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Saudi Aramco

Inspection Department

Training & Contractor Workforce Saudization Group



The training materials contained in this module are the property of the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) and
are intended for the exclusive use of Saudi Aramco employees enrolled in advanced inspection training courses. Any
material contained in this manual which is not already in the public domain, may not be copied, reproduced, sold, given or
disclosed to third parties or otherwise used, in whole or in part, for purposes other than for use in Saudi Aramco’s
Professional Engineering Development Unit courses without the prior written permission of the Chief Engineer of Saudi






Terminal Objective 1
Enabling Objectives 1
Nominal Pipe Size 4
Pipe Wall Thickness 4
Pipe Manufacturing Processes 5
Seamless Pipe 5
Electric Resistance-Welded Pipe (ERW) 5
Submerged Arc-Welded Pipe 6
Spiral-Welded Pipe 6
Furnace-Welded Pipe 6
Pipe Material 6
Piping Class 7
Elbows 10
Tees and Crosses 10
Reducers 11
Laterals 12
Couplings or Half-Couplings 12
Pipe Caps and Plugs 13
Integrally Reinforced Branch Connections 14
Threaded Joints 17
Maximum Joint Size 17
Seal welding 18
Thread Engagement 19
Welded Joints 19
Preparation for Welding 20
Cleaning 20


End Preparation 20
Positive Material Identification 21
Preheating 21
Post weld-heat treatment 24
Butt-Welds 26
Socket Welds 29
Fillet Weld 30
Flanged Joints 31
Flange Standards 33
Types of Flanges 33
Types of Flange Facing 36
Gaskets and Gasket Types 39
Stud bolts and nuts 43
Jackscrews 45
Flange Tolerances 45
Flange Bolt-up Procedure 46
Causes of Flange Leakage 51
Safety of Flanged Joints Assembly 52
General Guidelines 56
Types of Supports 58
Rigid Supports 59
Flexible or Resilient Supports 62
Types of Restraints 64
Stops 65
Guides 65
Anchors 67
Insulation Components 70
Insulation 70
Jacket 74


Adhesives and Sealants 76

Accessories 77
Insulation types 78
Hot Insulation systems 79
Cold Insulation systems types 79
Components 81
Uses 82
Underground Pipelines 82
Aboveground Pipelines 84
Submarine Pipelines 86



Terminal Objective

Upon completion of this module, the Participant will be able to inspect new plant piping
using the appropriate references, tools, and equipment, and according to applicable
Saudi Aramco and industry standards.

Enabling Objectives

In order to accomplish the Terminal Objective, the Participant will be able to:

◊ Perform inspection on new plant piping

◊ Perform inspection on new cross-country pipelines

Note: This training material has been developed using the latest available versions of applicable
Saudi Aramco and industry standards. However, these documents are regularly updated.
Therefore, it is the responsibility of the Inspector to ensure that he is conducting his
inspections according to the latest, updated version of these documents.



Piping systems are like arteries and veins in the oil industry. Piping systems comprise of
pipes, flanges, bolting, gaskets, valves etc. They also include pipe hangers, supporting
elements and other items necessary to prevent over pressurization and overstressing of
the pressure containing components. Hence, one can say that pipe section when fitted
with valves and other mechanical equipment and properly supported by hangers and
supports are called piping.

The function of piping systems is to safely contain and convey fluids from one location to
another. The following are general types of piping systems used for Saudi Aramco

◊ Plant piping

◊ Cross-country pipelines

Plant piping is used within the boundaries of a process plant, such as a petroleum
refinery or chemical plant. Plant piping transports liquids or gases from one item of plant
equipment to another, or between plots within one plant area. Plant equipment consists
of items such as compressors, furnaces, heat exchangers, pressure vessels, pumps,
and storage tanks.

Cross-country pipelines are used outside the boundaries of process plants. They
convey liquid petroleum, petroleum products, liquid-gas mixtures, or natural gas.
Depending on the application, these pipelines connect plants or facilities such as
wellheads, GOSPs, Pumping or compressing facilities, Oil termination and shipping
facilities, Refineries and chemical plants, Temporary storage facilities, Gas treating, Gas
metering and regulation, Gas mains, Gas service to end users.

The Piping Inspector shall be knowledgeable on all aspects and components of a piping
system including the following:

◊ Pipes

◊ Fittings

◊ Joints

◊ Valves

◊ Supports and hangers

◊ Insulation


Furthermore, the Inspector shall also be required to inspect cross-country pipelines


◊ Underground pipelines

◊ Aboveground pipelines



Pipe is a pressure-tight cylinder used to convey a fluid or to transmit a fluid pressure and
conforms to the dimensional requirements of:

◊ ASME B36.10M Welded and Seamless Wrought Steel Pipe

◊ ASME B36.19M Stainless Steel Pipe

The Inspector verifies that the pipe conforms to the project specification and design
drawings. The following five items should be verified for the pipe:

◊ Nominal pipe size (NPS)

◊ Pipe wall thickness (Schedule number)

◊ Method of fabrication

◊ Pipe Material

◊ Piping Class

Nominal Pipe Size

Nominal pipe size (NPS) is a dimensionless designator of pipe size. It indicates standard
pipe size when followed by the specific size designation number without an inch symbol.

For NPS 12 and smaller, the pipe has an outside diameter greater than the size
designator. However, for NPS 14 and larger, the pipe diameter will be the same as the
size designator in inches.

For example, for a NPS 2, the Inspector should verify that the pipe outside diameter is
2.375 in. For NPS 14 pipe, the Inspector shall measure an outside diameter equals to 14
in. The inside diameter will vary depending on pipe wall thickness ( or schedule

Pipe Wall Thickness

Pipe wall thickness is expressed by the term schedule. The inspector checks the
schedule number, such as 5, 5S, 10, 10S, 20, 20S, 30, 30S, 40, 40S, 60, 80, 80S, 100,
120, 140, 160.


A schedule number indicates the approximate value of the expression 1000 P/S, where
P is the service pressure and S is the allowable stress, both expressed in pounds per
square inch (PSI). The higher the schedule number, the thicker the pipe is. The suffix “S”
is added to schedule number to differentiate between stainless steel from carbon steel.

Pipe Manufacturing Processes

A description of pipe should include the manufacturing process. When the engineer is
selecting material, the pipe manufacturing process will help him determine the potential
overall quality of the pipe.

The Piping Inspector verifies that the pipe is manufactured using one of the following five

◊ Seamless pipe.

◊ Electric resistance-welded pipe (ERW).

◊ Submerged arc-welded pipe.

◊ Spiral-welded pipe.

◊ Furnace-welded pipe.

Seamless Pipe

The quality of the manufacturing processes varies, with seamless pipe having the
probability of fewest defects and furnace-welded pipe the worst. Because there is no
seam in the seamless pipe, the joint quality factor is 1.0 (Refer to PEW-402.02 for more
information on Ej).

Electric Resistance-Welded Pipe (ERW)

Generally ERW pipe are cheaper and faster to produce than the seamless pipes
because the production process requires less energy and the forming machinery’s last
longer. The dimension control of ERW could be close to perfect. However,
manufacturing quality controls and inspection procedures to identify defects are very
critical to insure high quality pipes. The nature of manufacturing of ERW pipe could lead
to gross defects in the weld seam where lack of fusion is always possible.

SAES-L-136 prohibits the use of ERW pipe for hazardous service for plant piping. ERW
pipe is acceptable for pipelines.


Submerged Arc-Welded Pipe

The submerged arc-welding process is the most common for manufacturing carbon steel
pipe. Electric resistance-welded pipe and submerged arc-welded pipe are high-quality
pipes that are suitable for most services. Most cross-country pipelines consist of one of
these two types of pipe. Since they contain a longitudinal seam, however, they may not
be as high a quality as seamless pipe. The joint quality factor for these two processes is
usually taken between 0.8 and1.0, depending on the piping design code, the material
specification, and the degree of inspection.

Spiral-Welded Pipe

Spiral-welded pipe is used primarily for cross-country pipeline services, where the
specifications and weld details that are used result in a joint quality factor of 0.75 to 1.0.
Per SAES-L-136, for plant piping conforming to ASME B31.3 and at permanently
manned facilities, spiral-welded pipe shall not be used in sour gas service unless it is
stress relief heat treated in a furnace at 1150°F f or one hour. Spiral-welded pipe may be
used for sour liquid lines.

Furnace-Welded Pipe

Furnace-welded pipe is generally the lowest cost (and lowest quality) pipe that few oil
industries permit using in their facilities. The quality of the welded joint is not as high as
in the ERW or SAW processes. Saudi Aramco Engineering Standards SAES-L-136
prohibits the use of furnace-welded pipe for hazardous services.

Pipe Material

Pipe for plant applications shall be seamless or single-longitudinal seam submerged arc-
welded and conform to one of the following:

◊ API Spec 5L, Grade B through X60.

◊ ASTM A53, Seamless Grade B, black (not galvanized).

◊ ASTM A106, Grade B.

Pipe for cross-country pipelines shall conform to one of the following: Electric Resistance
Welded (ERW) pipe in accordance with 01-SAMSS-033 or API 5L, Electric Welded Line
Pipe or Spiral-welded pipe in accordance with 01- SAMSS-035, API Line Pipe. If 01-
SAMSS-035 pipe is not available, API 5L or ASTM A106 pipe may be used, provided it
meets the chemical composition and hardness test requirements that are specified in 01-
SAMSS-035. For wet, sour service, the pipe must be seamless, or conform to 01-
SAMSS-016, Sour, Wet Service Line Pipe, for welded pipe.


Piping Class

A document indicating the dimensional material specifications of pipes, fittings and valve
types is called piping class. Each class represents distinct features such as pressure-
temperature conditions, corrosion resistance and strength abilities or combination. The
Piping Inspector verifies the pipe class, which is designated by 4-alpha-numeric fields
containing one or two characters each as follows.

First Field

The first field defines the pressure rating and consists of one or two numeric characters.
Refer to SAEP-L-105, paragraph 7.2.1.

Second Field

The second field defines the pipe material and consists of two alpha characters. Refer
to SAEP-L-105, paragraph 7.2.2.

