You are on page 1of 10



1.0 Introduction
This chapter deals on code requirements for Pressure vessels & Piping design used in Refining &
Petrochemical Industry.

2.0 Pressure vessel design

2.1 Code Requirements

ASME Codes.

All process vessels should be designed according to the ASME Section VIII, Unfired Pressure Vessel Code
(Latest Edition) and/or the codes which govern in the particular country in which the unit is to be installed. This
does not apply to small vessels made of pipe and atmospheric vessels handling water and injection chamicals
(see Section I.A.2 and 3)

All vessels used for the purpose of generating steam with a process fluid or within a process heater will be
designed according to the ASME Section I, Boiler Code (Laters Edition). In some instances, where steam is
generated by a process stream, without the use of direct fire, the vessels may be designed according to the
Section VIII Code if requested in writing by the customer.

In cases of vessels operating at pressures above 1000 PSIG and less than 900 oF., consideration should be
given to designing to the ASME section VIII, DIvision 2 Code. This code is similar to the ASME Section III,
Nuclear Code and permits using a safety factor of 3 rather than the usual 4 in the design of the vessel. There
are special requirements on the fabrication designer and material testing to use Division 2 which can use up
much of the savings due to the higher allowable stress.

Many atmospheric vessels handling water and injection chemicals need not be code vessels. There is a nominal
savings due to not having to be fabricated in a Code shop and not requiring a Code stamp.

API 510 Pressure vessel inspection code and
IS 2825 Pressure vessel design code.
2.2. Design Conditions


The design pressure should , normally be a minimum of 25 PSI or 10% above the maximum operating pressure,
whichever is greater. Minimum design pressure is normally 50 PSIG.

In cases of very large vessels, operating at low pressures. The 25 PSI increment is sometimes used for
designed above operating pressure, rather than the minimum of 50 PSIG.

At operating pressures above 1000 PSIG the design conditions are taken as minimum of 100 PSI or 5% above
operating pressure, whichever is to obtain bubble tightness at 95% of set pressure.

Hydrocarbon & Related Projects
Larsen & Toubro Limited
Baroda , India
Page 1 of 10
12/7/02 file://D:\WINNT\Profiles\jjsnl\Desktop\StandardsFS_files\annex
Vessels operating under any condition of vaccum should be designed for full vaccum.

Vessels not operating under a vaccum, but subject to a vacuum condition due to failure of a control or heat
source, should be designed for full vaccum or provided with a vacuum breaking device. Designing for vacuum
usually only requires the addition of stiffening rings to the shall for most vessels designed for a reasonable
pressure and shop fabricated sizes.

For vessels operating liquid full where a sudden drainage or other circumstance, such as flow stoppage and
subsequent cooling should produce a vaccum condition, should be designed for vaccum. Design pressure is
usually given for top and bottom separately.

In some instance, the design pressure may be dictated by the static head of liquid required for hydrostatic
testing of the vessel. In cases of extreamely tall vessels in non-critical service, such as blowdown sumps, a
pneumatic test is sometimes used to avoid this requirement.
2.2.2. Temperature

The design temperature should be about 50oF above the normal operating temperature. Consideration should
be given to failure of coolers ahead of vessels which could require a greater increment than 50

In cases of reactors operating at high temperatures and/or high pressure, where the allowable stress drops
rapidly with each temperature increment, they are usually designed for the maximum expected. operating
temperature at end of run. This practice is usually conservative if the reactions are endothermic. Consideration
should be given to the accuracy of the temperature sensing element so as not to exceed the design temperature
without sensing it.

In setting the design temperature of vessels, the effect on flange rating should always be taken into account so
as not to increase costs unduly.

When temperatures are well above levels which can be reasonably designed for and in some instances to
reduce alloy and thickness requirments in high pressure vessels, cold wall vessels are used ( internally
insulated) where the outside shell is designed for 300 F.
2.2. 3 Corrosion Allowance

The normal corrosion allowance on carbon steel vessels in non-corrosive service is 1/8 inch. Vessels are
normally designed for 10 years service.

