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PROCESS PIPING & PIPING FITTINGS
In any Petrochemical, Chemical, Fertilizers or Power generation plant, one
can see kilometers of various piping carrying various process fluids from
one end to other. The process piping acts as blood carriers in our body. It
plays very important role as any minor failure of process piping or pipe
fitting of critical service in continuous process plant means shutdown of
the plant. The role of the maintenance engineers is to design and select
appropriate piping material and rating to avoid such failures.
Piping

design

includes

selection

of

applicable

codes/standards,

environmental requirement and service parameters and the supports


required. Calculation of process piping requires data like, type of fluid,
process flow rate, system working pressure and maximum pressure,
temperatures, stresses due to other equipments, requirement of valves,
type of valves, Special loops if required, number of drains, factor of safety,
corrosion allowance, erosion if any, maximum flow velocity allowed and
requirement of insulation etc. Depending upon these factors piping
material, piping sizes, supports system, type of expansion joints etc. are
considered then location of valve skids are decided before final designing
of the piping.
Piping specification covers the service, ratings, material of construction,
fabrication process, type of fittings, fabrication consumables, erection
consumables, fastners, installation and service performance requirement.
Vent, drain and sampling points are considered according to service
requirements.
The potential for damage due to corrosion in piping must be addressed in
the design stage itself and appropriate material and service class shall be
selected. Extra measures shall be taken to avoid external as well internal
corrosion by providing coating or lining or painting etc. Underground
piping is in general protected by providing cathodic protection.
Internal Wear:

Depending on the service conditions, internal erosion and wear of the


piping also posses unseen threat of system failure. If the prevailing
conditions are known then material selected shall be accordingly suitable
and piping design shall be such that minimum wear takes place. In this
type of services, short radius elbows and returns are avoided.
Thermal expansion:
For high temperature service piping, compensation for the resultant
expansion and contraction due to temperature changes should be
considered both in piping and supports. Suitable expansion loops shall be
given as per standard so that line strength is not exposed to sever
stresses. Similarly the additional load which shall be born by the piping
shall be known when these are to be connected to equipment nozzles and
vice versa (Piping load to be born by equipment shall also be conveyed to
equipment manufacturer.)
Another important factor in process piping system is consideration of
presence of condensate. This condensate shall be drained intermitantly in
the system and it should not gets accumulated in the vertical loop of the
piping. The accumulated condensate in a piping can stop the flow of the
fluid in the piping. During the stoppage and start-up of the process plant
this condensate plays an important role and shall be taken care otherwise
it can lead to failure of the system.
Standards
There are various standards and codes for designing process piping. In
petro chemical industries and refineries in general ASME standard is
followed. e.g. ASME B 31.3 is for piping and B16.5 is for Steel pipe flanges.
Pipe fittings shall be as per ASTM A-234. These standards include the
minimum

design requirement for

various

pressure piping

system,

thickness of pipe, supports type of expansion joints etc. In case of


complex and heavy wall piping combination of two or more standards are
also followed depending upon the severity of the system. The most
stringent check of all the standards shall be considered applicable in case
of more than one standard is followed.
For all process piping size 2 and above, butt joints are made but below
1.5 NB piping, socket welded joints may be made as per design

requirements. Threaded joints are normally permitted if specified in the


piping specifications.
All pipes of class 300lbs and above shall be of seam-less construction unless or otherwise specified in the piping specifications. Galvanised piping
is generally recommended to be used where the service temperature is
below 60 C.
Piping system is subjected to total loads i.e. internal pressure due to
flowing fluid and self weight of the pipe. Load due to fluids are normally
the sustained loads but occasionally additional loads or force are also born
by the system. These are intermittent loads e.g. hydrostatic test etc.
Piping systems are also subjected to other dynamic loads while in service
e.g. water hammering due to accumulated condensate and energy
released by pressure safety devices. These dynamic loads may also cause
vibration in a piping system due to impact of fluctuating force or pressure
acting on the system.
Piping codes gives the required design criteria for a particular piping
system and in general following factors are to be considered for any
piping design .
-

Material

Allowable stresses

Allowable dead loads

Allowable live loads

Min pipe wall thickness (para 304.1.2 of ANSI B31.3)

