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NOTICE REGARDING CODE CASES OF

THE ASME B31 CODE FOR PRESSURE PIPING

All B31 Code Cases in effect as of September 21, 2007 will remain available for use
unless annulled by the B31 Standards Committee.

B31 CASE 178


CASES OF THE CODE FOR PRESSURE PIPING B31
B31 Case 178
Providing an Equation for Longitudinal Stress for Sustained Loads in ASME B31.3
Construction
Approval Date: May 6, 2005
This Case shall expire on May 1, 2008, unless previously annulled or reaffirmed

Inquiry:
ASME B31.3 provides a description for determining SL for sustained loads. Is there an
equation that may be used?
Reply:
It is the opinion of the committee that, in the absence of more applicable data and in
accordance with para. 302.3.5(c), the following equation may be used to calculate SL for
sustained loads.

S L = (| S a | + Sb ) 2 + (2St ) 2
where
the definitions in para. 319.4.4 apply and,
Sa = stress due to axial loads1
= Fa/Ap
Fa = longitudinal force due to pressure2, weight, and other sustained loadings
Ap = cross-sectional area considering nominal pipe thickness less the sum of the
mechanical (thread or groove depth), corrosion and erosion allowances
Sb = resultant, intensified bending stress3 due to pressure, weight, and other
sustained loadings

Sb =

(Ii M i )2 + (Io M o )2
Z

Ii = in-plane sustained stress index4. In the absence of more applicable data,


Ii is taken as the greater of (0.75ii) or 1.00
Io = out-plane sustained stress index4. In the absence of more applicable data,
Io is taken as the greater of (0.75io) or 1.00
St = torsional stress3 due to pressure, weight, and other sustained loadings1
= Mt/2Z
NOTES:
1

In the absence of more applicable data, Sa and St need not be intensified.


B31 Case 178 continues on following page

B31 CASE 178

Fa includes the longitudinal force due to pressure P Ai for piping systems that contain no
expansion joints, where Ai = d 2 / 4 , and d is the pipe inside diameter considering pipe

wall thickness less allowances. For piping systems with expansion joints, it is the
responsibility of the designer to determine the longitudinal force due to the pressure in the
piping system.
Z shall be based on the nominal section, less the sum of the mechanical (thread or groove
depth), corrosion and erosion allowances.
It is the responsibility of the designer to determine Ii and Io; in cases where these indices
are based on stress intensification factors, it is the responsibility of the designer to
determine ii and io for all components not explicitly addressed in Appendix D (e.g.,
elbows/bends/miters other than 90 degrees, base-ells, reducing elbows, crosses, etc.).

B31 CASE 180


CASES OF THE CODE FOR PRESSURE PIPING B31
B31 CASE 180
Leak Testing of Subassemblies of Jacketed Piping for use in ASME B31.3 Piping
Systems
Approval Date: January 5, 2007

Inquiry: Does ASME B31.3 permit an alternate leak test for jacketed piping in which it is
impracticable to visually examine the welded joints and connections for leaks in accordance
with para. 345.2.2(a)?
Reply: Visually observing the joints and connections during the leak test in accordance with
para. 345.2.2(a) and 345.3.1 is not required provided all of the following conditions are
satisfied:
1. The welded joints and connections are on the inner pipe of jacketed piping.
2. A leak test is performed that otherwise meets the requirements of para. 345.1
except visual examination of joints and connection in accordance with para.
345.2.2(a) and 345.3.1 is not required.
3. A sensitive leak test is performed in accordance with para. 345.8 to demonstrate
leak tightness of welded joints and connections that are not visually examined
during the leak testing requirements in 2 above.