Third Field

The third field defines the corrosion or erosion allowance and consists of one numeric
character. Refer to SAEP-L-105, paragraph 7.2.3.

Fourth Field

The fourth field defines the service and consists of one alpha character. Refer to SAEP-
L-105, paragraph 7.2.4.

An example of a complete piping line class designator is "3CS1P". This designator

specifies an ASME pressure class 300, carbon steel piping system with 1.6 mm
corrosion allowance designed for general hydrocarbon process service.



Pipe fittings are used extensively in process plants as well as other piping systems. They
serve the overall process in many aspects, such as:

◊ Change the flow direction.

◊ Bring two or more pipes together.

◊ Divert a single flow into two branching flows or more.

◊ Alter the pipe diameter.

◊ Tap the process for temperature or pressure readings.

◊ Terminate a pipe.

There are several ways or techniques for connecting a fitting to a pipe. For the most
part, the Inspector should be familiar with the following techniques.

◊ Threading.

◊ Socket-welded.

◊ Butt-welded.

Note: More information on connection techniques will be given later in the Module.

There are many types of pipe fittings. Some are standard types; others could be
proprietary controlled by patent regulations. Nonetheless, one of the duties of a Saudi
Aramco Inspector is to confirm that the fittings used for the project are sourced from an
approved manufacturer per SAES-L-101. The two primary design standards that are
used for pipe fittings are:

◊ ASME B16.9, Factory-Made Wrought Steel Butt-Welding Fittings.

◊ ASME B16.11, Forged Steel Fittings, Socket-Welding and Threaded.

ASME B16.11, Forged Steel Fittings, Socket-Welding and Threaded, contains a basis
for pressure/temperature ratings for these piping components. Threaded fittings are
designated as Pressure Class 2000, 3000 and 6000. Socket-welded fittings are
designated as Pressure Class 3000, 6000, or 9000.

The following table summarizes the pipe schedule that corresponds to each fitting
pressure class for rating purposes:


Rating of Threaded and Socket Weld Fittings

The Inspector shall also be able to differentiate between the standard types of fittings,
such as (See also Figure 1):

◊ Elbows

◊ Tees

◊ Laterals

◊ Couplings

◊ Caps & Plugs

◊ Stub-ends

Figure 1. Most Common Types of Fittings



Elbows are used to change the direction of a pipe run. Standard elbows change the
direction by either 45° or 90°. Long-radius elbows have a bend radius of 1-1/2 times the
nominal pipe size, and short-radius elbows have a bend radius equal to the nominal pipe
size. The long-radius elbow is more commonly used. Short-radius elbows are normally
only used if there is a space restriction for the piping system layout.

For butt-welded elbows, the Inspector should verify the wall thickness, which should be
identical to that of the adjacent pipe sections, since it is normally made from comparable
material. However, the thickness at the crotch, inner section, shall be thicker than the
nominal wall thickness and at least 10% for grade B as required by 02-SAMS-005.
Small-bore elbows, 2 inches and smaller, are usually forged and very thick.

The Inspector verifies that street elbows, one end with female threads and the other end
with male threads (Figure 2X), will not be used as per the requirements of SAES-L-105.
Additionally, reducing elbows are not permitted. The Inspector checks to verify that no
drain, vent, or other branch connection to elbows is present.

Figure 2. Types of Elbows

Tees and Crosses

As shown in Figure 3, tees provide for the intersection of three sections of pipe. A
straight tee has equal diameters for both the run and branch pipe connections. A
reducing-outlet tee has a branch diameter, which is smaller in size than the run

A cross is a special type of tee, which permits the intersection of four sections of pipe. A
cross is rarely seen in process plant applications. As shown in Figure 3, crosses are a
special type of fittings that combines flow from three directions into one or visa versa.


Tees and crosses are mostly used in plant utility piping, such as instrument air or
Nitrogen lines. Tees are designed with extra thickness in the area where the branch
connects with the run. The extra thickness provides reinforcement to compensate for the
strength reduction that is caused by the hole cut in the run. The Inspector should verify
that no street tees (with male threads) are used per SAES-L-105.

Figure 3. Various Types of Tees and Crosses


Reducers change the diameter in a straight section of pipe, and are either of the
concentric or eccentric type (See Figure 4). The centerlines of the large and small
diameter ends coincide in a concentric reducer, whereas they are offset in an eccentric
type. Eccentric reducers simplify the support point structural design of horizontal pipe
runs by keeping both pipe diameters at the same bottom-of-pipe elevation. The wall
thickness of a reducer will typically be identical to that of the adjacent pipe sections,
since they are made of comparable material.


Figure 4. Socket Set Reducers


Laterals are special types of tees as shown in Figure 5. In this case, the branch
connection enters the header at an angle, normally 45°. A lateral is used in situations
where it is necessary for the two flow streams to combine in a less abrupt transition than
provided by a standard 90° tee.

Figure 5. Threaded Couplings

Couplings or Half-Couplings

Figure 6 shows various types of couplings, full or half, which are primarily used to make
an attachment between a 38-mm (1-1/2 in.) or smaller diameter pipe and a larger
diameter header. A coupling is also sometimes used to connect two small diameter pipe
sections, rather than butt welding them together.


Figure 6. Threaded and Socket-Welded Couplings

Pipe Caps and Plugs

As shown in Figure 7, pipe caps are used to close off the end of a pipe section. This is
analogous to the head on a pressure vessel. A pipe cap rather than a blind flange is
used in situations where it is known that the pipe end will not have to be opened.

The wall thickness of a butt-welded pipe cap will typically be identical to that of the
adjacent pipe section. For 2 inch-diameter piping and smaller, a threaded or socket weld
cap may be used. Also, a pipe plug serves the same purpose in a threaded or socket-
welded piping system, where the plug will close the coupling or the welding boss.

The Inspector verifies that caps and plugs are properly tightened to preclude any
leakage. Additionally, the Inspector must check that the plug is of the round-headed
type as opposed to a hexagonal or square type per the requirements of SAES-L-105.


Figure 7. Caps
and Plugs

Integrally Reinforced Branch Connections

A welding outlet fitting, or integrally reinforced branch connection, shown in Figure 8, is

another method of fabricating an intersection between two sections of pipe. This type of
forged fitting is designed such that all the reinforcement required to strengthen the
opening is contained within the forged fitting itself.

The hole is cut in the header pipe and the fitting is then welded to it. A welding outlet
fitting is often a less expensive alternative to a butt-welding tee, and is often used as a
substitute. It also may be the preferred option when designing branch connections into
large-diameter headers for high pressure or high-temperature conditions, rather than
using welded-on reinforcement pads.

Using Figure 9 of SAES-L-110, the Inspector should be able to check the selection of
branch fittings for new construction based on header and branch sizes. The type of
branch fittings are classified as follows:

Region 1: Equal tee

Region 2: Reducing tee


Region 3: Reducing tee or branch weld with reinforcing pad or full encirclement

Region 4: Weldolet or branch weld with reinforcing pad

Region 5: Weldolet, sockolet, threadolet, or welding boss per SASD AE-036175 and
AE-036643 (See Addendum B).

For example, the Inspector notes that a 2” branch is connected to a 4” header. From
Figure 9 (or Chart 1 in SAES-L-110), he finds out that the branch connection should be a
reducing tee.

The Inspector must also check that the following items related to branch connections:

◊ A maximum tolerance of ± 3 mm from design drawings for the location of

connections shall not be exceeded per SAES-L-350

◊ The lateral transition of branches and connections from the centerline of the run
shall not exceed ± 1.5 mm per SAES-L-350

◊ Branch connections, 4 inch and smaller, including drain and vent valves and drip
legs of all sizes, shall be located at a minimum horizontal distance of 610 mm (24
inches) from any fixed obstruction per SAES-L-310

Figure 8. Integrally Reinforced Branch Connections


Figure 9. Selection of branch fitting per SAES-L-110



As discussed earlier for pipe fitting connections, the Inspector should be knowledgeable
on the main pipe jointing methods:

◊ Threaded Joints

◊ Welded Joints

◊ Flanged Joints

Threaded Joints

A threaded fitting has pipe threads machined into its bore. The fitting is screwed into
matching threads on the pipe end. Threaded fittings are easy to install and useful in
areas where frequent maintenance mandate assembling and dissembling process

It has been the general industry practice to avoid threaded connections as much as
possible in flammable and toxic services. As per SAES-L-110, threaded joints should be
avoided in any service where crevice corrosion, severe erosion, or cyclic loading may

For threaded joints, the following items needs to be confirmed by the Inspector:

◊ Maximum joint size

◊ Seal welding

◊ Thread engagement

Maximum Joint Size

In hazardous services, the Inspector should confirm that the maximum size of threaded
connections is no more than 1½ inches for standard fittings and valves. 2-inch joint
connections may be used when required for maintenance, minor field modifications of
existing piping systems, and to match threaded specialty devices such as scraper
signals and access fittings for corrosion monitoring.

In non-hazardous services, the Inspector should confirm the maximum size of threaded
connections is no more than 3 inches for standard fittings and valves, and 4 inches


maximum on special items such as fire hydrants unless a larger size is approved by the
assigned Chairman, Piping Standards Committee for the specific application:

Seal welding

ASME B31.3 defines seal welding as a weld intended primarily to provide joint tightness
against leakage in metallic piping. In Saudi Aramco, seal welding is required for
threaded joints in flammable and toxic services per SAES-L-110.

Where seal welding is required, the seal weld shall be a fillet weld going from the outer
diameter of the female part, and it should be smooth with slight concavity as allowed by
ASME B31, to the male part covering all exposed threads without undercut. The
Inspector should check that no PTFE (Teflon) tape or joint compounds are used in
threaded connections requiring seal welding. The limitations on seal welding are given
as below:

Seal welding of all threaded joints up to the first block valve is required in the following
services and applications:

◊ All hydrocarbons.

◊ Boiler feed water, condensate, and steam systems utilizing ASME Class 300 and
higher flange ratings.

◊ Toxic materials such as chlorine, phenol, hydrogen sulphide, etc.