Min. Thread depth in case of pipes less than 1.5 ND

Maximum deflection

Seismic loads

Thermal expansion

Corrosion allowance

Factor of safety
Codes for piping pipe fittings and valves are separate. But all the
details shall be specified in the construction isometrics. Construction
isometrics shall contain following informations:
Pipe Number

Pipe Class
Insulation Class
Support class
Pipe Size
Main dimensions for assembly
Deatil dimensions for valves & spool pieces
Point of reference
Instruments
Pipe supports
Part List
For process piping design ASME B31.3 includes selection of material,
design, fabrication, assembly, erection, examination, inspection and
testing.
Welding joints of pipes and fittings also plays an important role. For any
process

piping,

PQR

(procedure

qualification

record),

WPS(Welding

Procedure Specifications) and QAP (Quality assurance plan) are made with
reference to the standards. These documents gives the details of type of
welding, type of electrodes, qualification of welder, preheat and post weld
heat treatment cycles, inspection and testing to be done etc for any
piping.
Quality assurance plan and Procedure qualification records are generally
developed in workshops anf for this many destructive tests are also
performed along with Non-destructive tests. Based on these recorded
documents, NDT (Non Destructive Test) which consists of
Penetrating Test) Radiography/ X-Ray , Ultrasonic(UT)

DPT (Dye

MP(Magnetic

Particle Test) test etc are to be carried out on actual job.


Piping material are selected based on the piping specifications. It may be
carbon steel (CS), stainless steel (SS) or alloy steel (AS) of different
grades. Pipe wall thicknesses are also specified in piping specifications.
Pipe thicknesses are related to various Schedule which gives standard
thicknesses of specified size of pipe. These schedules are, 5, 10, 20, 30,
40, sd, Xs, 60, 80, 100, 120, 140, 160 and XXS. All sizes of pipes are not
available in all schedules.
In selection of a pipe, the most important factors are system pressure,
temperature and type of fluids (corrosive or non corrosive). In high
temperature services, where plane carbon steel pipes may not be suitable
then alloy steel grades are selected depending on their service class. In

corrosive fluid services in general stainless steel of various grades are


used however for conc. Acids SS piping is not suitable in that case cast
iron piping is found most suitable. These days lined pipings are becoming
popular for corrosive fluids.
In general in piping classes higher than 300#, seamless pipes are being
used. However depending on economics and service criticality, welded
pipes are also used. Welded pipes may be ERW (Electric Resistence
Welded) or spiral welded or fusion welded type.
Regarding the pipe fittings, standards and codes specified the types of
fittings to be used in a particular class of piping. Pipe fittings includes
Elbow (45 & 90, SW & BW), Bends (Short Radius and Long Radius, 90 &
180), Tee (Equal and un-equal, Socket Weld & Butt Weld), Flanges (SlipOn Raised Face , Weld Neck Raised Face & SW), Socket, reducer sockets,
Couplings, half-couplings, Reducer (Conc. & Eccentric SW & BW) , Sockolet, threado-let, weldo-let, nippo-let, Blind flange, spectacle blinds etc.
Generally in all piping class in sizes below 11/2 NB all fittings are used in
Socket Weld versions and in Socket weld fittings the min. class available is
3000#. Above this class, 6000# and 9000# are available. All piping above
11/2 NB size butt joints are used for welding un-less or other wise
specified for particular service. For drinking water service, Galvanised
piping is used with threaded joint fittings.
In case of Flanges, there are many classes of flanges specified by rating
150lb, 300lb, 600lb, 900lb, 1500lb, 2500lb etc. For special purpose in
other standards, other classes of flanges are also used. These rating
depend upon the service class or pressure & Temperature only.
Type of flanges:
SORF-Slip On Raised Face
WNRF-Weld Neck Raised Face
WNRJ-Weld Neck Ring Joint
SWRF-Socket Welded Raised Face
Flanges are manufactured as per ASME B 16.5 and ASME B 16.10. B-1610 covers the dimension of flanges, PCD of bolt circle, dia of holes, face to
face dimension, thickness of flange, OD of flange, bore of flange etc. While
ASME