B31Case1812(ApprovalDate:January4,2012)
UseofAlternativeUltrasonicExaminationAcceptanceCriteriainASMEB31.3

d) Personnel demonstration requirements


Original Inquiry: Under what conditions and
shall be as stated in ASME Section V,
limitations may alternative UT acceptance
Article 4 Mandatory Appendix VII.
criteria apply in lieu of those described in para.
4) Examination
344.6.2 of ASME B31.3?
a) The initial straight beam scan for
reflectors that could interfere with the
When specified by the owner, the ultrasonic
angle beam examination shall be
examination acceptance criteria included below
performed (a) manually, (b) as part of a
may be applied for welds in material greater
previous manufacturing process, or (c)
than or equal to 25mm (1.0 in.) in thickness1 in
during the weld examination, provided
accordance with ASME B31.3 provided the
detection of these reflectors is included
following requirements are met:
in the demonstration as required in 1(c)
above.
1) General/Scope:
b) The examination area shall include the
a) The examination shall be conducted
volume of the weld, plus the lesser of
using automated or semi-automated
25mm (1.0 in.) or t of adjacent base
techniques utilizing computer based data
metal. Alternatively, the examination
acquisition.
volume may be reduced to include the
b) The examination shall be performed in
actual heat affected zone (HAZ) plus
accordance with a written procedure
6mm (0.25 in.) of base material beyond
approved by a Level III and conforming
the heat affected zone on each side of
to the requirements of ASME Section V,
the weld, provided the extent of the
Article 4 Mandatory Appendix VIII and:
weld HAZ is measured and documented.
i) For Phased Array ASME Section
c) Scanning may be peformed at reference
V, Article 4, Mandatory Appendix
level
provided
the
procedure
V
qualification was performed at reference
ii) For Time of Flight Diffraction
level.
(TOFD) - ASME Section V, Article
5) Data Recording
4, Mandatory Appendix III
Data shall be recorded in the
c) Procedure qualification shall meet the
unprocessed form with no thresholding.
requirements of ASME Section V,
The data record shall include the
Article 4, Mandatory Appendix IX.
complete examination area as specified
2) Equipment
in (4)(b) above.
A mechanical guided scanner capable of
maintaining a fixed and consistent
search unit position relative to the weld
centerline shall be used.
3) Personnel
a) Set-up and scanning of welds shall be
1 For wall thicknesses less than 25mm (1.0 in.), the
performed by personnel certified as
acceptance criteria stated in paragraph 344.6.2 of B31.3
Level II or III (or by Level I personnel
shall be used.
under the direct supervision of Level II
personnel).
b) Interpretation and evaluation of data
shall be performed by Level II or III
personnel.
c) Examination
personnel
shall
be
qualified and certified following a
procedure or program as described in
ASME BPV Code, Section V, Article 1,
T-120 (e), (f), (h) and (i).

B31Case1812(ApprovalDate:January4,2012)
UseofAlternativeUltrasonicExaminationAcceptanceCriteriainASMEB31.3

dimension (h in Figure 1, sketch [b])


6) Data Analysis
of the subsurface indication.
a) Reflectors exceeding the limits below
b) Multiple Flaws
shall be investigated to determine
i) Discontinuous flaws that are
whether the indication originates from a
oriented primarily in parallel planes
flaw or is a geometric indication in
shall be considered to lie in a single
accordance with 6(b) below.
plane if the distance between the
i) For amplitude based techniques, the
adjacent planes is equal to or less
location, amplitude, and extent of all
than 13mm (0.50 in.) or 0.5t,
reflectors that produce a response
whichever is less.
greater than 20% of the reference
ii) If the space between two flaws
level shall be investigated.
aligned along the axis of weld is less
ii) For
non-amplitude
based
than the height of the flaw of greater
techniques, the location and extent
height, the two flaws shall be
of all images that have an indicated
considered a single flaw.
length greater than 4.0mm (0.16 in.)
iii) If the space between two flaws
shall be investigated.
aligned in the through-thickness
b) Ultrasonic indications of geometric
dimension is less than the height of
and/or metallurgical origin shall be
the flaw of greater height, the two
classified as specified in ASME Section
flaws shall be considered a single
V, Article 4 Paragraph T-481.
flaw.
c) Alternatively, other techniques or NDE
8) Flaw Acceptance Criteria
methods may be used to classify an
indication as geometric (e.g., alternative
Flaws shall be evaluated against the
beam angles, radiography). The method
applicable acceptance criteria of Table 1
employed is for information only to
or 2, except that flaw length (l) shall not
classify the indication as geometric, and
exceed 4t, regardless of flaw height (h)
ASME
B31.3
requirements
for
or the calculated aspect ratio.
examination techniques are only
required to the extent they are
applicable.
7) Flaw Evaluation
a) The dimension of the flaw(s) shall be
determined by the rectangle that fully
contains the area of the flaw(s). (Refer
to Fig. 1)
i) The length, , of the flaw shall be
drawn parallel to the inside pressure
retaining surface of the component.
ii) The height, h, of the flaw shall be
drawn normal to the inside pressure
retaining surface of the component.
iii) The flaw shall be characterized as a
surface or subsurface flaw, as shown
in Figure 1.
iv) A subsurface indication shall be
considered as a surface flaw if the
separation (S in Figure 1) of the
indication from the nearest surface
of the component is equal to or less
than half the through wall