◊ Corrosive materials such as acid, caustic, etc.

◊ Oilfield chemicals (e.g., corrosion inhibitors, emulsifiers, electrolytes, etc.)

◊ Piping which is subject to vibration, whether continuous or intermittent

Seal welding is not required for the following services and applications:

◊ Thermowells

◊ Bar stock plugs downstream of a seal-welded block valve.

◊ Special devices such as access fittings and scraper signals.

◊ Joints which require frequent disassembly and are located downstream of a seal
welded block valve, e.g., sample connections.

◊ Instrument piping downstream of the primary instrument isolation valve.

◊ Pipe union ring threads and joints with elastomer o-rings.


◊ Threaded joints, downstream of a seal welded root valve, which discharge

directly to an open drainage system or to the atmosphere.

◊ Extended body valves with integrally reinforced welding end per API STD 602.

Thread Engagement

A minimum thread engagement must be maintained to insure integrity of the threaded

connection and to preclude possibility of leakage. The minimum length of the engaged
threads pipe shall meet the requirements of ASME B1.20.1 for taper pipe thread. The
minimum number of engaged pipe threads shall meet the requirements of the following

Thread Engagement Requirements for Taper Pipe Threads

Number of
Nom. Pipe Size
Threads Engaged
1/2" & 3/4" 6

1" through 1-1/2" 7

2" through 3" 8

4" 10

Welded Joints

Welding is one of the primary ways of joining pipe. Welded joints represent the ultimate
in safety and reliability.

As discussed in PEW-402 (Welding Inspection I), welding should be carried out using a
qualified procedure and welders. Included in the standard procedure are base-metal
specifications, electrode, joint preparation, weld position, welding process, techniques,
electrical details, preheat and interpass temperatures, and post-weld heat treatment

The Inspector should follow the same sequence for pre-welding and welding inspection
as detailed in PEW-402 and PEW-403, respectively. Specific information related to pre-
welding and welding inspection for piping joints will be briefly discussed in this module,
such as:

◊ Preparation for welding

◊ Cleaning


◊ Joint preparation

◊ Positive Material Identification

◊ Pre-heating

◊ Post weld heat treatment

In addition, this module will briefly discuss the standard requirements, including ASME
B31, for the three types of welding joints i.e. butt-welded, socket, and fillet joints.

Preparation for Welding

Before any welding is done, the specific details of how it will be carried out, i.e. the
welding procedure must be specified and demonstrated to achieve acceptable results.
Each of the ASME/ANSI B31 Codes, plus modifications contained in SAES-W-011 or
SAES-W-012 as applicable, specify welding procedure qualification requirements.

Welding procedure qualification demonstrates that the approach specified for doing the
weld will achieve acceptable results when properly applied.

The next step is to qualify the particular welders and welding equipment to carry out the
specific welding procedure. Here again, the relevant ASME/ANSI B31 Code plus Saudi
Aramco requirements must be met. SAEP-324 specifies how to register certified welder
and provide JCC.

The result of these two steps is that both the welding procedure, and the individuals and
equipment executing it, have been confirmed to produce acceptable results.


Internal and external surface to be thermally cut or welded shall be clean and free from
paint, oil, rust, scale, or other material that would be detrimental to either the weld or
base metal when heat is applied. If such items are not cleaned, they could mix with the
weld metal at elevated temperatures and result in poor quality welds.

End Preparation

The ends of the components to be welded must be set to the correct geometric shape
suitable for the materials, wall thickness, and welding process involved. Joint design
shall comply with the following:

◊ When wall thickness ratio of joined pipes is less than or equal to 1.5, joint design
details shall comply with the respective ASME B31 design code.


◊ When wall thickness ratio of joined pipes is greater than 1.5, end preparations
and geometry shall comply with ASME B16.25 "Butt Welding Ends". Refer to
Figure 13 for graphic details of joint design per ASME B31.4

◊ When the wall thickness of the fitting or pipe at the welding end exceeds the wall
thickness of the matching pipe resulting in an unequal external and/or internal
diameters, the welded joint design shall comply with Fig. 434.8.6(a)-(2) of ASME
B31.4 (See Figure 13).

End preparation is acceptable only if the surface is reasonably smooth and true, and
slag from oxygen or arc cutting is cleaned from thermally cut surfaces. Discoloration that
remains on a thermally cut surface is not considered to be detrimental oxidation.

Positive Material Identification

An alloy is used (including welding filler materials), such as chromium, nickel, or

molybdenum, to enhance mechanical or physical properties and/or corrosion resistance
of the material (pipes, fittings, valves, etc).

In order to verify conformance for the use of alloys and their respective constituents,
SAES-A-206 requires positive material identification (PMI) be conducted on the alloying
elements. PMI is a physical evaluation or test of a material to confirm that the material
that has been or will be placed into service is consistent with the selected or specified
alloy material.

Typically, the alloys required to be verified are listed in the following table.

Basic Alloy Elements to be Verified

Manganese-Molybdenum, and Chromium and Molybdenum
Chromium-Molybdenum steels
Nickel steels Nickel
Regular carbon grade stainless steels Chromium, Nickel, and Molybdenum
Low-carbon stainless steels Chromium, Nickel, Molybdenum, and Carbon
Chromium, Nickel, Molybdenum, Titanium
Stabilized stainless steels
and Niobium
Nickel, Iron, Copper, Chromium, and
Nickel-based alloys
Copper, Zinc, and other elements specified in
Copper-based alloys
purchase order or SAMS catalog description


This is used, along with heat treatment, to minimize the detrimental effects of high
temperature and severe thermal gradients that are inherent in welding. The necessity for


preheating and the temperature to be used shall be specified in the engineering design
and stated by procedure qualification. The following identifies specific benefits of

◊ Dries the metal and removes surface moisture, which, if present, would result in
porosity of the weld metal.

◊ Reduces the temperature difference between the base metal and the weld to
reduce the cooling rate of the weldment, lowers the weld hardness to reduce
residual stresses, and reduces cooling/shrinkage stresses.

◊ Helps maintain the weld pool molten for a longer time to permit maximum fluxing
and separation of impurities.

◊ Helps drive off absorbed gases (such as hydrogen) which could contribute to
weld porosity.

The Inspector should review specific preheat temperature requirements as specified in

ASME/ANSI B31 Codes based on the base metal (P or S numbers), weld metal (A
number) and wall thickness that are being joined (See Figure 11). As per SAES-W-011,
The preheat temperature shall be established over a minimum distance of 75 mm on
each side of the weld.

Note: For more information on pre-heating, refer to Welding Inspection Course PEW-


Figure 11. Pre-heat temperatures (ASME B31.3)


Post weld-heat treatment

Post weld heat treatment (PWHT) is used to avert or relieve the detrimental effects of
high temperature and severe temperature gradients that are inherent in welding, and to
relieve residual stresses that are created by bending and forming.

The following summarizes the principal reasons for PWHT:

◊ Stress relief is the most common reason for specifying PWHT, and is the only
consideration for the requirements that are specified in the ASME/ANSI B31
Codes. Residual stresses will remain in the pipe and result from shrinkage as the
weld and adjacent pipe metal cool down from elevated welding temperatures.
Residual stresses will also remain after bending or forming processes.

◊ If these residual stresses are too high, they can lead to premature failure of the
pipe. ASME/ANSI B31 Code requirements specify when PWHT is required to
relieve these residual stresses and bring the pipe to an initial stress-free state.
PWHT is also required to reduce fabrication stresses to minimize the potential for
stress-corrosion cracking in certain process environments, such as caustic,
amines, and wet H2S.

◊ After welding the normal grades of stainless steels (i.e., those that are not
stabilized with alloy additions), it is necessary to heat-treat the material to restore
maximum corrosion resistance.

◊ PWHT is required to prevent caustic embrittlement of welded carbon steel pipe

that handles alkaline solutions. Caustic embrittlement is a form of stress
corrosion where the residual stresses due to welding are sufficient to cause

◊ PWHT is sometimes necessary to reduce weld hardness in certain materials.

Minimizing weld hardness reduces the tendency to crack, especially in certain
process environments such as caustic or wet H2S.

Specific heat treatment temperature and procedure requirements are specified in the
appropriate ASME/ANSI B31 codes based on the pipe material and wall thickness being
joined (See Figure 12). In case of welded components of varying thicknesses, the
Inspector should use the higher thickness value for PWHT determination.

Note: For more information on PWHT, refer to Metal Technology Course PEW-401.


Figure 12. Requirements for Post weld heat treatment (ASME B31.3)



Butt-welds are made between two components whose edges are in close proximity.
Butt-welded joints in piping systems are primarily of the single-V configuration and are
welded from the pipe outside surface. Larger diameter pipes, which can be accessed
from the inside will often be welded from both sides using a double-V type of joint

The joint preparation and the procedure that is used ensure that there is complete fusion
between the edges of the components being joined. Joint designs per ASME B31.3 or
B31.4 shown in Figure 13 or applicable combinations of these joint design details are
typically used for ends of equal thickness.

The transition between ends of unequal thickness may be accomplished by taper-

grinding the thicker pipe to match the thinner, or by using weld metal to provide a
smooth transition per ASME B31.3 or B31.4 as shown in Figure 14. A prefabricated
thickness transition section of not less than one-half pipe diameter in length is another
means to make the change between pipe thicknesses.

Component ends may also be trimmed to allow for fitting a backing ring (See Figures 15
a, b). A backing ring is a material in the form of a ring whose primary function is to
support molten weld metal. Where component ends are trimmed, the Inspector should
verify that the remaining net thickness of the finished ends is not less than the minimum
required wall thickness for the service conditions.

An alternative to a backing ring is the consumable insert. A consumable insert is a pre-

placed filler metal that is completely fused into the root of the joint and becomes part of
the weld.

Figure 328.3.2 of ASME B31.3 shows typical backing rings and consumable inserts (See
Figure 15). ASME B 31.3 requires that backing rings be removed where the resultant
crevice associated with backing rings is subject to corrosion, vibration or severe cyclic
condition (para. 311.2.3).