B16.50

standards

covers

pressure

&

temperature

ratings,

tolerances, marking, testing, deviation and acceptable limits etc. This is


internationally accepted practice.
Some ASME Standards are given below
ASME/ANSI B16.1 - 1998 - Cast Iron Pipe Flanges and Flanged Fittings
ASME/ANSI B16.3 - 1998 - Malleable Iron Threaded Fittings
ASME/ANSI B16.4 - 1998 - Cast Iron Threaded Fittings
ASME/ANSI B16.5 - 1996 - Pipe Flanges and Flanged Fittings
ASME/ANSI B16.9 - 2001 -Wrought Steel Butt welding Fittings
ASME/ANSI B16.10 - 2000 - Face-to-Face and End-to-End Dimensions of
Valves
ASME/ANSI B16.11 - 2001 - Forged Steel Fittings, Socket-Welding and
Threaded
ASME/ANSI B16.12 - 1998 - Cast Iron Threaded Drainage Fittings
ASME/ANSI B16.20 - 1998 - Metallic Gaskets for Pipe Flanges-Ring-Joint,
Spiral-Would, and Jacketed
ASME/ANSI B16.21 - 1992 - Nonmetallic Flat Gaskets for Pipe Flanges
ASME/ANSI B16.28 - 1994 - Wrought Steel Buttwelding Short Radius
Elbows and Returns
Some Sketch of Piping Fittings given Bolow :

Weldolet: Weldolets are used for making branches in the piping system.
The size of the weldolet specifies the size of the main line, size of the
branch line, schedule of the main line and schedule of the branch line
along with MOC.

Nippolet: Nippolets are also used for making branches in the piping system
but for small sizes and in particular for making drains and vents. The
rating of the Nippolet shall confirm to rating of the main line, along with
MOC.

Threadolet: Threadolets are also used for making branches in the piping
system but for small sizes and in particular for making openings for fixing
Thermo-well etc. The rating of the Threadolet shall confirm to rating of the
main line, along with MOC.
Letrolet: Lettrolets are used for making branches in the piping system at
the Elbows for small sizes and in particular for fixing thermo well etc threaded
letrolets are used. The rating of the letrolet shall confirm to rating of the main line,
along with MOC. Butwelded letrolets are also known as elbolets.

Sweepolet Sweepolet are used for making branches in the piping system
without reinforncing. The size of the sweepolet specifies the size of the
main line, size of the branch line, schedule of the main line and schedule
of the branch line along with MOC. Both joints are Butt Weld joints

Standard form of Branching

VALVES:
Valves are basically used to allow or restrict flow of fluid in the piping as
per process requirement. There are various type of valves which are used
for specific services in industries. End connection of these valves may be
with flanges or welded end. Welding end may be Butt weld type or socket
weld type. For socket weld valves the min. class for any type of valves is
800lb. However for flanged valves the classes are based on the flange
classes. E.g. 150#, 300#, 600#, 900#, 1500# and 2500# etc.
GATE VALVE:-Gate Valves are specifically intended for use as isolation
applications. These valves creating minimum pressure drops across them
and they are used for ON and OFF applications. Although they can be used
for throttling but the service life gets reduced due to wear out seats.

GLOBE VALVE :-

Globe valves open more rapidly than a gate valve as

the disc only needs to move a small distance from its seat to allow full
flow but due to change in direction in flow, resistance to flow increases
and this also generates turbulence in the flow. This results in a higher
pressure drop across globe valves than gate valve. These valves are used
to control the flow in the process lines.

MATERIAL SPECIFICATION GATE/GLOB VALVES


Name of Part

Specification

1 Body

ASTM A105

2 Bonnet/Cap

ASTM A105

3 Stem

AISI 410

4 Gate/Disc

13% Cr. Steel with


suitable Seating surface

5 Body Seat
Ring*

13% Cr. Steel with


suitable Seating surface

6 Stem Packing

Graphite

7 Handwheel

Ductile Iron or Steel

8 Bolts/Studs

ASTM A193 Gr.B7

9 Gasket

Spirally wound SS 304


with Graphite filler

International standards & codes followed for design of valve AP1-600 &
API-602 for valve design, ASME B16.10 for face to face dimension of
flange valves, API 598 for pressure testing of valves etc.
For any valve following are the main parts which plays important roll in its
performance.
1.

Body of the Valve

2.

Bonnet of the Valve

3.

Stem of the Valve

4.

Wedge & Disc

5.