B31Case1812(ApprovalDate:January4,2012)
UseofAlternativeUltrasonicExaminationAcceptanceCriteriainASMEB31.3

TABLE 1
Acceptance Criteria for Surface Flaws
Weld Thickness
Aspect Ratio,
h/

0.00
0.05
0.10
0.15
0.20
0.25
0.30
0.35
0.40
0.45
0.50

25mm to 64mm
(1.0 in. to 2.5 in.)
h/t
< 0.031
< 0.033
< 0.036
< 0.041
< 0.047
< 0.055
< 0.064
< 0.074
< 0.083
< 0.085
< 0.087

100mm to 300mm
(3.9 in. to 11.8 in.)
h/t
< 0.019
< 0.020
< 0.022
< 0.025
< 0.028
< 0.033
< 0.038
< 0.044
< 0.050
< 0.051
< 0.052

General Notes:
(a) t = thickness of the weld excluding any allowable reinforcement. For a
butt joint joining two members having different thickness at the joint,
t is the thinner of the two thicknesses joined. If a full penetration weld
includes a fillet weld, the effective throat dimension of the fillet weld
shall be included in t.
(b) Aspect Ratio (h/) used may be determined by rounding the calculated
h/ down to the nearest 0.05 increment value within the column, or by
linear interpolation.
(c) For intermediate thickness t (weld thicknesses between 64mm and
100mm [2.5 in. and 3.9 in.]) linear interpolation is required to obtain
h/t values.

TABLE 2
Acceptance Criteria for Subsurface Flaws
Weld Thickness
Aspect Ratio,
h/

0.00
0.10
0.20
0.30
0.40
0.50
0.60
0.70
0.80
0.90
1.00

25mm to 64mm
(1.0 in. to 2.5 in.)
h/t
< 0.068
< 0.076
< 0.086
< 0.098
< 0.114
< 0.132
< 0.156
< 0.180
< 0.210
< 0.246
< 0.286

100mm to 300mm
(3.9 in. to 11.8 in.)
h/t
< 0.040
< 0.044
< 0.050
< 0.058
< 0.066
< 0.076
< 0.088
< 0.102
< 0.116
< 0.134
< 0.152

General Notes:
(a) t = thickness of the weld excluding any allowable reinforcement. For a
butt joint joining two members having different thickness at the joint,
t is the thinner of the two thicknesses joined. If a full penetration weld

B31Case1812(ApprovalDate:January4,2012)
UseofAlternativeUltrasonicExaminationAcceptanceCriteriainASMEB31.3

includes a fillet weld, the effective throat dimension of the fillet weld
shall be included in t.
(b) Aspect Ratio (h/) used may be determined by rounding the calculated
h/ down to the nearest 0.05 increment value within the column, or by
linear interpolation.
(c) For intermediate thickness t (weld thicknesses between 64mm and
100mm [2.5 in. and 3.9 in.]) linear interpolation is required to obtain
h/t values.