In case of orifice flanges, SAES-J-100 requires that flanges be weld-neck (as opposed to
threaded or flanged) with an internal bore to match the pipe ID. If backing rings are
used, then the Inspector has to verify their removal and confirm that the butt weld is
ground flush at the root inside the pipe per SAES-J-100.

When it is impractical to remove the backing ring, consideration shall be given to welding
without backing rings or through the use of consumable inserts.

It is permissible to size pipe ends to be of the same nominal size to improve alignment if
wall thickness requirements are maintained.

Where necessary, weld metal may be deposited inside or outside the component to
permit alignment or provide for machining to ensure satisfactory seating of rings or


Butt-welds will always be used to weld pipe ends together, to weld butt-weld-type
flanges or fittings to pipe ends, or to weld the edges of formed plate together when plate
is used to manufacture pipe.

Figure 13. Acceptable Butt-Welded Joint Design for Equal Wall Thickness
(ASME B31.4)


Figure 14. Acceptable Butt-Welded Joint Design for Unequal Wall

Thickness (ASME B31.4)


Figure 15. Typical backing rings and consumable inserts (ASME B31.3)

Socket Welds

A socket-welded-type fitting attachment is designed with a recess in its end to permit the
pipe to be inserted. The Inspector should confirm that the pipe is withdrawn
approximately 1.5 mm (1/16in.) from the bottom of the recess. The gap is needed in
order to provide space to permit differential thermal expansion, which occurs during
welding and normal operation. Experience has shown that without this gap the potential
to develop cracks in the fillet weld is very high due to weld contraction.

It should be noted that this gap should be provided prior to welding only. Nevertheless, if
the Inspector notes that the gap has closed after the completion of welding and no
cracks have developed; then there should be no worries. The axial gap shall be
maximum of 3 mm and minimum of 1.5 mm as per Fig. 328.5.2 C of ASME B 31.3 code
(See Figure 16).


Figure 16. Minimum welding dimensions for socket welding components

(ASME B31.3)

Similar to threaded joints, the Inspector should verify that the maximum size of socket-
welded joints in hazardous services is 1½ inches for new construction (SAES-L-110).
The Inspector should allow for a maximum joint size of 2 inches in hazardous service for
maintenance, minor field modifications of existing piping systems, and when necessary
to match existing equipment connections.

For sour service, the Inspector should not allow socket-welded joints to be used.
However, in case they could not be avoided, the maximum size of socket-welded joints
shall be 1 inch (SAES-L-110). Generally, socket welded joints should be avoided in any
service where crevice corrosion, severe erosion, or cyclic loading may occur.

Fillet Weld

A fillet weld consists of an angular weld bead that joins components positioned normally
at a 90° angle to each other. Fillet welds may be c oncave to slightly convex in shape.

The size of a fillet weld is stated as a leg length of the largest inscribed right isosceles
triangle as shown in Figure 17.


Figure 17. Size of fillet weld (ASME B31.3)

In piping systems, fillet welds are only used for slip-on flanges (Figure 18), socket welds,
and for welding attachments to piping components (e.g., reinforcing pads, supports,

Figure 18. Fillet welds for slip-on flanges (ASME B31.3)

Flanged Joints

A flange is used to connect a pipe section to a piece of equipment, valve, or another

pipe in a way that will permit relatively simple disassembly. Such disassembly may be
required for maintenance, inspection or operational reasons. Flange assembly is
normally used for pipe sizes above 38 mm (1-1/2 in.) NPS.

There are several standard types of pipe flanges. A flange assembly consists of (See
also Figure 19):


◊ Two flanges

◊ A gasket to provide a seal between the flanges

◊ Bolting to keep the assembly together

Figure 19. Flange assembly

One flange is attached to each of the items being joined. For example, a flanged valve
may be installed in a piping system, and the pipe ends on each side of it will also have

A gasket is a resilient material that is inserted between the flanges and seated against
the portion of the flanges called the “face” or “facing”. The gasket provides the seal
between the fluid in the pipe and the outside, and thus prevents leakage.

Bolts compress the gasket to achieve the seal, and hold the flanges together against
pressure and other loading. There are several types of flanges, flange attachment
methods, flange facings, and gasket types.

The Inspector must be familiar with the following items as it relates to flanged joints:

◊ Flange standards

◊ Types of flanges

◊ Types of flange facing

◊ Types of gaskets


◊ Stud bolts and nuts

◊ Jackscrews

◊ Flange bolt-up procedure

◊ Causes of flange leakage

◊ Safety of flanged joint assembly

Flange Standards

Saudi Aramco uses industry standards to define which flanges to be used in piping
systems. Piping is typically sized and purchased to meet standard diameters. Because
standard pipe sizes are used, it is practical to have standard flange sizes and
dimensions to assist manufacturer to reproduce qualified flanges.

The Inspector should be familiar with the following industry and Aramco standards:

◊ ASME B16.5 flanges.

◊ API-605 flanges.

◊ MSS flanges.

◊ ASME B16.47 flanges.

◊ Saudi Aramco Special Flanges, as specified by standard drawings listed in

SAES-L-109 and 02-SAMSS-011.

Types of Flanges

Threaded Flanges

A threaded flange has pipe threads machined into its bore (See Figure 20). The flange is
screwed to matching treads on the pipe end. Threaded flanges are used only for small
diameter piping systems, up to 50 mm (2 in.) NPS. These flanges are used at locations
where pipe disassembly may be required for maintenance, field modifications, or to
match specialty fittings and valves.


Figure 20. Threaded flanges

Socket-Welded Flanges

A socket – welded flange has an oversized bore that is partially machined into the end
opposite the face (See Figure 21). The pipe is inserted into the socket and the flange
fillet is welded to the pipe outside diameter.

Figure 21. Socket-welded flanges

Blind Flange

A blind flange is a flat metal plate that is used to block the flow in a piping system (See
Figure 22). The flange is not attached to the pipe, but bolted to a mating flange. It is
used when a pipe end must be blocked from flow, but there still must be a means of
internal access.


Figure 22. Blind flanges.

Slip – on Flanges

A slip – on flange has an oversized bore. It is slipped over the pipe outside diameter and
projects slightly beyond the pipe end (See Figure 23). The flange is then fillet welded to
the pipe outside diameter, and also between the flange bore and the pipe end.

A slip on flange is lighter (i.e., uses less material) and requires less welding to the pipe.
However a slip on flange is not suitable for high temperature, cyclic, high pressure or
external loading situations.

Figure 23. Slip-on flanges

Lapped Flanges

A lapped flange (nearly identical to a slip-on flange) is not physically attached to the
pipe. It is slipped over a pipe stub that has a flared end, and the stub is welded to the
major pipe section. The flared pipe end has a machined face where the gasket is seated.
(See Figure 24). The bolting holds the flanges and gaskets together.

Based on SAES – L- 109, Saudi Aramco prohibits the use of lap – joint flanges in severe
cyclic conditions.


Figure 24. Lapped flanges

Welding – Neck Flanges

A welding – neck flange is the strongest of the standard flange attachment types. The
end of the flange is butt welded to the end of the pipe. The flange bore is sized to match
the pipe bore (See Figure 25).

A welding – neck flange is the most widely used in refinery services because of its
greater strength and ability to be used at high temperature and cyclic service. It is the
heaviest and requires the most welding.

Figure 25. Weld-neck flanges

Types of Flange Facing

The area of a flange where the gasket is positioned is called the face or the facing. The
three primary flange facings are the flat face, raised face and ring joint. Any of the flange
attachment types that were described above, except for the lapped flange, may use any
of these facings. The facing for a lapped flange is located on the flared pipe stub end not
on the flange.

Flat-Faced Flanges

In the flat-faced flange, the area where the gasket is located is at the same elevation as
the surrounding flange surface. There is no change in elevation in proceeding from the
flange inside diameter to its outside diameter (See Figure 26). This provides uniform


flange contact with the gasket over a large surface, and limits local flange bending that is
caused by bolt load.

A flat face is typically used only for cast or ductile iron flanges, with relatively low-
strength material, or when a steel flange must mate to such a flange. Minimization of
flange bending is necessary for cast iron, ductile iron, or other relatively low strength
materials, but not for steel flanges. Therefore, there are few applications for flat-face
flanges in refinery or petrochemical services because there are relatively few
applications where such low-strength flange materials are acceptable.

Sheet-type gaskets that extend from the flange inside diameter to the outside diameter
(i.e., full face) typically are used with flat-face flanges. The Inspector should confirm that
a flat-faced flange with a full-face gasket is used when one or both of the mating flanges
are cast iron, aluminum, plastic, or any other material that could be over stressed by the
bolt load (SAES-L-109). In addition, flat-face flanges are used for highly corrosive
service where contact of fluid with flange facing must be avoided.

Figure 26. Flat faced flange

Raised-Face Flanges

The area where the gasket is located is higher than the surrounding flange surface,
typically by 1.5 mm (1/16 in.). This raised-face portion of the flange has a specially
machined, serrated finish that is suitable for the typical gasket types used in process
plant applications (See Figure 27).

Any gasket type, other than a ring type, may be used with a raised-face flange. The
raised face results in much less contact area and higher gasket contact stresses as
compared to a flat face. The gasket is compressed and sealed only in the area of the
raised face.

The Inspector should check that the raised surface has smooth machine finish, 3.2-6.4
micrometer AARH (arithmetic average roughness height), usually specified for use with
spiral-wound gaskets. The Inspector checks for any ridges, scratches, unevenness of


the raised face since this will result in possible joint leakage. The Inspector should also
verify that the face is free of dirt.

A raised-face flange is used for a very broad range of services, and is the most common
type used in Saudi Aramco plants.

Figure 27. Raised-faced flange

Ring-Joint Flanges

A ring-joint flange face consists of a groove that is machined into the flange end (See
Figure 28). The Inspector should verify that the sealing surfaces of the groove are
smoothly finished to 63 micro-inch surface roughness. The Inspector also verifies that
the surface is free of any detrimental ridges or tool marks. The presence of such surface
defects will result in a leaking joint, since a very smooth contact surface is required to
achieve a leak-proof, metal-to-metal seal.