Seat

6.

Stem gland Packing

7.

Gland Bush

8.

Yoke

9.

Gland stud & Nut

10.

Gland Flange

The material of construction of the above parts varies with the service
class of the valves and is generally standardized by the manufacturers.

The word TRIM in case of Valves means combination of seat and disc
(wetted portion) of valve and the gland packing. Trim number specify the
particular combination of disc/stem/and seat with gland packing will be
used. These are the most vulnerable parts of the valve and this defines
the performance of valve.
CHECK VALVES :-

Check valves or Non-Return Valve are very - very

important part of piping. It is used to allow fluid to flow in one direction


only i.e. when the upstream of a check valve is more than the downstream
pressure then it will allow forward flow only but vice versa is not possible.
Check valves are in generally of two type. One is swing type check valve,
others are lift or plug type check valve. Type of valves to be used depends
upon the service and operating conditions of the piping.
SWING CHECK VALVE OR NRV

Disc type Check Valve or

NRV

DISC CHECHK VALVES :- The disc type check valve mainly use a spring
loaded disc which is seated on a seat due to spring force. The differential
pressure required to open the check valve is determined by the type of
the spring used. Where the differential pressure across the valve is small
no spring is used simply a disc with a stem works as check valve.
otherwise spring or Heavy duty spring are used.
STEM SEALING :-

In order to prevent leakage of the process fluid from

and along the Stem of the valve, a barrier must be placed around the
stem for sealing. Stem sealing is generally achieved by providing gland

packing (usually a low cost item) or metallic flexible bellow (Expensive).


Bellows are more effective for achieving Zero leakage, whereas gland
sealing is not a Zero leakage arrangement and also require to be changed
periodically.
LINERA MOVEMENT VALVE STEM OPTION
Linear movement valves are available with a number of different stem
arrangement:
Rising/non-rising stems- In rising stem valves, stem will move vertically
upward when the valve is opened by turning of wheel. Where as in nonrising stem valves, stem rotates in its position only when the valves is
being operated.
In rising stem valves, the length of exposed stem directly indicates the
degree of valve opening, which in turn roughly reflects the amount or
percentage of flow through the valve. Valves with rising stems do however
require more space above the bonnet to accommodate the rising stem in
the fully opened condition. The use of non-rising stem type valves is
recommended where contamination is to be controlled. E.g. in dairy
product plants etc.
In-side/Out-side stem screw Rising and non/ rising stem type globe
valves are known as Inside/Outside stem threads. On a stem the actuating
threads on the stem are situated outside the valve body and are not
exposed to the process fluid. As screw threads are particularly susceptible
to corrosion outside screw should always by used on fluids with corrosive
or erosive properties. They are also beneficial where the valve is
frequently exposed to large temperature variations, as the expansion and
contraction of the stem may cause binding of the threads inside the body.
Pipe Sizing:- The objective of the pipe lines is to allow or supply fluid at
correct pressure and flow to the desired point of usage. Pressure drop
across the distribution system of a fluid is an important parameter.
Additionally there exist some losses due to friction between the fluid and
pipe wall. Total pressure drop losses depends upon following parameters:

L= Length of the pipe in meter (M)


D= Dia. of the pipe in meter (M)
U= Mean velocity of the fluid in Kg/ms
= Density of the fluid in Kg/m3
Ks= Roughness of the pipe wall
The roughness of the pipe inside wall plays an important role. The head
loss due to friction can be calculated through DArcys equation and
Reynolds number chart with the help of formula :
hf =4FLu2/2Gd or hf =fLu2/2gd
Where hf =head loss(m)
F =Friction factor
L =Length of pipe(m)
u=Flow velocity of fluid (m/s)
g =Gravitational constant(9.8)
D =Dia of pipe(m)
The Optimum size of pipe should be selected for better flow of fluid and
less friction and minimum pressure drop. Oversize or undersize pipe, both
leads to disadvantages more than the advantages. In case of undersize
pipe lines, greater risk of erosion due to high velocity will always be there.
Water hammer and starvation in down stream equipments (in case of
steam) and noise will be there due to increase in velocity.
Pressure drop can be calculated from the pressure factor chart. Velocity is
an important factor in deciding of pipe line size for particular service.
There are many chart and formula for calculation these