S < 0.5h
(a) Surface Flaw

(b) Surface Flaw

S > 0.5h
(c) Subsurface Flaw

Figure 1: Surface and Subsurface Indications

CASES OF THE CODE FOR PRESSURE PIPING - B31

ASME B31.3 CASES


B31 CASE 184
Use of Ultrasonic Examination of Welds as an Alternative to Radiographic Examination in ASME
B31.3, Chapter IX
Approval Date: 10/29/2009
This Case shall expire upon the publication of ASME B31.32010 Edition.
Inquiry: Under what conditions and limitations may ultrasonic examination of welds be used as an
alternative to radiographic examination for ASME B31.32008 Edition, Chapter IX piping systems?
Reply: It is the opinion of the Committee that ultrasonic examination of welds may be used as an
alternative to the radiographic examination specified in ASME B31.32008 Edition for Chapter IX piping
systems, provided that the requirements specified in paras. K341.4.2 and K342 and Table K341.3.2 be
modified as follows, and that the requirements of a new para. K344.6.3, shown below, be met:
K341.4.2 Radiographic and Ultrasonic Examination
(a) All girth, longitudinal, and branch connection welds shall be 100% radiographically examined,
except as permitted in (b) below.
(b) When specified in the engineering design and with the owners approval, ultrasonic examination of
welds may be substituted for radiographic examination where w 13 mm ( in.).
(c) In-process examination (see para. 344.7) shall not be substituted for radiographic or ultrasonic
examination of welds.
NOTE: w = Twbar
K342 EXAMINATION PERSONNEL
Paragraph 342 applies, except that personnel performing and evaluating results of ultrasonic
examination of welds shall be qualified and certified UT Level II or III in accordance with ASNT SNTTC-1A, ACCP (ASNT Central Certification Program), or CP-189 (Qualification and Certification of
Nondestructive Testing Personnel). Qualification of these personnel shall also be by written
examination.
K344.6.3 Welds. The method for ultrasonic examination of welds shall be as specified in the ASME
BPV Code, Section V, Article 4 and Section VIII, Division 3, KE-301 and KE-302, except that
(a) Performance demonstration shall be required.
(b) The employers written practice for UT personnel qualification shall meet ASNT SNT-TC-1A,
ACCP, or CP-189. The recommended guidelines in SNT-TC-1A, ACCP, or CP-189 shall be required.
(c) Written procedure in accordance with Section V, T-421.1 shall be required.
(d) Procedure qualification in accordance with Section V, T-421.1 shall be required.
REVISED TABLE K341.3.2: See Page 2.

B31 CASE 184


CASES OF THE CODE FOR PRESSURE PIPING - B31
ASME B31.3-2008

Table K341.3.2

(08)

Acceptance Criteria for Welds


Criteria (A-E) for Types of Welds, and for Required
Examination Methods [Note (I)]
Type of Weld

Methods
Type of
Imperfection

Visual

Crack
lack of fusion
Incomplete penetration
Internal porosity
Slag inclusion or elongated indication
Undercutting
Surface porosity or exposed slag inclusion
Concave root surface (suck-up)
Surface finish
Reinforcement or internal protrusion
GENERAL NOTE:

X
X
X

X
X
X
X
X

Ultrasonics or
Radiography

Girth
Groove

Longitudinal
Groove
[Note (2)]

Fillet
[Note (3)]

Branch
Connection
[Note (4)]

X
X
X
X
X
X

A
A
A
B
C
A
A
D
E
F

A
A
A
B
C
A
A
D
E
F

A
A
A
NA
NA
A
A
NA
E
F

A
A
A
B
C
A
A
D
E
F

X = required examination; NA = not applicable; ... = not required.


Criterion Value Notes for Table K341.3.2
Criterion

Symbol

A
B

Measure
Extent of imperfection

Zero (no evident imperfection)

Size and distribution of internal porosity

See BPV Code, Section VIII, Division I, Appendix 4

Slag inclusion or elongated indication: Indications are unacceptable if the amplitude exceeds the reference
level, or indications have lengths that exceed
Individual length
< 19 mm (Yo in)
19 rom (% in.) <
57 mm (2~ in.)
t" > 57 mrn (2Y. in.)

t.