Vessels in severely corrosive service are usually alloys clad or "weld - overlayed" for protection. Where cladding
or weld-overlay is used to protect against corrosion no corrosion allowance is added to the base metal.

Where corrosion aqueous phases are handled at low temperatures they are sometimes protected with a layer of
"acid proof cement."
2.3 Sizing of Vessels

1. Reactors, Fixed Bed.

The diameter is picked as small a possible to keep wall thickness to a minimum. Pressure drop is the prime
consideration, during normal operation, and when catalyst is coked or fouled at end of run. Consideration should
also be given to shipping of vessel. Railways can ship up to about 13 feet in diameter.If brought to site by ship,
reators up to about 16 feet O.D. have been handled.

The diameter is normally chosen to give bed length to diameter ratio of about 3. Some processes may be as low
as 1 and units such as Isomax can have ratios as high as 5.

c. OUTAGE ALLOWANCE. The space above the catalyst bed should be great enough for a man to work in
while installing balls, baskets, distributors, etc. Remember that catalyst and balls must be spread level across
Page 2 of 10
12/7/02 file://D:\WINNT\Profiles\jjsnl\Desktop\StandardsFS_files\annex
the bed.

d. CATALYST SUPPORT. The space below the catalyst is usually determined by the catalyst support media
and by-passing considerations.

e. SLUMPING. Catalyst slumping should be taken into account on deep beds. It is primarily a function of growth
of the shell when heated and is about 1/4 inch per foot of catalyst.

f. COLD WALL. Coldwall reactors usually have 5 inches of refractory lining, and an inner alloy liner about 1 inch
inside of the refractory and sealed to the shell at one end to prevent by-passing the catalyst bed and thereby
heating the shell. The inside diameter will, therefore, be about one foot less than the shell I.D.
2.3.2. Fractionators

a. DIAMETER SELECTION. The diameter is designed for a maximum of 75% of flood. Care should be used with
columns operating above 200 PSIG to select the most conservative method of design for high vapor density.
Consideration should also be given to shipping of the vessel. Railways can handle up to about a 13 foot diameter.
If it cannot be shipped, it must be field rather than shop fabricated which increases cost appreciably.

b. TRAY SPACING. Tray spacing should be 24 inches for easy maintenance. For small columns with trays on
rods and spacers this can be reduced to 18 inches, For columns in clean service and more than about 40 trays,
spacing can be 18 inches also. Tray spacing at the feed point should be at least 24 inches and can be more if
required for the distributor and manway. Also refer Tower Chapter for process guidelines.

c. TRAY NUMBERING. Trays should be numbered starting from the top. Some designers number it from bottom

d. TOP SPACE. The top space in fractionators is normally 3 feet from the top tray to the tangent line. More may be
required when the vapor line is located on the shell, to prevent entrainment.

e. BOTTOM SPACE. The bottom space is usually a minimum of 7 feet so that a man can stand in the bottom of
the column. Reboiler return nozzle should be below bottom tray seal pan and above the maximum operating level
of bottom level controller.

f. SIDE-CUTS. Side draws from columns can be taken from a well on a tray immediately below a downcomer,
when surge time is not required, and from a centerwell where surge is required. A centerwell should always be
used when a pump takes suction direct from the column. The centerwell should have a vapor pipe with at least
10% of the column cross sectional area and provide enough space above the hat to give good vapor distribution
to the tray. Vapor side-cuts usually require an accumulator pipe and about 5 to 7 foot tray spacing.

g. SURGE CAPACITY. Surge capacty in the bottom of the column should be a minimum of 1 minute from the
normal level. If the bottoms is feeding a reactor or a fractionator making a critical split, the time should be 5
minutes. Most columns can operate well with 2 minutes. Type of control should be taken account of, as wall as
destination and heat sensitivity of bottoms. Occasionally, a column
will have so small a bottoms stream that the residence time is excessive and cause fouling of the reboiler. Adding
a diluent to the feed can sometimes help. Time is based on volume from normal level and is usually based on net
bottoms. See also Drum chapter for detail design practices.

