Valve Standards in The Petrochemical & Refining Industry

by Greg Johnson, President, United Valve
Originally published in the summer 1996 issue of Valve Magazine

Valves in petrochemical and refining installations are subject to numerous standards and
specifications issued by many supporting organizations. Today's valve standards are
dynamic documents that reflect sound engineering practice, changes in market demands
and changes in technology and manufacturing procedures.
This document focuses on some of the important standards that affect steel, gate, globe
and check valves in refineries and petrochemical installations. Some mention will also be
made of other valve specifications, however specifications for control and relief valves will
not be covered.
Early in this century, when our nation's petrochemical and refining industries were in their
infancy, pipe, valve and fitting (PVF) manufacturers as well as end-users had no standards
to go by. The design and function of their products were dictated and affected by actual
feedback from the end user - be it years of effective service life, catastrophic failure or
incompatibility with similar products from other manufacturers. This lack of valve, flange &
fitting interchangeability with other manufacturers products, resulted in two primary groups
addressing the standardization issue.
One group, The Manufacturers Standardization Society of the Valve & Fitting Industry
(MSS), issued its first standard in 1924, and is still today at the forefront of valve standards
activities. Over the years many MSS documents have been the basis for follow-up ASME and
American Petroleum Institute (API) standards. The American Standards Association (ASA)
published their first document covering standardized flanges and flanged fittings in 1927.
As the steam powered industrial revolution churned across the United States during the first
quarter of this century, concern over boiler and pressure vessel design increased as some
catastrophic disasters involving pressure vessels resulted in great loss of life and property.
This situation led to the creation of the "Boiler Code", which forever altered the future of all
pressure containing components, including valves.
The “Boiler Code”, officially known as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code (B&PVC), laid the groundwork for many specifications and
standards which have affected the PVF industry. The first edition of the Code was published
in 1915. It is still published and updated yearly by ASME. Over the years the Code has come
to assure manufacturers, designers and the public, of the safety and reliability of pressure
The fever pitch pace of oil & chemical production during world war II, dictated the creation
of additional valve standards. The years immediately following the war saw the creation of
many of the first edition of standards that are now in everyday use. The advent of pressure
seal bonnet technology also required a new basis for determining pressure ratings of valves
that led to standards such as MSS SP-66, "Pressure Ratings For Steel Buttwelding End
The nuclear power industry of the 50's & 60's forced the creation of even more standards
and specifications affecting the valve manufacturers and end-users. Today, increased
concern for the environment, plant worker safety and the general public, has created valve
standards that are technologically extensive and in many cases also legally driven.

API 603 Class 150. ISO Standard 10434 is essentially the same as API 600. functionality. Important Note. plug. plug & butterfly valves. API 6D Specification for Pipeline Valves (Gate. This specification is listed as part of the procedure under API 598. These valves are used in applications where the thicker API 600 casting is not needed. including gate.All aspects of valve design. not valve class.10 Face-to-Face Dimensions of Ferrous Valves B16. Here are capsule summaries of some of the more common valve specifications used in the petrochemical & refining industry today. as well as materials and trim designations.34 Steel Valves . A good understanding of the primary standards affecting these products is paramount.ball valve working pressures should be based on seat material. globe. Ball and Check Valves) Specification for Pipeline Valves (Gate. check. 608 or 609 design criteria. API and MSS documents. Valve design and construction criteria are detailed.34 are required to determine API 598 test pressures for steel valves. ball. This dizzying amount of codes. 602. Occasionally refinery and petrochemical purchasers will reference the more stringent testing requirements of 6D although the valve may have built under API 600. Steel valve pressure ratings found in ASME/ANSI B16. Screwed and socketweld end valve face-toface dimensions are not included in this specification. through Class 600.34 is the base document from which steel valve pressure/temperature ratings are derived. NACE MR-0175 Standard Material Requirements for Sulfide Stress Cracking Resistant Metallic Materials For Oilfield . 300 and 600. standards and specifications can make the specification and procurement of valve products a job for only a seasoned valve engineering expert. in classes 150. Ball and Check Valves) API 6D is the primary standard for valves used in pipeline service. Future versions of this document are expected to include requirements for bellows seal gate valves. 300 & 600. Unfortunately. API 609 Butterfly Valves. as well as materials and trim designations. This situation puts more responsibility on both the manufacturer and valve purchaser/specifier. Threaded.34 wall thickness minimums may not meet the minimum wall thickness requirement of API 600 & API 602 for class 150. Flanges and Fittings and Other Piping Components SP-55 details the visual inspection criteria for castings. gold plated watches and summer retirement homes have taken their toll. only published in the ISO format. ASME/ANSI B16.Flanged. by drastically reducing the number of experienced valve trained personnel familiar with valve specifications and standards. Plug. inspection and testing are covered in dozens of ASME. API 600 Steel Valves . Welding and Extended-Body Ends API 602 is the 4" & smaller forged steel gate valve purchase specification. Flanged-End Gate Valves API 603 covers light walled gate valves in sizes NPS 1/2" through 24". API 608 Metal Ball Valves-Flanged and Butt-Welding Ends API 608 is the purchase specification for class 150 and class 300 metal ball valves. ball and check valves. Valve design and construction criteria are detailed. I recommend that anyone involved in specifying or purchasing valves have current copies of all the valve standards that apply to the products being purchased.Flanged & Buttwelding Ends API 600 is the primary steel gate valve purchase specification. Valve design and construction criteria are detailed. It also offers additional valve specification data including nondestructive examination procedures for upgrading valves to Special Class. Plug. ASME/ANSI B16. Cast.Flanged & Buttwelding Ends ASME B16. Note: Gate valves manufactured under B16. An appendix contains information pertaining to pressure seal valves.10 lists the face to face dimensions of all flanged and buttweld end valves. MSS SP-55 Quality Standard for Steel Castings for Valves. Lug-Type and Wafer Type API 609 is the purchase specification for butterfly valves with lug-type and wafer-type configurations designed for installation between ANSI B16 flanges. API 602 Compact Steel Gate Valves. API 598 Valve Inspection & Testing API 598 covers the testing and inspection requirements for gate. Corrosion-Resistant.