6mrn~~

Cumulative length
D

Acceptable Value Limits [Note (5)]

1;

~~~~

t .. in any 12 t.. weld length

Depth of surface concavity

Wall Thickness,
mm (in.)

Depth of Surface Concavity,


mm (in.)

Two

1.5 e1t6)
~ 3 (Va)
> 51 (2)
$ 4
(%2)
and total joint thickness including weld reinforcement

S 13 (%)
> 13 CV2) and

"Z

Su rface rough ness

51 (2)

Tw

$ 12.5 f.Lm (500 f.Lin.)

Ra (see ASME B46.1 for definition of

roughness average, Ra )

Height of reinforcement or internal protrusion [Note (6)]


in any plane through the weld shall be within the
limits of the applicable height value in the tabulation at the right. Weld metal shall be fused with and
merge smoothly into the component surfaces.

Wall Thickness,
Tw , mm (in.)

External Weld Reinforcement


or Internal Weld Protrusion,
mm (in.)

$13 eh)
> 13 (%) and $ 51 (2)
> 51 (2)

$ 1.5

e1t6)

~ 3

(Va)

$4

Wd

NOTES:
(1) Criteria given are for required examination. More stringent criteria may be specified in the engineering design.
(2) longitudinal welds include only those permitted in paras. K302.3.4 and K305. The radiographic criteria shall be met by all welds,
including those made in accordance with a standard listed in Table K326.1 or in Appendix K.
(3) Fillet welds include only those permitted in para. K311.2.2.
(4) Branch connection welds include only those permitted in para. K328.5.4.
(5) Where two limiting values are given, the lesser measured value governs acceptance. Tw is the nominal wall thickness of the thinner of
two components joined by a butt weld.
(6) For groove welds, height is the lesser of the measurements made from the surfaces of the adjacent components. For fillet welds,
height is measured from the theoretical throat; internal protrusion does not apply. Required thickness tm shall not include reinforcement or internal protrusion.

132
Copyright 2008 by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
No reproduction may be made ofthis material without written consent of ASME.

B31 CASE 185


CASES OF THE CODE FOR PRESSURE PIPING B31

ASME B31.3 CODE CASE 185


Title: Use of Standard Helium Leak Test for a Vacuum-only Piping System (Paragraph 345)
Approval Date:

December 22, 2009

Inquiry:
Under what circumstances does ASME B31.3 permit the use of helium mass spectrometer leak
tests performed under a vacuum as a substitute for the leak test requirements specified in ASME
B31.3, para. 345?
Reply:
In the opinion of the Committee, the qualified helium leak tests under vacuum conditions in the
ASME BPV Code, Section V, Article 10, Appendix V and Appendix IX are acceptable
substitutes for the testing requirements identified in para. 345 of ASME B31.3 provided the
following conditions are met:
1. The piping system is expected to operate only under vacuum (i.e., sub-atmospheric pressure)
conditions.
2. Any leakage into the piping system that could result in an internal reaction (e.g., combustion
or explosion) that increases the pressure above atmospheric shall be prevented.
3. All system joints and connections shall be leak tested. Piping welds and joints to be tested
shall be uninsulated and exposed, and shall not be primed, painted or otherwise coated.
4. Helium leak testing is performed at vacuum conditions sufficient for the mass spectrometer
helium leak tests of ASME BPV Code, Section V, Article 10, Appendices V and IX, or at
pressures below 10 millibars absolute (<1% of atmospheric pressure), whichever is lower.
5. ASME B31.3, para. 345.2 applies, except for the minimum 10 min leak test period, the
leak test pressure requirements and the limitation of the need for access for jacketed piping to
visual access. Para. 345.3 also applies, except for the leak test pressure requirements. All
other inspection, examination and records requirements of ASME B31.3 Chapter VI must
still be satisfied (i.e., paras. 340, 341, 342, 343, 344 and 346).
6. Written procedures shall be qualified, in accordance with BPV Code, Section V, Article 10.
7. Test personnel shall have training and certification consistent with ASME B31.3, para. 342.

Page 1 of 2

B31 CASE 185


CASES OF THE CODE FOR PRESSURE PIPING B31

8. Test reports, including records of personnel qualifications, shall meet the requirements of
ASME BPV Code, Section V, Article 10, Item T-1091 and shall be retained for at least five