h. SWAGED COLUMN. Fractionating columns are often owaged above the feed point to reduce the cost of the
column where the loadings are light. They are sometimes swaged out at the bottom toaccomodate stab-in
reboilers or to provide additional surge time in the botom. Swaging is not usually done unless the column diameter
can always section. On columns below 5 feet the reduction should always be 1 foot or more.

i. L/D AND BRACING. Columns with a length to diameter ratio of less than 20 will usually not need bracing to
precent away. Above this ratio, some columns may require bracing to other columns and in extreme cases guy

2.3.3. Overhead Receivers.

a. DIAMETER. The diameter of the receiver is usually set by vapor velocity, but may be determined sometimes by
liquid residence time if vapor rate is low or nothing. The vapor velocity is kept below 0.157 (d
FPS. An old
rule, not usually followed today, was that the receiver diameter was the same as the column diameter so that the
heads could all be rolled together and thereby save money. This can still be used as a rough check.

b. LENGTH. The length of an overhead receiver is usually about 3 times the diameter; however, if the diameter
has been set by the vapor velocity the length will minutes on reflux and 5 minutes on net overhead, one-half full. It
is preferable to have 5 minutes on total overhead, half full, so as to allow time to start the spare pump during a
pump failure before the receiver overflows. If water settling required, residence time of hydrocarbon is usually 10
to 15 minutes. Residence time of the water should be 5 to 10 minutes, in a boot. Consider density of hydrocarbon
Page 3 of 10
12/7/02 file://D:\WINNT\Profiles\jjsnl\Desktop\StandardsFS_files\annex
and any emulsion stabilizers present when setting time.

3.0 Features of Vessels

3.1 Types of Heads

a. ELLIPTICAL. Normally 2:1 elliptical heads are used on most process vessels. The thickness of this type head
will be almost the same as the shell.

b. DISHED. Dished heads can be used in low pressure service when more economical.

c. HEMISPHERICAL. Hemispherical heads are used when pressures are above 1000 PSIG.The thickness will be
about one-half of the shell thickness, if designed to the same allowable stress.

3.2. Types of shell Construction

a. ROLLED. Most vessels are fabricated by rolling of plate to the prescribed diameter. When plate thickness is
above 2 to 3 inches the number of fabricators able to roll is rather small.

b. FORGED. Some thick walled vessels are made by hollow forging.
c. MULTILAYER. Many of the heavy walled reactors are now being fabricated by multilayer construction. One
method (CB&I) buildsup layers of about 1/4 inch plate by shrinking one rolled ring over another until the
desired thickness is reached. This method has the longitudinal weld joint in each layer staggered 90 o.
Another method, used in japan, coils 3 mm plate over a rolled core untill the desired thickness is reached and
then is topped with a binding ring about one inch thick. This method has practically no longitudinal joints
which have twice the stress of the transverse joints.

3.3. Types of Vessels Supports

A. SKIRT. Most verical vessels are supported with a skirt type support. The bottom nozzles should project through
the skirt, if possible, to avoid flanges inside the skirt and the hazard of leaks.

b. PIPE LEGS. Pipe legs are sometimes used on short drums at low pressures to save cost and avoid flang inside
skirts where vessels are linked with alloy.

c. TABLE TOP. Table top support is used where access to the bottom of a vessel is required. It is the most
expensive type of support. The vessel can be supported on the table with lugs or a short skirt.

d. SADDLES. Most horizontal vessels are supported on saddles which set on concrete support blocks.

3.4. Nozzles

a VENTS All vessels (except reactors with hydrogen recycle ) should have a vent, either on the vessel or on piping
near the vessel at the highest point for venting to the flare or atmosphere. Frationator receiver vants should be
large enough to depressure cloumns, with no net gas lines, in about 5 minuts during an emergency.

b. DRAINS All vessels (except reactors with hydrogen recycle) should have a drain, either on the vessel or on the
piping near the vessel at the lowest point for draining to the sewer or pumpout system. A 1-1/2 drain is the
minimum shown for the bottom of a fractionator, but should be much largher for very large colmuns.