but so far there has been no action. mechanical properties and heat treatments for metals used in Hydrogen Sulfide bearing hydrocarbon service. 300# & 600# classes than does B16. 300#. globe or check valves. The most common reference for non-pipeline use are the testing requirements which differ slightly from API 598.. Another important gate valve specification is ASME B16. Looking through valve manufacturers' catalogs of the 40's and 50's you see a multitude of pressure ratings and test pressures listed. 800# & 1500# class valves manufactured by several companies worldwide are covered by API 602. This document gives extensive details on valves built to ASME boiler code pressure temperature ratings. Since most of the valves built to API 6D are resilient seated. this is no problem. This specification covers the same details small forged gate valves that API 600 does for larger valves. There is always some talk at valve industry gatherings about globe valve specifications. First drafted in 1974. instead of the pressure classes we are accustomed to today. oil or gas service). compliance can be difficult. The defacto test specification today is API 598 "Valve Inspection & Test".34 is minimum wall thickness."Pipeline Valves". this is listed in API 598 as well. It lists materials. These are normally tested per MSS SP-61 "Pressure Testing of Steel Valves". API 600 requires a heavier wall for a given pressure rating than does ASME B16. this document lists all of the test parameters and procedures to be followed for production testing of valves. API 602 further gives dimensions for extended body valves which are used extensively in industrial facilities. wall thickness and stuffing box size.Equipment MR-0175 is the "standard" for materials used in "sour" environments such as found in piping systems in many refineries. Testing Valve testing specifications have come a long way since the early days of the steel valve business. It details all design and material criteria. Due to the inroads that . Most metallic seated valves larger than ANSI 2" size have an allowable leakage rate. Standardized ASME/ANSI pressure classes have alleviated this confusion as to pressure/temperature ratings and test pressures for most steel valves. Occasionally the chemical or refinery valve specifier will see reference to API 6D . globe & check valves are usually not tested per API 598. API 602 also requires a heavier wall for 150#. What about globe & check valve standards? Conspicuous in their absence are the steel globe and check valve standards. The primary difference being 6D's zero allowable leakage on closure tests.34.34. This document is a thorough standard covering the design. materials and dimensions of valves for pipeline service. Small carbon steel gate valves such as the forged 150#. however when the test standard is applied to metallic seated wedge gate. 600#. API 600 is the key document. API 600 also lists important dimensions such as stem diameter minimums.e. Part of the problem was indeed lack of standardization. One important area in which API 600 differs from ANSI B16. Many products were rated with working pressures (i.34. Some valve types such as bronze gate. 800 psi WOG which meant 800 psi working pressure for water. Gate Valves For users of gate valves.