years.
9. Options of the ASME BPV Code, Section V, Article 10 test methods, which allow the
engineering design to modify specified requirements of the Appendix V and Appendix IX
test methods (such as acceptability limits for system leak tightness), may only be exercised
so as to make these requirements more sensitive or more conservative.
10. The use of the vacuum leak test instead of the pressurized leak test of ASME B31.3,
para. 345 shall be specified in the engineering design and shall be accepted by the Owner.
____________________________________________________________________

Page 2 of 2

B31 CASE 188


Minimum Hydrostatic Test Pressure for ASME B31.3, Chapter IX (Para. K345.4.2)
ANNULLED
Annulment Date: February 27, 2015
Reason: Requirements incorporated in ASME B31.3 Code.

B31 Code Case 191


Cu-13Zn-1.1Ni-Si-Al Alloy Seamless Pipe and Tube
ASME B31.3
Approval Date: January 21, 2015

Inquiry: May precipitation-hardened (Temper Designation TF00) Cu-13Zn-1.1Ni-Si-Al alloy


(UNS No. C69100) seamless pipe and tube conforming to the requirements of ASTM B706-00
(R2011) be used under the rules of ASME B31.3?

Reply: Yes, provided:

(a) The maximum allowable stress values for the material shall be those given in

Table 1;
(b) Welded and brazed construction is not permitted;
(c) The maximum use temperature shall be 204C (400F);

(d) Certification to the ASTM B706-00 (R2011) specification requirements shall be

mandatory.

Table1
MaximumAllowableStressValues

ForMetal
TemperatureNot Stress,ksi
Exceeding,F
100
150
200
250
300
350
400

20.0
20.0
20.0
20.0
20.0
19.9
19.5

ForMetal
TemperatureNot
Exceeding,C

40
65
100
125
150
175
200
225

Stress,
MPa
138
138
138
138
138
137
135
132

Note: The maximum use temperature for this alloy is 204C (400F).
The value listed at 225C is provided for interpolation purposes only.

Case 193
Approval Date: October 9, 2014
Cu-5.5Zn-4Si Casting Alloy UNS No. C87600
ASME B31.3
Inquiry: May Cu-5.5Zn-4Si Casting Alloy UNS No. C87600 conforming to the requirements of
ASTM B584 be used for construction under the rules of ASME B31.3?
Reply: Yes, provided:
(a) The basic allowable stress values for the material shall be those given in Table 1.

A Casting Quality Factor, Ec, needs to be applied;


(b) The maximum use temperature shall be 177C (350F);
(c) Separate weld procedure and performance qualifications shall apply to this

material. The welding procedure qualifications shall be in accordance with ASME


Section IX.

Table 1
Basic Allowable Stress Values
For Metal
Temperature Not
Exceeding, F
100
150
200
250
300
350

Stress,
ksi
20.0
20.0
20.0
20.0
20.0
20.0

For Metal
Temperature Not
Exceeding, C
40
65
100
125
150
175
200

Stress,
MPa
138
138
138
138
138
138
137

Note: The maximum use temperature for this alloy is 177C (350F):
The value listed at 200C is provided for interpolation purposes only.

Case 196
Approval Date: May 15, 2015
Ductile Iron Casting UNS No. F33100
ASME B31.3
Inquiry: May Ductile Iron Castings UNS No. F33100 conforming to the requirements of ASTM
A536, Grade 65-45-12 be used for construction under the rules of ASME B31.3?
Reply: Yes, provided:
(a) The maximum allowable stress values for the material shall be those given in
Table 1;
(b) A casting quality factor, Ec, of 0.80 shall also be applied, except as permitted in
(c);
(c) The casting quality factor may be increased by performing supplementary
examination(s) listed in Table 302.3.3(c). The casting shall have first been visually
examined as required by MSS SP-55, Quality Standard for Steel Castings for
Valves, Flanges and Fittings and other Piping Components Visual Method;
(d) The maximum use temperature shall be 260C (500F);
(e) The minimum use temperature shall be -30C (-20F);
(f) All other requirements of ASME B31.3 shall be followed.
Table 1 Maximum Allowable Stress Values
For Metal
Temperature Not
Exceeding, C
40
65
100
125
150
175
200
225
250
275

Stress,
MPa
149
149
149
149
149
149
148
148
148
147

For Metal
Temperature Not
Exceeding, F
100
150
200
250
300
350
400
450
500

Stress, ksi
21.7

21.7
21.7
21.7
21.7
21.7
21.7
21.7
21.6

Note: The maximum use temperature for this alloy is 260C (500F).
The value listed at 275C is provided for interpolation purposes only.