c. LEVEL. Level measurement connections are provided at the bottom of all fractionator and other vessel in which
a vapor-liquid or liquid-liquid interface exists. Gage glass connection are 1 inch nozzles and are usually taken off
the same nozzles used for the level controller if both are provided. Level control nozzles are a minimum of 11/2
inches. Some require that the gage glass and controller connections be separate. The lower connection should be
taken off the side or end of horizontal vessels to prevent pocketing of solids or water

d. STANDPIPES. Standpipes are used on the inside of some bottom connections, if a water drain is provided, to
prevent water from being withdrawn with a hydrocarbon.

e. STEAMOUT. Normally steamout connections on vessels need not be provided unless requested by the
customer. We normally assume steamout can be accomplished thru the level glass nozzles on the vessels, or
through drain connections.

f. CATALYST WITHDRAWAL. Catalyst withdrawal nozzles are used in radial flow reactors where the size of the
Page 4 of 10
12/7/02 file://D:\WINNT\Profiles\jjsnl\Desktop\StandardsFS_files\annex
centrepipe will not permit pulling it up to unload catalyst. They are also used on most downflow reactors.

g. TOO MANY NOZZLES. According to the ASME Code, all nozzles in vessel heads must be inside of a circle of
diameter 0.8D. On very small columns, it is sometimes necessary to install the vapor outlet on the side rather than
in the head to satisfy this.

h. MAXIMUM SIZE. The maximum size nozzle which generally can be installed in a vessel is 1/2 in the diameter
of the vessel. Larger nozzles can be installed but special calculations and inspections are required.
I. MINIMUM SIZE. The smallest connections we use on any pressure vessel is one inch. They are also
always falnged nozzles. Coupling connections for gage glasses, etc. are only used for non-code type
vessels not overating under pressure.

a. FRATIONATOR. All fractionators should have an 18 inch I.D. manway at the top, an 18 or 16 inch I.D. at the
feed tray and a 16 inch the bottom. Care should be taken in specifying the maximum size tray section which
can be installed in the Tray specification. Sometimes the manways will have to be larger to permit installation of a

b. DRUMS All recievers, drums and separators should have a minimum of one 16 inch I.D. manway for inspection
of the vessel. This may have to be larger sometimes to permit installations of internals.

c. SMALL VESSELS. In cases where a vessels is too small to enable a man toenter,the Code permits providing 2
handholes to inspect the vessel. Locate so as to beable to use one as a light source for the other. They should be
at least 6 inches I.D.

d. REACTORS. Reactors usually combine the top manway with the inlet piping and use it for also loading catalyst.
The size should be a minimum of 16 inches I.D. and is usually larger to permit installations of internals. In some
reactors or caly towers a manway is provided on the side at the bottom of the reactor to unload unrecoverable
catalyst or clay directly into a truck.

3. 6. Distributors

a. FRACTIONATOR. All fractionators should have distributors on the feed and reflux streams in order to properly
distribute the liquid onto the tray. The best type is a tee properly located which can handle all - liquid or mixed
phase stream. Care should be taken not to run distributor pipes through downcomers which might interface with
tray hydraulics. The distributo pipe should not be located too close to the tray, particularly if perpendicular to the
liquid flow, where it will interefere with the flow of liquid and froth. If a vapor side-cut is taken from a column, an
accumulator (slotted pipe) is usually used to avoid upsetting the tray hydraulics.

b. DRUM. Vertical receivers or separators should use a tee distributor located close to wall. Horizontal receivers
normally use a vertical pipe one size larger than the inlet nozzle. If the feed is all liquid, the pipe may be slotted
with a closed end or it can be open-ended with no slots. The latter are used where subcooling is employed to
overcome pressure, total condensing, fractionator overhead. Closed and slotted pipes are the most common for
mixed phase and totally condensed feeds. The slotted area is made atleast twice the area of the inlet pipe. On a
totally condensed fractionator overhead, the liquid is sometimes brought in the bottom of the receiver with only a
standpipe to prevent water from running back into the incoming feed. Any feed stream entering in the vapor
section of a receiver, particularly if oxygen can be present, should have a distributor to prevent free fall of liquid
through the vapor section where static charge can build up and be an explosive hazard.