A solid metal ring type gasket is inserted in the groove. The ring-joint flange is used for
the most severe service applications where the other possible flange face and gasket
combinations will not provide acceptable performance. Typically, these are high-
pressure and/or high-temperature services.

Based on SAES-L-109, a ring-joint flange is required for steel flanges of Class 900 and
higher, for design temperatures over 480°C (900°F), or for underwater pipelines in Class
300 and higher.

Figure 28. Ring joint flange


Gaskets and Gasket Types

The gasket provides the seal in a flange assembly. The Inspector must be familiar with
the four general gasket types that are typically used in pipe flanges for process plant and
pipeline applications:

◊ Spiral wound gaskets

◊ Solid metal ring gaskets

◊ Sheet gaskets

◊ Insulating gaskets (Pikotek)

The Inspector must verify that the gasket type, rating, and dimension per project
specification and service conditions. He checks for damage particularly in the seating

Spiral-Wound Gaskets

A spiral-wound gasket is manufactured by alternately winding strips of metal and soft

filler material around a mandrel (See Figure 29).

Most spiral-wound gaskets that are used for piping applications are supplied with an
outer metal guide or retaining ring. The retaining ring outside diameter is typically sized
to just contact the flange bolts, and thus serves as a gasket alignment aid. The retaining
ring also acts as a compression limit stop to prevent over-compressing the gasket
material during flange bolt-up. An inner retaining ring may also be supplied.

The Inspector should be familiar with selection requirements based on SAES-L-109 for
spiral-wound gaskets. Per SAES-L-109, spiral-wound Type 316 stainless-steel gaskets
with a flexible graphite filler and a carbon steel guide ring are used with raised-faced
flanges in most services. This includes most process hydrocarbon and steam services.
In an oxidizing environment, the maximum use temperature is limited to 454°C (850°F).
For operating temperatures below -45°C (- 50°F), th e guide ring shall be Type 304
stainless steel.


Figure 29. Spiral-wound gaskets

The Inspector must also inspect the proper storage requirements for spiral wound
gaskets. Per SAEP-351, the Inspector must verify that gaskets are stored flat especially
for sizes 24 inches and larger.

Metal Ring-Joint Gaskets

Metal ring gaskets come into two basic shapes, an oval cross section and an octagonal
cross-section (See Figure 30).

The octagonal ring seals by surface wedging contact with the flange groove, and the
oval ring seals by line contact. Therefore, the oval ring is somewhat more tolerant of
slight flange misalignments than the octagonal ring, and still provides a tight seal. In
addition, the same bolt load will result in a higher local gasket contact stress and thus a
potentially tighter joint with an oval ring. Further, an octagonal ring cannot fit into older
ring-joint flanges that have a round bottom groove.

Figure 30. Metallic ring gaskets


Ring-joint gaskets are typically softer than the flange grooves. Therefore, the gasket,
rather than the groove, will deform slightly under the applied bolt load. A variety of ring
materials are available to suit the particular service needs. The most common materials
are iron or soft steel, 4-6% chrome, and stainless steels. A solid metal ring-type gasket
is used only with ring-joint-type flanges.

The Inspector should be familiar with SAES-L-109 selection requirements for ring-joint
gasket, as follows:

◊ The soft iron, octagonal ring-joint gaskets shall be used with ASME B16.5, MSS-
SP-44, or Saudi Aramco standard ring joint flanges.

◊ For ASME B16.5 ring-joint flanges in corrosive services, a low-carbon steel, and
octagonal ring-joint gasket with a Buna-N rubber inner V-Type guard and outer
molded-on ring guard shall be used.

◊ For API 6A flanges, low-carbon steel, octagonal, pressure energized ring-joint

gaskets in accordance with API 6A Type RX shall be used.

Sheet Gaskets

The most common material used for sheet gaskets is compressed asbestos. However,
there has been increasing concern regarding the ultimate availability of sheet asbestos
gaskets due to potential worker health and materials disposal issues. Asbestos gaskets
will no longer be available within several years, and the use of asbestos should be
avoided whenever a suitable substitute is available.

Several alternative sheet gasket materials have been introduced in recent years (See
Figure 31). Many of them use synthetic fibers rather than asbestos, along with an
elastomeric binder. The binder is a larger percentage of the sheet material in these
synthetic fiber gaskets, and thus is a more significant factor in determining acceptable

Non-asbestos sheet gaskets that utilize synthetic fiber with a binder will typically have a
lower maximum operating temperature than a compressed asbestos gasket. Of equal
importance is that they will have much less fire resistance than an asbestos gasket, so
that greater flange leakage could be expected should a fire occur in the vicinity of a
flange with a synthetic fiber sheet.


Figure 31. Sheet type gaskets

Another non-asbestos sheet-gasket material is composed of flexible graphite. The higher

quality flexible graphite sheet gaskets employ a stainless steel sheet insert with the
flexible graphite for increased strength. This gasket material has exhibited excellent
corrosion resistance in most process plant applications, and has provided good
performance at elevated temperatures.

Sheet gaskets may be used with flat or raised-face flanges. The Inspector should be
familiar with SAES-L-109 selection requirements for sheet gaskets, as follows:

◊ Compressed synthetic fiber sheet gaskets with an oil resistant binder, 1.6 mm
(0.063 in.) thick, may be used for Class 150 flanges in non-hazardous services
up to 230°C (450°F). An example of their use is in lube oil piping.

◊ Synthetic rubber gaskets, ASTM D1418 Class CSM, shall be used for all acid
services except nitric acid and oleum. For nitric acid and oleum, ASTM D1418
Class FKM elastomer shall be used for flat-face flanges.

◊ Elastomeric material, 3 mm (1/8 in.) thick, with a Shore A durometer hardness of

between 50 and 60, shall be used for full-face gaskets for plastic flanges. For wet
chlorine or hypochlorite services, the elastomer shall be ASTM D1418 Class


Insulating Gaskets (Pikotek)

Insulating gaskets are used in case for connecting flanges of dissimilar metals, such as,
a stainless steel flange to carbon steel flange, or a Cu-Ni flange to carbon steel flange.
This is done to prevent possibility of galvanic corrosion. The insulating gasket acts as a
barrier between the two dissimilar metals. In order for proper insulation to be effective,
the gasket shall be used in association with isolating bolt sleeves and washers. The
requirements for these types of gaskets are specified in SAES-L-105 and SAES-L-109.

The most often used type of insulating gasket is the Pikotek gasket. The Pikotek gasket
is mostly made up of Teflon seal, glass reinforced epoxy laminated to a 316 stainless
steel core. The Inspector should verify that for untreated water services, such as
seawater, raw water, Wasia water, etc., use of the Pikotek or any approved equal, must
be concurred by the Operating Department.

Stud bolts and nuts

Bolting for flanged joints (See Figure 32) shall be selected in accordance with ASME
B16.5 and ASME B16.47. The Inspector must check the material suitability per SAEP-
351 for the service temperature and compatibility with flange material.

SAES-L-109 requires materials for process and general services be ASTM A193 Grade
B7 stud bolts with ASTM A194 Grade 2H nuts for service temperatures from minus 20 to
plus 450°C.

Materials for low temperature services shall be as follows:

◊ Stud bolts conforming to ASTM A320 Grade L7 with nuts to ASTM A194 Grade 4
or 7 shall be used for bolt service temperatures from minus 18 to minus 101°C.

◊ ASTM A320 Grade L7M studs and A320 Grade 7M nuts may be used for low
temperature services from minus 18 to minus 73°C.

◊ Under certain circumstances, with approval by the Chairman of Piping Standards

Committee in CSD, ASTM A193 Grade B7 bolts with A194 Grade 2H nuts may
be used at bolt service temperatures as low as minus 30°C, and A193 Grade B7
bolts with A194 Grade 7M nuts may be used at minus 45°C.

Materials for upper intermediate temperature services shall be as follows:

◊ ASTM A193 Grade B7 or B7M studs with A194 Grade 7 or 7M nuts for services
up to 450°C.

◊ ASTM A193 Grade B16 stud bolts with A194 Grade 7 nuts, for bolt service
temperatures from 450 to 510°C. For higher temperat ures, contact the Materials
Engineering Unit in CSD.


Materials for sour services shall be as follows:

◊ Standard quenched and tempered ASTM A193 Grade B7 stud bolts with 2H nuts
shall be used for sour wet services when the bolting is (a) not directly exposed to
hydrogen sulfide, (b) not buried or insulated, (c) not equipped with flange
protectors, or not deprived of direct atmospheric exposure. ASTM A320 Grade
L7 stud bolts with Grade 4 or 7 nuts can be used under the same conditions.

◊ Stud bolts conforming to ASTM A193 grade B7M with nuts to A194 Grade 2HM
shall be used under conditions of (a) direct exposure to sour environments or
when the bolting will be (b) buried or insulated, or (c) equipped with flange
protectors, or otherwise deprived of direct atmospheric exposure. ASTM A320
Grade L7M bolts and Grade 7M nuts can be used under the same conditions.

◊ Steel machine bolts conforming to ASTM A307 Grade B may be used on flat-
faced cast-iron or non-metallic flanges in non-sour environment; nuts shall
conform to ASTM A563 Grade D. This bolt/nut combination may be used in sour
services when the Grade D nuts are not resulfurized, and the flange materials
are deemed suitable by the Materials Engineering Unit of ME&CCD in CSD.
Such bolting may be zinc coated or preferably zinc-aluminum (Galvalum) coated.

◊ For fluid temperatures below minus 45°C, the selec tion of bolting material or the
bolting design shall include consideration of differential contraction between
flanges and bolts such that changes in gasket seating pressure will not result in
leakage. Similarly, differential expansion shall be considered at operating
temperatures above 300°C.

Figure 32. Stud bolt and nuts

The Inspector must check the bolts for proper size, dimension and for any physical
damage to shanks or threads which would interfere with bolt assembly or performance.