Most. welding procedure qualifications and welder certifications.BS 6364 and steel check valves . Although created as an "upstream" equipment document. "Rules For The Construction of Pressure Vessels . International Standards Organization (ISO) and The Canadian Standards Organization (CSA).3 "Chemical Plant And Petroleum Refinery Piping". BSI publishes several standards covering areas that U. Section VIII also details fabrication.34 as far as applicable for their globe and check valve specifications. which include valves. however .S.BS 1868 & BS 5352. valve standards writers have ignored such as: globe valves . there probably won't be any specification in the near future. Most designers and specifiers will use ANSI B16. Designed to lessen the likelihood of H2S induced cracking. ANSI/ASME B31. The most common "NACE" trim materials used in valve construction today are 316ss. MR0175 has been adopted by numerous industries and agencies.3 for their in-house fabrication procedures.quarter turn valves have made in a field once dominated by globe valves. Petrochemical and Allied Industries" and BS 5352 "Steel Wedge Gate. There are additional construction codes used for pipeline. Petrochemical an Allied Industries. but a recommended practice. Many valve manufacturers utilize B31. Section IX "Welding & Brazing Qualifications". "Standard Material Requirements for Sulfide Stress Cracking Resistant Metallic Materials For Oilfield Equipment" is almost treated as a standard in many industries. MR0175 lists materials (by UNS number) and fabrication techniques.S. NACE MR0175 While not a standard. assembly and nondestructive testing of piping systems. Code. the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) specification MR-01-75. These documents are excellent starting points for persons needing guidance in these particular areas. if not all. including the British Standards Institute (BSI). Valve Standards What does the future hold for United States valve standards? As more and more valve production moves to foreign soil. "NACE" trim as it is often called. power and refrigerated piping industries. The other construction code is Section VIII. MR-0175 was first published to help solve problems with material failures caused by the presence of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in oil well equipment and gathering facilities. Great Britain's British Standards Institute does have two standards that address globe valves: BS 1873 "Steel Globe Stop and Check Valves For The Petroleum. there are three important ASME documents that are important to fabricators welding valves into piping components and manufacturers utilizing welding in the manufacturing process. Several non-domestic standards organizations publish valve standards. pressure vessel welding codes specify Section IX as part of their process. Globe and Check Valves 50mm (2") and Smaller For The Petroleum. cryogenic valves . is specified quite often for use in refinery processes.BS 1873 & BS 5352. The Future For U. ASME Codes Although not valve standards as such. assembly and nondestructive testing requirements. unfortunately so does some of the power to direct and control valve standards. of the B&PVC. details the fabrication. Monel and Stellite. This document addresses welding procedures. First is ASME B&PVC.Division 1". During the past several years there has been cooperation between the International Standards Organization (ISO) and US valve standards makers. The other two are "construction" codes.

The biggest dark cloud over the horizon for domestic standards organizations is the debate over metrification. TX and Global Engineering Documents in Englewood. . but actually change dimensions. Two technical bookshops that carry extensive inventories of standards and specifications are Brown Book Shop in Houston. for a return of relatively nothing. the costs could be considerable. CO. which insures you always have the latest copy of each cataloged specification. effort and expense in creating.some domestic standards making bodies have justifiably been reluctant to give up total control of documents they have invested much time. will not only change units of measure. Global also has a large inventory of obsolete and out-of-date specifications. motivated industry representatives are writing the standards we must all work with. Standards committee meetings sometimes take on the air of a hearty democrat vs. All of the specifications listed in this article can be ordered from the sponsoring agencies. but there are other sources as well. Obviously hard metrification is a major economic factor to be faced by valve manufacturers and end-users currently using or manufacturing valves and fittings. but as the manufacturers state their case and the end-users theirs. There are many advantages to having the specification on computer. Hard metrification on the other hand. such as the ability to look up subjects by key word. the industry can feel secure that present and future valve specifications will reflect the changing needs of the industry and the general public. Colorado offers many standards packages on CD ROM. republican congressional debate. Metrification can be either "soft" or "hard" in terms of change from our imperial measuring units. Over seventy-five years of valve standards have helped the refining and petrochemical industries grow and prosper throughout the world. However the biggest advantage has to be the automatic yearly update service. The committees that formulate these standards are hard working volunteers who care a great deal for their industries and the people affected by them. As long as these concerned. Soft metrification merely changes the current unit of measurement to metric while maintaining the actual measurements. This update service helps meet the "most current document" requirements of ISO 9000 quality programs. with assured interchangeability of products by different manufacturers. If future valve and fitting standards take on more of an ISO flavor. the end result usually ends in acceptable compromise. as well as timely design changes. Information Handling Services (IHS) in Englewood.