c. SETTLERS. Liquid-Liquid settlers sometimes have a slotted pipe distributor located horizontally at the interface
in the vessel so as to least disturb the settling action.

d. REACTORS. Reactors use three or four types of distributors. The feed distributor is in most cases a velocity
breaker to prevent impingment on the catalyst or liquid- vapor distributor at the top of of the catalyst bed. In some
cases a liquid-vapor mixture is distributed with a mixing device at the inlet. Another device often used at the top
and intermediate distribution points in reactors with mixed phase streams is a perforated plate, with raised vapor
pipes, calculated to give at least 1 inch or liquid head at the lowest liquid rate. At the highest liquid rate the liquid
overflows, from the top plate, through liquid overflows,onto a second perforated plate with 2 to 3 times the orifice
area of the top plate and is
distributed by the liquid head which may be up in the liquid overflow pipe. The pressure drop through the vapor
pipes should be less than 0.1 inches of the flowing liquid so as not to interefere with liquid distribution.

Quench distributors are used with os without redistributor trays, and are normally located in the catalyst bed.
Suitable means must be used to give uniform flow and temperature of the quench stream. A double concentric
pipe is sometimes employed which satisfies both of the requirements just mentioned as well as preventing catalyst
attrition from high velocity exit from the distributor pipe. Liquid quench is normally injected into a vapor space
Page 5 of 10
12/7/02 file://D:\WINNT\Profiles\jjsnl\Desktop\StandardsFS_files\annex
between catalyst beds with a spray nozzle.

Distribution of liquid and vapor is one of the most difficult and important problems faced by the designer. If good
distribution is not accomplished, the best catalyst may not perform and may even coke rapidly due to stagnant
areas. In some processes dead pockets can cause demethylation reactions which have been known to damage
reactor walls from the large exothermic heat of reaction.

3. 7. Catalyst Supports and Hold-Downs.

a. GRATING AND SCREEN. This type of support is used for multiple bed reactors where the grating is usually
hinged for dropping the catalyst.

b. CERAMIC BALLS. This is the most common support for down-flow reactors and utilizes an elephant stool as an
outlet containment.

c. HOLD-DOWNS. Usually most catalyst beds have a layer of 1/4 inch and one of 3/4 inch ceramic balls to act as
hold-down and also as a velocity breaker. On up-flow type reactors a grating and screen hold-down is used which
can be fastened in place.

3.8. Vortex Breakers

a. BOTTOM. Vortex breakers are used in any vessel outlet nozzle from which a pump is taking suction. They
should also be used if gas entrainment would present a problem in downstream equipment to which an outlet is
feeding. The standard VB is made of two plates forming a cross extending down into the nozzle and overlapping
the nozzle above the outlet.

b. SIDE. If a pump suction is taker off the side of a vessel, a single plate is sometimes installed to act as a VB
when the outlet is close to a liquid-vapor interface.

c. LARGE NOZZLES. On very large outlet nozzles a cover plate is sometimes installed over the standard VB to
prevent vortexing into the quarter sections of the VB.

3.9 Mesh Blankets.

a. DEMISTERS. Demisters are used to remove entrained liquid in vapor streams where such liquid could cause
damage to downstream equipment such as compressors or result in loss of product to fuel, etc. They are usually
stainless steel, except, where chlorides are present they should be monel.


Coalescers are used to coalesce fine droplets of water from liquid hydrocarbons in a shorter period of time than
could be accomplished in an empty vessel. The usual material is stainless steel although monel and fiber-glass
have been used. If an organic liquid is disparsed in water and coaleacing
is needed the material blankets should be made of a material such as Teflon, or other organic material, which is
perferentially wetted by the dispersed phase.

3.10. Vessel Boots.

a. TYPES. Vessel bbots are used to permit controlled withdrawal of a water phasefrom a vessel. They are welded
to the vessel when no corrosion problem is anticipated and are usually made of pipe. If corrosion is a problem, the
boot is flanged to the vessel and may be disposable or alloy lined

b. INCREASED TIME. When increased settling time is desired, over what is available in the boot alone, the
controlled level may be up in the vessel about 6 inches. The hydro-carbon outlet stream should have a higher
standpipe in this case to avoid entrainment.

