the stresses shall be checked
to be sure that the sum of the principal stresses at any point is led than 4S, where S is the
basic allowable membrane stress. This criterion is the same as the previous standard.
Alternatively, an elastic-plastic analysis may be run. In this case, the triaxial strain is
compared to a limit which may be based on the materials specified minimum elongation
or reduction in area.
6.3 Protection from Failure from Buckling
For components loaded in compression, buckling analysis is required. This would apply
to casing head housings and subsea wellhead housings, where the tubular loads put the
housing wall in compression. Requirements are given for elastic and elastic-plastic
6.4 Protection from Failure from Cyclic Loading
The new code permits a design to be exempted from fatigue analysis based on successful
experience with comparable equipment. It also gives formal methods in part 5.5 for
determining whether fatigue analysis is required.
Specifications 6A, 16A and 16C do not presently require fatigue analysis, although BOPs
are routinely analyzed for fatigue by most major manufacturers due to the large number
of full working pressure cycles they experience. Since 6A equipment sees only mild
cyclic service with declining pressure, fatigue is probably not an issue. An exception may
be 6A valves that are used on BOP stacks.
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Spec 17D mentions fatigue consideration for several components but does not
specifically require fatigue analysis or provide cyclic service requirements. Spec 17D
does reference ASME Section VIII Division 2 Appendix 5 as an acceptable method for
fatigue analysis.
For Appendix 5, the stress range for each type of cycle was calculated. For example, a
connector might see make and break cycles, hydrostatic test cycles, operating pressure
cycles, and wave action cycles. A limiting number of cycles is then found for each cycle
type from the fatigue curves. The expected number of each type of cycle is divided by the
limiting number to come up with a usage factor. The sum of the usage factors for all the
cycle types then is limited to 1.0.
The new code has revised the methods of Appendix 5 to a more elaborate method of
cycle counting which requires knowledge of the order of the various cycles. These
methods are explained in Annex 5.B. Either elastic or elastic-plastic finite-element
analysis can be used. In addition to fatigue failure, methods to assess stress ratcheting and
progressive distortion are provided.
7.0 Part 4 of the Revised Code
The new Section VIII Division 2 has design methods divided into two major sections:
Part 4 (Design by Rule) and Part 5 (Design by Analysis). The methods for flange design
and clamp connection design mentioned above are in Part 4.
This revised Design by Rule section has many useful techniques that are applicable to
valves and wellhead equipment, such as (besides flanges and clamps) cylindrical and
spherical wall thicknesses, reinforcement of nozzle connections, design of flat covers and
blind flanges, and many other features. The rules are generally conservative and simpler
to use than the finite-element methods in Section 5. Previously API specifications
referred only to Appendices 4 and 5 which correspond to Part 5 of the new Code.
However, in the authors experience, the rules of Part 4 are equally important and the
corresponding parts of the old code have been used extensively in design by
Consideration should be given to permitting the use of both Section 4 and 5, with
appropriate adjustments to allowable stresses/
8.0 Other differences between API and ASME
8.1 Quality control.
Charpy test requirements in the ASME code are more conservative. The required impact
energy is determined by the type of alloy and wall thickness.
All materials are volumetrically inspected. Castings with thick walls are radiographed
and ultrasonically tested. Casting and forging surfaces are also MT or LP tested.
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API, on the other hand, permits design calculations to be performed based on the
assumption that all material is perfect, and then imposes various levels of NDE
depending on the PSL, to identify and quantify defects.
The ASME QC requirements are similar to the API requirements for PSL 3 and 4
9.0 Recommendations
The author recommends that the methods of the old ASME Code (2004 and earlier) be
grandfathered into the API Specifications.
The author further recommends that the design methods of the new ASME Code Section
VIII Division 2, Part 5, be permitted for PSL 3 or higher equipment, with reduced
allowable stresses compared to the current API allowable stresses for the ASME method.
The quality control requirements of PSL 3 approximate those of Section VIII Division 2.
It is also recommended that the rules of the new ASME Code Section VIII Division 2,
Part 4 (Design by rules) be permitted for 2000, 3000, and 5000 psi rated equipment.
Current API rules permit a safety factor of approximately 2, whereas the new Division 2
rules require a safety factor of 2.4 based on tensile strength.
If one compares the wall thickness in the table on page 4 for Section VIII Division 2 Part
5 to the old Section VIII Division 2 wall thickness, you find about a 17% - 18% thicker
wall in the old code. Therefore the use of the same allowable stress basis as is used by the
new ASME Code, giving a safety factor of 2.4 vs. 2.0, is suggested. However the present
limits in Specifications 16A 1nd 16C for the maximum membrane equivalent stress at
test pressure should be retained.
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follows the rules of Spec 6A)
API Specification 6A:
Combine subclauses (ASME Method) and (Non-standard materials design
requirements) to be called the Classical ASME Method, and specifically reference
Section VIII Division 2 2004. Keep the numbering of
Subclause (Experimental Stress Analysis) Change the reference from Appendix 6
to Annex 5.F.
Add a new subclause New ASME Method as follows:
The design methodology of the ASME Code, Section VIII Division 2 2007 may be
employed as follows:
The allowable stress S shall be determined using the rules of the 2007 ASME Code
Section II Part D, Appendix 10.
The methods of Part 4, Design by Rules, and Part 5, Design by Analysis, are permitted for
all 2000, 3000, and 5000 psi rated equipment.
The methods of Part 4 and Part 5 are permitted for all PSL 3 and higher rated equipment.
Maximum primary membrane equivalent stress is limited to 5/6 of the minimum
specified yield strength of pressure containing equipment at hydrostatic test pressure.
API Specification 16A:
Split subclause into two subclauses: Classical ASME Method include the present subclause. New ASME Method add the material above for Spec 6A subclause
Correct the reference in (Experimental Stress Analysis) as above.
API Specification 16C:
As with Spec 16A, divide paragraph 3.1.1 into two paragraphs: Classical ASME Method include the present material. New ASME Method add the material above for Spec 6A subclause
Correct the reference in 3.1.3 (Experimental Stress Analysis) as above.

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API Specification 17D:
Revise the note under Clause 303 as follows to include the new Div 2 methods for
fatigue, while grandfathering the old methods:
NOTE: Fatigue shall be evaluated where applicable in Sections 900, 1000, and 1100 of
this specification. Acceptable methods are the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code,
2004, Section VIII Division 2 Appendix 5 or the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code,
2007, Section VIII Division 2 Part 5.5. Localized bearing stress values are beyond the
scope of this specification.
In Appendix E, revise the first sentence of the note as follows:
NOTE: As an alternative to the method presented in this Appendix, the designer may use
the rules of the ASME Code, Section VIII Division 2, modified in accordance with API
Specification 6A, subclauses or
No further changes are required since 17D invokes the rules of 6A for all pressure
controlling and containing components other than mudline equipment.