Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The Piping Material Selection Guide for Process Systems, as the title
states, is a guide for the piping engineer who is faced with the challenge
of choosing the correct piping materials of construction.
The list of codes and standards in ASME B31.3 that apply to process
plant design is huge, and it is impossible to cover them all in one book.
Instead I use ASME B31.3 as the basic construction code, and I briefly
touch on the most significant codes and standards applicable to the
design of the plant.
The EPC contractor is responsible for having all the necessary codes
and standards available at all times during the design, construction, and
commissioning of the plant. These standards must be the final reference
point, and the objective of this book is to guide the piping engineer to
Although the function of a piping material engineer is driven by code
and specifications, there is no substitute for all-around experience. This
can be gained from several areas: the design office, a manufacturer’s
facility, the fabrication yard, as well as the job site. Exposure to as many of
these facets of the process industry as possible is beneficial to the growth
of an engineer’s professional development. Each sector has its own
characteristics, and knowledge of one aids the comprehension the others.
The design office is where the project evolves and is engineered and
developed on paper. A manufacturer’s facility is were the numerous
individual components essential for construction of the project are built.
For piping this includes pipe, fittings, flanges, valves, bolts, gaskets, and
the like. In the fabrication yard, the welded piping components are
‘‘spooled’’ up for transportation to the job site. At the job site, paper and
hardware come together and final fabrication and erection take place.
The various piping systems are commissioned, and the project is brought
to its conclusion and finally handed over to the client’s operators. All
these phases of a project are equally important, and it is very important
that the engineer understand the challenges that arise in these very
The Piping Material Selection Guide for the Process Systems is written
to be useful to all piping engineers and designers involved in the design,
construction, and commissioning of oil, gas, and petrochemical facilities.
However, it is primarily aimed at the piping material engineer, the
individual responsible for the selection and the specifying of piping
material for process facilities.
Piping engineering and the materials used in the construction of piping
systems is a huge subject. It is virtually impossible to cover all aspects of
it in depth in one volume. In this book, I try to cover the most important
areas and introduce the reader to the fundamentals of the specific
subjects. I suggest readers skim through the pages to gain a familiarity
with the topics covered. I have introduced each subject and then linked it
with text and technical data. I limit my use of opinions and concentrate
on mandatory statements that are set out in the design codes. These
standards must be met or improved on.
Most of the individuals I have worked with have developed their skills
by working with fellow engineers who imparted their knowledge to the
uninitiated. The ingredients that go into making a good engineer are not
fully taught in schools, colleges, or universities, but by experience gained
listening to more-knowledgeable colleagues, absorbing information, and
through personal research.
To be a complete engineer, it is essential not only to have knowledge
but to share this knowledge with fellow piping engineers and other
colleagues. A piping material engineer’s role is driven by codes,
standards, technical data, and catalogued information. When asked a
question I believe that, if possible, the answer should be supported with a
copy from the relevant source of information. This allows recipients to
file the information, makes them more confident, and protects the piping
material engineer. It is a small action that pays big dividends.
Despite several excellent textbooks on piping design and piping stress,
I know of none that specializes in piping materials. It is not the intention
of this book to explain the geometry of the numerous piping components
and how their final shape is computed. All the piping components
discussed in this book are covered by strict design codes or recognized
manufacturers’ standards. Their dimensions are carefully calculated and
unlikely to change dramatically in the near or distant future. Indeed,
most have remained the same dimensionally for several decades and
Piping engineering is not rocket science. As a fellow engineer, not a
piping specialist, once said, ‘‘I thought that the Romans sorted piping
out.’’ Not true, but I see where my colleague was coming from. The
piping content of a project is generally the largest of all the disciplines in
material value, engineering, and construction personnel. Piping engineering
also creates large volumes of paper in the form of drawings,
specifications, and support documents. What it lacks in technical
complexity it more than makes up for by the volumes of paperwork,
which seem to increase each year.
So, to conclude, although piping may not advance as quickly as other
disciplines, such as instrumentation and electrical, which are driven
greatly by vendors and technology, piping does not stand still. New
materials are always being developed, as well as fresh methods of
manufacturing and new designs, that constantly fine-tune what we
inherited from our friends the Romans.
If this book does not completely answer your questions, I feel sure that
it will guide you in the right direction.
1 The Piping Material Engineer 1
2 Process Industry Codes and Standards 11
3 Materials 37
4 Piping Components 131
5 Joints for Process Piping Systems 171
6 Bolts and Gaskets 201
7 Valves 213
8 Glossaries and Abbreviations 243
Total 356 pages 5.5 mb