3.11. Fireproofing and Insulation.

a. FIREPROOFING. Fireproofing is applied to all steel vessel supports, such as skirts and table tops, which could
cause overturning of the vessel from failure during a fire.

b. INSULATION. Insulation is called for whenever heat loss would affect the process Insulation for personnel
protection is left to the contractor and is not shown in our specs or drawings.

3.12. Davits and Platforms.

a. DAVITS . Davits are a type of crane installed at the top of all fractionators to facilitate raising of trays to the top.
They are also installed on manways where required to manipulate the covers when vertical.
Page 6 of 10
12/7/02 file://D:\WINNT\Profiles\jjsnl\Desktop\StandardsFS_files\annex

b. PLATFORMS. Platforms are installed at all manways and wherecer required to reach equipment, such as
controls, more than about 8 feet above grade.

3.13. Stiffener and Insulation Rings.

a. STIFFENER RINGS. Stiffener rings are made from angle irons, channels or teesections and are used to
strenghen vessels for vacuum service.

b. INSULATION RINGS. Insulation rings are angle irons used to support block insulation on the walls of vessels.

4.1. Post Weld Heat Treatment (PWHT) and Radiographing
1. When to stress Relieve or PWHT
a. CODE THICKNESS LIMITS. Residual stresses and charges in metallurgical structure produced by welding
and forming particularly in thick walled vessels render the vessel prone to cracking failure. Therefore, the
ASME Code requires stress relief above the following thicknesses for carbon steel and alloys:

Carbon Steel above 11/2 inches
Carbon Steel -1/2Mo above 5/8 inches
Chrome, Moly Alloys Varies with alloys content
Austenitic St. Steel. not required
b. PROCESS REASONS. Carbon steel vessels handling acidic materials, such as fluorides, wet hydrogen
sulpfide, hot caustic, etc. should be stress relieved to prevent stress corrosion, and/or cracking.

a. SPOT RADIOGRAHPING. This is an optional (also sometimes code requirement) inspection tool and
credit for joint efficiency is allowed. It is an aid to quality control and is usually a 6 inch spot check for every
50 feet or less of weld by each operator and weld procedure.
radiographing of butt-welded joints of all vessels whose thicknesses exceed the following :
Carbon Steel above 11/4 inches
Carbon Steel , 1/2%Mo above 3/4 inches
1 1/4% Cr-1/2% Mo above 5/8 inches
21/4% to 13% Cr all thicknesses
Austenitic St. Steel. not required

c. MANDATORY RADIOGRAPHING. All welded joined in vessels used to contain Lathal
substances must be radiographed. Hydrocarbons are not considered to be lethal. joints in unfired
steam boilers, the design pressure of which exceeds 50 psi, should be rediographed.

d. NO RADIOGRAPHI. No rediographic examination of welded joints is required when the vessel is designed
for external pressure only.
3. Joint Efficiency
a. The following are joinmt efficiencies for double welded butt joints as allowed by the ASME Code :
Full Radiograph 1.0
Spot Radiograph 0.85
No Radiographing 0.70
4.2. Other Inspection Methods
Page 7 of 10
12/7/02 file://D:\WINNT\Profiles\jjsnl\Desktop\StandardsFS_files\annex
1. ULTRASONIC EXAMINATION. This methos is required by the Division 2 Code for all plate and forgings
greater than 4 inches in thickness. It is also a valuable tool for checking welds in thick walled vessels where
X-rays may not show defects and for periodic inspection of equipment to determine thickness and flaws. Our
inspections normally use a proprietary tester called SONORAY.
2. MAGMAFLUXING. The method also referred to as "the magnetic particular test" is used for detecting
cracks and discontinuitries in metals. An iron power is spread over the surface to be tested. The piece is then
magnetized and any crack on the surface forms two poles, which attacks the iron particulars and exposes the
crack. Any crack beyond the limit of magnetic penetration will not be revealed.