The Inspector must verify that proper lubricant is used. Lubricant for bolts and nuts shall
be Jet-Lube SS-30 or other acceptable lubricants listed in Table-SAEP-351-01 (below).
In addition, the Inspector must check that no lubricant is used on the gasket seating


Table-SAEP-351-01 – Friction Factors for Different Lubricants

Lubricants Friction Factors
Correction Factor
Moly Graphite .06 0.67
Tool Joint Compound .08 0.8
Graphite and Oil
(used as the base line for torque .10 1.0
values in Table-SAEP-351-02)
Aerocote #4 .11 1.1
KOPR-KOTE .11 1.1
EL-PRO C5A .11 1.1
FEL-PRO C100 .11 1.1
(commonly called Anti-Seize) .11 1.1
Jet Lube SS-30 .12 1.2
Thread Compound .125 1.3
Light Machine Oil as shipped .15 1.5
Dry Bolts .2 2


Jackscrews in accordance with Saudi Aramco Standard Drawing AD-036630 or similar

Saudi Aramco approved design shall be used to facilitate flange separation for
maintenance. Joint assemblies that often require frequent separation include orifice
plates, spectacle plates, spacers, screens, and drop-out spools.

Piping layout shall be designed such that flanges can be separated without excessive
force. The Inspector should verify that the jackscrews are installed to be accessible from
both sides of the pipe. For orifice flanges, the Inspector should verify that jackscrews
are installed at 3 and 9 o'clock positions for liquid service. When flange separators are
used, jackscrews are not required.

Flange Tolerances

The Inspector must check the flange fit-up to conform to the tolerances given in SAES-L-

◊ Flange bolt holes shall be oriented as follows, unless otherwise indicated on the
construction drawings:

a) Flange face vertical –bolt holes to straddle vertical centerlines.

b) Flange face horizontal–bolt holes to straddle horizontal centerlines.


c) Rotation of flanges, measured as the offset between elevations of bolt

holes on opposite sides of a flange centerline, shall not exceed ± 2.4 mm.

d) The tilt of a flange measured at the periphery across any diameter shall
not exceed 1.6 mm from the square position.

◊ For piping over 3-inch NPS and connected to machinery/equipment, flange

alignment shall be within the following limits unless piping analysis per SAES-L-
120 shows that loads and moments are within the manufacturer's limits for the
machinery/equipment nozzle:

a) Vertical bolt hole offset: ± 2.4 mm

b) Horizontal bolt hole offset: ± 2.4 mm

c) Rotational offset: ± 2.4 mm

d) Flange face tilt across diameter: 0.025mm per 25 mm (0.001 inch per
inch) of flange outside diameter up to a maximum of 0.672 mm (0.030
inch), and 0.254mm (0.010 inch) for all flanges with an outside diameter
less than 10 inches.

e) Flange face separation, gasket thickness: ± 1.6 mm

f) Combination of vertical, horizontal and rotational offset: ± 3.2 mm

◊ In the case where a spectacle plate is installed between two flanges, these
tolerances can be increased by 30% except for tolerances for flange face tilt
across diameter and flange face separation.

◊ If the tolerances per paragraphs 9.1 through 9.5 cannot be achieved, the actual
misalignment and piping layout shall be reviewed and approved by the Chairman
of Piping Standards Committee in CSD.

Note: When a piping flange is aligned to a machinery flange, the machinery

alignment should be within the equipment vendor specified tolerances,
after the stud bolts of the connecting flanges are removed following the
completion of piping assembly.

Flange Bolt-up Procedure

There are various types of tools available to achieve the proper torque value such as
impact wrench, torque wrench or a stud tensioner (See Figure 33). Selection of the
proper tool depends on the stud bolt size, physical location of the flanged joint, and
criticality of the flange. Identifying the proper tools shall be resolved between
Contractor, SAPMT, Proponent and Inspection prior to commencing the erection of the


The Inspector shall verify that the manufacturer's instructions are followed for the
operation, limitation and maintenance of all torque wrenches used to perform flange
bolts tightening. In addition, the Inspector shall keep track of torque wrench calibration
performed in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations, or as required by the
inspector after consultation with Piping Specialist in Consulting Services Department.

As per the SAEP-351, the Inspector shall ensure the following steps are taken for torque
tightening of bolted flanges:

Step 1 Align flanges and gasket. Forced tightening is not allowed to overcome
non acceptable alignment tolerances. Clamp securely in place.

Step 2 Apply lubricant to stud threads over length and nut engagement and to
face of nut which contacts flange. Ensure that the nuts run freely down
the thread of the studs.

Step 3 Install all studs and nuts hand tight, ensure that studs pass freely through
the flange holes. Position the nut on one end of the stud such that only
the crown of the stud projects beyond the face of the nut. The excess
stud length should project beyond the nut on the other side.

Note: By doing this, the nut that is installed nearly flush with the end of the stud can be
easily removed since the threads are not coated, and normally have not been
subjected to corrosion. The side of the stud with the flush nut should be chosen
by taking into consideration factors such as whether one side has better access
for maintenance personnel and/or tightening tools, e.g., torque wrench or impact
wrench, etc.

Step 4 Number each stud according to its position in the flange as shown on
Figure 34 (Stud tightening sequence).

Step 5 Tighten studs per Figure 34 (Stud Bolt Tightening Sequence) with an
appropriate tool such as an air impact wrench or equal.

Step 6 For joints containing RTJ or Spiral Wound Gaskets, repeat step 5.

Step 7 Tighten the stud bolts in stages to obtain the final required torque from
the appropriate torque Table-SAEP-351 (below). The first stage should
not be more than 30% of the final torque. The final torque shall be within
±5% of the required torque value.

Apply the torque evenly to each stud following the stud bolt tightening
sequence. The final torque must be within ±5% of the required values per
Step 5 above.

This approach also helps achieve uniform bolt load around the flange circumference. For
the most critical high-temperature or high-pressure flanges, a method that permits


measuring the applied load shall be used (i.e., torque wrench or stud tensioner). In this
way, there is greater assurance that uniform bolt load is achieved.

For such applications, a maximum stud stress during bolt-up of 275-345 MPa (40-50,000
psi) is the normal target.

Figure 33. Torque wrenches


Figure 34. Stud bolt tightening sequence (SAEP-351)


Table-SAEP-351-02 – Torque Value for A193 B7

and B7M Stud Bolts with A194 2H and 2HM Nuts
Stud Bolt Torque Torque
Size Minimum Maximum
inch Ft-Lb Ft-Lb
1/2 30 34
9/16 43 49
5/8 60 68
3/4 107 120
7/8 170 190
1 256 287
1-1/8 374 420
1-1/4 524 590
1-3/8 709 798
1-1/2 934 1051
1-5/8 1201 1351
1-3/4 1515 1704
1-7/8 1879 2113
2 2296 2583
2-1/4 3311 3724
2-1/2 4151 5155
2-3/4 6150 6918
3 8033 9037
3-1/4 10,253 11,545
3-1/2 12,872 14,481
3-3/4 15,901 17,888
4 19,356 21,775

1) Torque values based on 0.10 Average Friction Factor and 30,000 psi prestress on
stud bolts. A combination of various elements such as the conditions of the threads,
the condition of the flange to the nut bearing surface and the type of lubricant used,
makes up the friction factor which can vary from .04 to .20 or as much as 500%.
2) Torque values for stainless steel or other alloy stud bolts can be obtained by
multiplying the ratio of the specified minimum yield strength (SMYS) of stainless steel
stud bolts to A193 B7 stud bolts, to the torque values in the Table-SAEP-351. The
SMYS values for all bolting materials are listed in Table-SAEP-351-02 of ASME B31.3
code (Note: SMYS depends on grade, class and size).


Table-SAEP-351-03 – Torque Values for Isolating Gaskets (PIKOTEK)

on ASME B16.5 and ASME B16.47 Series A & B,
Class 150 through Class 2500 Flanges
Stud Bolt Size Torque Minimum
inch Ft-Lb
½ 30
5/8 60
¾ 100
7/8 160
1 245
1-1/8 355
1-1/4 500
1-3/8 680
1-1/2 800
1-5/8 1100
1-3/4 1500
1-7/8 2000
2 2200
2-1/4 3180
2-1/2 4400

Note: Torque values based on 30,000 psi tension load and 0.125 Friction Factor
from API BULL 5A2 thread compound. See Table-SAEP-351-02 Note (1)
for other factors.

Causes of Flange Leakage

Most of the primary causes of flange leakage are directly related to poor inspection or
installation. These are summarized below:

Uneven Bolt Stress An incorrect bolt-up procedure or limited working space

near one side of a flange can leave some bolts loose while
others crush the gasket. This is especially troublesome in
high temperature services, when the heavily loaded bolts
relax during operation.

Improper Flange Alignment

Improper flange alignment, especially nonparallel faces,

causes uneven gasket compression, local crushing, and
subsequent leakage.

Improper Gasket Centering

If a gasket is off-center compared to the flange faces, the

gasket will be unevenly compressed and more prone to


Dirty or Damaged Flange Faces

Dirt, scale, scratches, protrusions, or weld spatter on

gasket seating surfaces provide leakage paths or can
cause uneven gasket compression that results in leakage.

Excessive Loads in the Piping System at Flange Locations

Excessive piping system forces and moments at flanges

can distort them and cause leaks. Common causes of this
are inadequate flexibility, using excessive force to align
flanges, and improper location of supports or restraints.

Thermal Shock Rapid temperature fluctuations can cause flanges to

deform temporarily, resulting in leakage.

Improper Gasket Size or Material

Using the wrong gasket size or material can result in


Improper Flange Facing A rougher flange-surface finish than specified for spiral-
wound gaskets can result in leakage.

Note: The principal methods for correcting flange leakage problems are beyond the
scope of this course. However, several of them are easily corrected based on
the causes of leakage.

Safety of Flanged Joints Assembly

Though it seems flanged joint assembly is very straightforward and simple,

petrochemical industries have experienced tragic incidents due to failures of flanged
joints. The main requirements and factors to achieve reliable flanged joints are the

◊ Flange type, material and rating.

◊ Gasket material, type and quality.

◊ Appropriate surface finish of the flange rating

◊ Right bolting procedure is followed

◊ Good workmanship by the people assembling the flanges.