3. DIE OR LIQUID PENETRANT. These methods are used to detect discontinuities that are open to the
metal surface. The dye method used a red dye which penetrates into the cracks and than stains a white
coating or developer which is put on after cleaning with a special solution. The liquid penetrant method uses
a fluorecent material which penetrates into the cracks and is then viewed under "black light " to expose the
4.3. Mill Scale and Rust Removal
1. Reason for Removal
a. PREVENT PLUGGING. In processes using solvents which are goog descalin agents and which could
cause plugging of small holes in extractor trays, valves and other suspectible places.
b. PREVENT DAMAGE. Reciprocating compressor valves are particularly susceptible to damage from scale
and other foreign materials carried into them with the flowing gas.
c. PROTECT PROCESS. Certain processes, such as Butamer, Penes and ALkar are susceptible ato catalyst
deterioration or corrosion due to water which is formed when the recycle hydrogen reacts with iron oxide to
form water.
2. Methods of Removal
a. ACIDIZING. This is the most common of removing scale and/or rust. Inhibited hydrochloric acid is the acid
most used. The inhibitors, which are proprietary substances such as gelatin, are only effective in protecting
carbon steel and all stainless steel valve trim, etc. should be removal from the acidizing environment. In
systems containing substantial amounts of stainless steel, ammoniated critic acid is used for acidizing
because it does not attack the stainless.
b. SANDBLASTING AND SHOTBLASTING. These are effective methods of removing scale and rust from
vessel walls, but cannot be used for pipe. They have been used for processes in place of acidizing to save
cost and the problem of acid disposal. Large filters are placed in the lines permanently, to remove scale from
the lines.

c. REDUCTION. In some processes requiring removal of all traces of rust, the iron oxide is converted to the
chloride salt by pretreating the reactor circuit, prior to installation of catalyst, with hot recycle hydrogen to
which has been added chlorine or anhydrous HCL.


5.1. Code Requilrements and Standards

1. PIPING CODE ASA 31.3. All process piping should be designed according to the Petroleum Refinery Piping
Code ASA 31.3 and the Standard Engg. Practices.

2.. FLANGE RATINGS ASA B16.5. All flanges shall conform to ASA B16.5 Standards and the ASME Section I
and VIII Codes. Note that the ASME Section I Code derates the ASA flange ratings for boiler feedwater and
blowdown services.

5.2. Design Conditions

1. PRESSURE. The design pressure of piping should be equal to the maximum design pressure of the equipment
to which it connects. It should also be designed to the same margin above operating conditions as vessels are, if
this is greater than the former.

2. TEMPERATURE. The design temperature of piping should be equal to the design temperature of the
equipment to which it connects. It should also be designed to the same conditions above operating conditions as
Page 8 of 10
12/7/02 file://D:\WINNT\Profiles\jjsnl\Desktop\StandardsFS_files\annex
vessels are, if this is greater than the former. The code allows the design temperature of flanges, for fluids above
F, to be taken as 90% of the fluid temperature if not insulated, The bolting, if uninsulated, can be designed for
80% of the fluid temperature.

5.3. Pressure Drop

a. LIQUID. Liquid pressure drops are chosen to prevent vaporization and erosion and to give economical pumping

b. VAPOR. Vapor pressure drops are chosen to prevent erosion and high velocity sound and also to give
economical compression costs.

c. MIXED PHASE. Mixed phase pressure drops are usually set by the vapor velocities when a substantial amount
of vapor is present.

d. FITTING LOSS. On large size pipe, be careful to consider the pressure drop due to fittings, since a few elbows
can amount to many equivalent feet.

e. EXPANSION AND CONTRACTION LOSSES. On large size pipe be careful to consider the pressure drop or
velocity heads due to expansion and contraction. Watch for manifold losses. For details refer Chapter 1 Fluid flow

5.4. Velocity

a. EROSION. The most important consideration when pressure drop is not governing is erosion of the pipe.

b. SOLIDS. Velocity high enough to prevent settling of solids is sometimes a consideration.

c. WATER HAMMER. On long liquid handling lines where quick shut-off can occur, consideration should be given
to preventing "water hammer" by keeping velocity low.

d. CRITICAL VELOCITY. In vapor lines, velocities should be kept well below the critical velocity , the speed of
sound. Whenever the upstream pressure is more than twice the pressure drop across an orifice, the speed of
sound in the flowing gas is reached. Dropping the downstream pressure will not increase the flow of gas through
the orifice.

e. MIXED PHASE FLOW. If upflow of mixed phase flow in low pressure lines cannot be avoided, velocity should
be kept high enough to prevent slug flow.

5.5. Types of Flanges

1. FLAT FACE. Flat face flanges are standard on cast iron fittings and are only used for water and air service.
Where cast iron valves will be flanged to steel flanges, such as the water lines, in and out, of water coolers or
condensers, the steel flanges are specified with flat face. This is to prevent breaking the cast iron flange when it is
drawn up to a raised face steel flange.

2. RAISED FACE. Raised face flanges are standard on most process lines.

3. RING TYPE. Ring type fianges are used for high temperature, high pressure service and services where safety
factors and toxic fluide arde being handled. UOP normally uses RTJ flanges in hydrogen service above 250 psig.
For 300 pound flanges in hydrogen service, use 125 RMS raised face flanges with Flexitallic gasket in place of

4. DISSIMILAR MATERIAL FLANGES. Where Austenitic and Ferritic flanges are joined in high temperature
service, RTJ are not used above 4 inches. Instead, a modified type of Raised Face is used with Flexitallic

5.6 Gaskets

1.. DOUBLE ARMORED. Double armored gaskets are standard for all Raised Face Flanges in process service.

2. ASBESTOS. Plain asbestos gaskets are only used for utility types of services.

3. RTJ. The Oval type of Ring Gasket made of a softer material than the flange is standard for RTJ.

4. FLEXITALLIC. Flexitallic gaskets designated for refinery service and with a retaining ring are used wherever a
ring type joint would be used normally, but for some reason is not desired. The raised face flanges used with
flexitallic gaskets should be 125 RMS finished rather than & phono graphic finish used with armored or asbestos

Page 9 of 10
12/7/02 file://D:\WINNT\Profiles\jjsnl\Desktop\StandardsFS_files\annex
5.7. Bolting

1. STUD BOLTS. Bolting of all process lines is with Stud type bolts rather than machine bolts. Machine bolts have
the disadvantage of high stresses in the forged heads, do not seat as well as a nut, and are not as accessible as a
stud bolt from which the nuts can be removed from either side.

2. BOLTING MATERIAL. Process line flange bolting is a minimum alloy of ASTM A-193-40T 2H (carbon steel )
nuts for process temperature up to about 1000
F.Higher alloys, including Austenitic steels, are used for higher

3. BELLVILLE WASHERS. For some high temperature services, springs and special washers or spacers are used
to minimize the effects of differential expansion of the bolts and flanges.

5.8. Flange Ratings

1. STANDARD. Standard flange ratings used in steel and alloy services are 150,300,600,900,1200,1500, and
2500 pounds. Flanges for higher ratings must be designed special, according to the ASMF Code.

2. CAST IRON. Cast iron flange ratings are 125, and 250 pounds and match the 150 and 300 pound steel flanges,

3. BOILER SERVICE. Flange ratings are derated in feedwater and blowdown services in the ASME Section I

4. TEMPERATURE LIMIT. Good Engg. Practices does not use 150 pound flanges in services designed above
F, regardless of the design pressure.

5. RELIEF VALVE SERVICE. Normally less than 300 pound flanges are not used in relief valve service. Nozzles
for relief valves are specified as I.D. rather than norminal pipe size.

6. DESIGN TEMPERATURE. The piping code allows the design temperature to be 90 percent of the fluid
temperature for uninsulated flanged valves, flanged fittings and flanges.
Page 10 of 10
12/7/02 file://D:\WINNT\Profiles\jjsnl\Desktop\StandardsFS_files\annex