◊ Careful inspection during the above stages as required.


Generally, the flange has very high safety margins in its design. Over the years of
experience, it has been found that the human factor is the main reason for failures in the
flanged joints. There are standards and acceptable practices that should be carefully
followed to insure safety around the flanged joints.

◊ Improper surface finish of the flange facing.

◊ Gasket is not centered.

◊ Uneven bolting torque.

◊ Torque value are either under minimum required or way over to the point that
gasket is completely not functional.

◊ Installing the wrong gasket, type or rating



Valves are major components of a piping system and require careful attention during the
design process. Selecting a valve is based upon the required valve function: to block
flow, throttle flow, or prevent flow reversal. There are numerous types of valves. The
valve most commonly used (approximately 75% of the time) is the gate valve. SAES-L-
008 provides special service limitations and selection requirements for valves.

The 04-SAMSS-series of specifications provides additional valve design requirements.

Once a valve is selected, its flange rating class must be specified based on its design
pressure/temperature and the MAOP of the class. Finally, the valve must be inspected
and tested.

04-SAMSS-048 requires that, as a minimum, each valve be tested, examined, and

qualified per the industry standard referenced in the purchase order and the applicable
04-SAMSS valve specification. Supplementary requirements are contained within 04-
SAMSS-048. API 598, Valve Inspection and Testing, is the basic document used for
inspection and testing of gate-, globe-, plug-, ball- check-, and butterfly-type valves. The
following highlight requirements that are contained in API 598 and 04-SAMSS-048, plus
additional inspection guidelines.

The Inspector must check the following for valves and valve joints:

◊ The finish on flange faces and ring joints.

◊ Face-to-face dimension.

◊ Flange outside diameter, bolt circle diameter, bolt hole diameter, flange

◊ Body wall thickness (per applicable standard).

◊ Bevel preparation on welding-end valves.

◊ Stem diameter.

◊ Threaded ends (size and taper, if required).

◊ Socket-end concentricity and wall thickness (per ANSI B16.11).

◊ For gate valves, with the gate closed, the position of the gate seat rings relative
to the body seat rings to confirm sufficient wear travel position.

◊ For soft-sealed gate valves, the height of the soft seal above the metal seats, the
width of the soft seal, and the total width of the metal seat outside the soft seal.


◊ Component features as specified in the purchase order (such as stem packing

material, bonnet gasket-type, operator-type, soft-seal material, body bleed
number, and location).

◊ Materials identification. Obtain chemical and physical test data on steel and alloy
steel castings for all valves inspected. All alloys bolting must be identified by
markings required by the specifications on the stud or bolt ends, or on nuts.

◊ Additional tests conforming to SAMSS requirements, such as hardness or impact

testing, may also be required if specified in the purchase order. The minimum
testing required by API 598 is a pressure test of the shell, back seat (if any), and
seats. Test pressures and durations are specified in API 598, based on valve
sizes and the type of test.

Note: For more information, refer to Valve Inspection Course (PEW-404).



Pipe supports are used to support the weight of the piping system and the contents of
the system. The supports keep the pipe elevated at a desired height above the ground.
The specific number and locations for pipe supports are determined to ensure the

◊ The pipe stress that is caused by the weight load must be kept within allowable

◊ The pipe must not sag excessively.

◊ Reaction loads at equipment connections must not be excessive.

When practical, new piping should use existing supports to minimize costs. As much as
possible, new piping should be located in existing pipe-ways. Intersecting pipe-ways are
located at different elevations to facilitate access and future piping installation. Standard
Drawing AC-036207 specifies the minimum spacing of lines that are supported on
sleepers or pipe racks.

Restraints control or limit movement of the pipe in one or more directions. Such restraint
may be required to reduce thermal expansion reaction loads at equipment connections,
or to limit pipe vibration. Some restraints keep the pipe from moving vertically or laterally
but allow the pipe to move longitudinally.

Other restraints do not allow the pipe to move in any direction. A support is a specialized
type of restraint that prevents pipe movement under vertical weight loading.

General Guidelines

Piping systems should be routed to facilitate their support and restraint, to minimize cost,
and to limit additional structural and foundation requirements. The following guidelines
should be considered:

◊ The piping system should support itself to the extent possible to minimize the
amount of additional structural steel that is required to provide support.

◊ Piping with excessive flexibility may require the addition of restraints to minimize
excessive movement and/or vibration that may be caused by fluid flow, wind, or
earthquake. Therefore, piping systems should be designed with only the flexibility
needed to accommodate the expected thermal movement without causing
excessive pipe stresses or end point reaction loads. Systems should not be
overly flexible.


◊ Piping that is prone to vibration, such as reciprocating compressor suction and

discharge systems, should be supported independently from other piping
systems. This independent support keeps the effects of the vibration-prone
system confined to that system and directly associated structures. The effects
are not transmitted to other systems.

◊ Piping that is located in structures should be routed beneath platforms and near
major structural members, at points that permit added loading. Routing beneath
platforms avoids access interference problems. Routing near major structural
members minimizes the need to increase the size of structural members or to
provide additional local reinforcement, due to increased bending moment.

◊ When possible, piping should be routed near existing structural members to

minimize the need for additional structure and foundations.

◊ The layout of the piping system must consider the safety of personnel who may
be near the pipe. Major pieces of equipment, particularly heat exchangers,
vessels, and tanks, must be accessible for fire-fighting equipment. Pipe-ways
must be routed to provide this access. There must be adequate space under
pipe-ways for people to walk and work.

◊ For many services, carbon steel has adequate corrosion resistance or a nominal
corrosion allowance may be used to account for corrosion. Corrosion allowance
is additional thickness that is added to a pipe for corrosion that takes place
during service. Carbon steel pipe and piping components are manufactured to
various ASTM and API specifications, and they are available in various grades or
strength levels.

A piping system needs supports and restraints to do the following:

◊ Permit the piping system to function under normal operating conditions without
failure of the pipe or associated equipment.

◊ Support piping system weight loads to Keep sustained longitudinal pipe stress
within allowable limits.

◊ Limit pipe sag to avoid process flow problems.

◊ Limit loads on connected equipment.

◊ Control or direct thermal movement of the pipe to keep pipe thermal expansion
stresses within allowable limits.

◊ Limit loads on connected equipment.

◊ Absorb other loads imposed on piping system to limit loads on connected



◊ Limit pipe deflection.

◊ Limit resultant pipe stresses.

Selection of a particular type of support or restraint depends on such factors as the


◊ Weight load

◊ Restraint load

◊ Clearance available for attachment to pipe

◊ Availability of nearby existing structural steel

◊ Direction of loads to be absorbed or movement to be restrained

◊ Design temperature

◊ Allowance required for thermal movement of pipe

Types of Supports

This section discusses and illustrates various types of supports and restraints for piping

The two general classes of supports are as follows:

◊ Rigid

◊ Flexible or resilient

It is the duty of an Inspector to verify that the right type, location, spacing, alignment of
the pipe support is per project drawings. If for practicality the spacing has to be altered,
prior approval shall be granted and reviewed by the Piping Standards Committee
Chairman or his representative.

The Inspector must confirm that the supports provide for a minimum of 300 mm
clearance between bottom of pipe to finished grade per SAES-L-310. In addition, a
minimum clearance of 50 mm shall be provided for inspection and freedom of pipe
movement between above ground piping crossing with any structure (including pipe
support structure). This clearance is also required for above ground piping crossing with
another pipe.


Rigid Supports

Rigid supports are the more common of the two support types. Engineers use rigid
supports when weight support is needed and no provision to permit vertical thermal
expansion is required. A rigid support does the following:

◊ Allows lateral movement and rotation.

◊ May or may not prevent movement up.

◊ Prevents movement down.

Figures 35 through 39 illustrate some of the rigid support types that are available. The
rigid support that is selected for a particular application depends primarily on the

◊ Amount of load to be carried

◊ Distance to solid attachment (structure, grade, etc.)

◊ Point of attachment to pipe (horizontal or vertical run, elbow, etc.)

Figure 35. Shoe Support

Figure 36. Saddle Support


Figure 37. Base Adjustable Support

Figure 38. Dummy Support

Figure 39. Trunnion

The Inspector must verify that a 6 mm weep hole shall be drilled for all dummy supports.
The weep hole shall be located near the base plate for all vertical dummy supports, and
near the run pipe at 6 o'clock position for all horizontal dummy supports.


Pipe hangers are also a form of rigid support. Pipe hangers support the pipe from
structural steel or other facilities that are located above the pipe and carry the pipe
weight load in tension. A pipe hanger rod moves freely parallel and perpendicular to the
pipe axis; therefore, thermal expansion is not restricted longitudinally or laterally. The rod
does restrict vertical thermal expansion. The rod also must be long enough so that it
does not restrict pipe lateral or longitudinal movement.

SAES-L-350 discourages use of hanger rods and suggests that they be replaced with
rigid pipe supports. Per SAES-L-350, the Inspector must confirm the following items
related to rod hangers:

◊ Rod hangers are not used for lines 12" NPS and larger in liquid service or multi
phase flow.

◊ All hangers are provided with means for vertical adjustment.

◊ Suitable locking devices are used at all threaded connections of the hanger
assembly (double nuts).

◊ Rod hangers are subjected to tensile loading only.

◊ Practicality for replacing them with rigid pipe supports should be evaluated and
implemented, during construction.

Figures 40 through 42 show some examples of pipe hangers.

Figure 40. Sling-Type Pipe Hanger


Figure 41. Pipe Hanger Suspended From Side of Structure

Figure 42. Pipe Support Beam Suspended By Rods

Flexible or Resilient Supports

Flexible or resilient type supports carry the weight load and allow the piping system to
move in all three directions. A coil spring that has the correct stiffness and pre-
compression to carry the weight load supports the weight. Because the spring is
resilient, it permits vertical movement while still carrying the weight. The ability to move
vertically allows the support to carry the weight while permitting the pipe to expand and
contract as needed for thermal expansion. The thermal expansion may be due to the
heating of the pipe or of a vessel to which the pipe attaches, or both. Two basic types of
flexible supports are as follows:

◊ Variable load

◊ Constant load

The type of flexible support selected from standard available models is based on the
following factors:

◊ Design load


◊ Required movement

◊ Installation geometry

◊ Standard models available

Variable Load Flexible Support

The variable load flexible support is the more common of the two types of flexible
support. With variable load supports, pipe movement stretches or compresses the
spring, changing the load that the spring exerts on the pipe. The spring is selected to
provide the correct amount of support load to the pipe throughout the movement range.
Figure 43 shows an example of a variable load support.

Load and deflection scale

Figure 43. Variable Load Support

Constant Load Flexible Support

With constant load flexible supports, the load that is exerted by the support on the pipe
remains constant throughout the movement range. The use of a variable-length internal-
moment arm mechanism accomplishes this constant load. This type of support is
required when the load variation caused by the vertical thermal movement in a variable-
load-type spring is too large to be accommodated by the piping system, or when the
thermal movement is greater than approximately 3 in. (75 mm). Figure 44 shows an
example of a constant load support.


Figure 44. Constant Load Support

Types of Restraints

Restraints have the following two primary purposes in a piping system:

◊ They control the unrestricted thermal movement of the pipe by directing or

limiting it. Generally, a piping system is totally restrained at its end connections to

◊ They control, limit, or redirect the thermal movement to reduce the thermal stress
in the pipe or the loads exerted due to thermal movement on equipment

◊ They absorb loads imposed on the pipe by other conditions. Examples of these
other conditions are as follows:

◊ Wind

◊ Earthquake

◊ Slug flow

◊ Water hammer

◊ Flow-induced vibration

Several different types of restraints may be used. The selection of the type of restraint
and its specific design details depends primarily on the following:

◊ Direction of pipe movement to be restrained.


◊ Location of the restraint point.

◊ Magnitude of the load to be absorbed.

One or more types of restraint or support may be combined at one location, depending
on the piping system design needs. Three types of restraints are as follows:

◊ Stops

◊ Guides

◊ Anchors


Stops are restraints that limit the movement of the pipe in the longitudinal direction.
Stops are designed to keep the pipe from moving axially beyond a point or from moving
axially at all. Figure 45 shows an example of a stop.

Figure 45. Stop


Guides are types of supports that limit the movement of the pipe perpendicular to the
pipe axis in one or more directions while allowing movement along the pipe axis. Pipe
rotation may or may not be restricted. Typical applications for guides are as follows:

◊ Long pipe runs on a pipe rack to:

◊ Control thermal movement.

◊ Prevent buckling.

◊ Straight runs down the side of towers to:

◊ Prevent wind-induced movement.

◊ Control thermal expansion.


Figures 46 through 49 show examples of guides.

Figure 46. Channel Guide

Figure 47. Sleeve Guide

Figure 48. Box-In Guide


Figure 49. Vertical Box-In Guide on Side of Vessel


Anchors stop pipe movement in all three translational directions. Engineers use anchors
to isolate one section of a piping system from another section in terms of loading and
deflection. A total anchor that eliminates all translation and rotation at one location is not
as common as one or more restraints that act at a single location. It is difficult to design
effective rotational anchors or restraints. Plant piping more commonly uses directional
anchors that restrain the pipes only in their translational directions.

Figures 50 through 52 show examples of anchor types that are typically used in
aboveground plant piping systems.

Figure 50. Anchor


Figure 51. Anchor

Figure 52. Anchor



Pipelines shall be painted in accordance with SAES-H-002, SAES-H-101 and SAES-H-

100 to give protection from corrosion. This topic will be covered in separate training



Insulation shall be provided on the piping systems as shown in P & IDs and other design
documents. Sections of the insulation shall be removable to allow for on-stream
inspection. The following standards are applicable for inspecting insulation:

◊ SAES-N-001: Basic criteria, industrial insulation

◊ SAES-A-105: Noise control

◊ SAES-B-006: Fireproofing in Offshore Facilities

◊ PIP INEG 1000: Insulation Design and type codes

◊ PIP INSC1000: Requirements for Cold Service Insulation Materials

◊ PIP INSH 1000: Requirements for Hot Service Insulation materials

◊ PIP INIC1000: Cold Insulation Installation Details

◊ PIP INIH1000: Hot Insulation Installation Details

◊ PIP INTG1000 : Insulation Inspection Checklist

Generally the reasons for using insulation are:

◊ Condensation prevention

◊ Reduction of heat loss

◊ Personnel protection

◊ Noise reduction

Insulation Components


There are many different types of insulation materials available for both commercial and
industrial piping applications. The insulation must be applied in a single layer when the
total thickness does not exceed 3” (75 mm). Otherwise, for thickness above 3½” (90
mm), insulation shall be comprised of multiple layers (See Figures 53 and 54). The
following list comprises the material classifications most common to the piping industry:


◊ Calcium silicate insulation

◊ Cellular glass insulation

◊ Elastomeric foam insulation

◊ Fiberglass and mineral wool insulations

◊ Perlite insulation

◊ Phenolic foam insulation

◊ Polystyrene foam insulation

◊ Polyurethane and polyisocyanurate foam insulations

The Inspector must verify that all Insulation used in Saudi Aramco projects has been
tested for fire-related values per ASTM E894, and meets the minimum standard for a
flame spread of 25 or less.

For outdoor use, the Inspector should verify that elastomeric foam insulation is resistant
to ultra violet exposure or coated according to the insulation manufacturer's instructions.

Unless otherwise specified, the Inspector shall verify that the following has been
completed prior to installation of insulation

◊ Required hydrostatic and/or pneumatic pressure testing

◊ Application of required substrate protective coating systems, including touch-up

of previously applied coatings

◊ Installation and testing of required tracing systems

◊ Cleaning of surfaces that are to receive insulation

After installation of the insulation, the Inspector must verify that it is smooth and free
from cracks, voids, gaps and depressions greater than 1/8 in. (3 mm). All cracks, voids,
gaps and depressions in the insulation greater than 1/8 in. (3 mm) shall be refitted not
filled. In addition, any insulation that has become wet shall be removed and replaced
with dry insulation, and the wet insulation shall be discarded.

According to PIP INSH2000, the Inspector shall verify that insulation is secured as

◊ Insulation up to 12 in. (300 mm) outside diameter (O.D.) shall be held in place
with 16 gauge Type 304 stainless steel tie wire, except cellular glass and
polyisocyanurate foam insulation, which may be held in place with fiberglass


reinforced pressure-sensitive tape or stainless steel tie wires applied over the

◊ Insulation 12 in. (300 mm) O.D. to 24 in. (610 mm) O.D. shall be held in place
with 1/2 in. (13 mm) wide by 0.020 in. (0.51 mm) thick Type 304 stainless steel
bands and wing seals. Above 24 in. (610 mm) O.D., use 3/4 in. (19 mm) wide by
0.020 in. (0.51 mm) thick bands and wing seals.

Figure 53. Schematic of a piping insulation system


Figure 54. Single and Multi-layer Insulation (PIP INIH1000)



In order to function more efficiently and extend service life, most insulation must be
protected from damage and degradation by the application of an effective cover, or
jacket material.

A jacket is defined as any material, except cements and paints that can be used to cover
or protect insulation installed on a pipe or vessel (See Figures 55 and 56). The choice of
jacketing will depend upon its use, such as:

1. Weather barriers are used to prevent the entry of liquid water into insulation and
also the entry of chemicals that would affect the inside or outside of the
insulation. Materials include plastic, aluminum, and stainless steel as well as
weather barrier mastics.

2. Vapor barriers are used to reduce the entry of water vapor into the surface of the
insulation. In order to be effective, the vapor barrier must be completely sealed at
every opening. A vapor barrier is typically used for cold insulation systems
primarily for eliminating the possibility of entrapped water vapor condensing on
the pipe.

Note: A metal jacket does not qualify as a vapor barrier per SAES-N-001.

3. Mechanical abuse-resistant coverings are used to protect the underlying

insulation from mechanical damage due to abuse or accidental contact by
personnel or equipment. The compressive strength of the insulation used should
be considered when selecting a jacket. Metal products are most commonly used.

4. Corrosion- and fire-resistant coverings are used as part of a complete hazard

resistance system. Almost any type of jacket or mastic increases the fire rating.
The most successful corrosion jackets are plastic or stainless steel depending
upon the nature of the spill, leak, or atmosphere expected. Some mastics are
also useful.

5. Plain jackets are used on hot services and in other cases when a jacket is
desired for ease of installation and appearance.

Jackets come in various forms and types. These can be divided into three general
categories: rigid (plastic, aluminum, or stainless steel), membrane (glass cloth, coated
papers, treated papers, and papers laminated with foils and/or cloth), and mastic.

For Saudi Aramco plants, metal jacketing on all vessels and piping less than 48 in. (1219
mm) in diameter shall be aluminum, 0.016 in. (0.406 mm) thick and machine-rolled for
circumferential fit. For fire protection, stainless steel jacketing 0.010 in. (0.254 mm) or
zinc-aluminum alloy coated steel 0.016 in. (0.406 mm) thick shall be used on equipment
and piping.


The Inspector shall verify that metal jacketing 12 in. (300 mm) O.D. to 24 in. (610 mm)
O.D. is held in place with 1/2 in. (13 mm) wide by 0.020 in. (0.51 mm) thick Type 304
stainless steel bands and wing seals.

Above 24 in. (610 mm) O.D., use 3/4 in. (19 mm) wide by 0.020 in. (0.51 mm) thick
bands and wing seals.

Figure 55. Component of a piping insulation


Figure 56. Illustration of Jacketed Insulation

Adhesives and Sealants

Adhesives are used to bond the insulation either to itself or to the surface on which it is
applied. Each different type of insulation requires its own special type of adhesive.

Sealants (Caulking) are used to seal an insulation system from the elements, thereby
protecting the underlying insulation from damage. Insulation systems must be caulked
and/or sealed at all possible points of moisture entry. The Inspector shall verify that no
featheredge of caulk exists. For cold insulation systems, the joint sealer shall be applied
to all joints of single layer and only to joints of the outer layer of multi-layer applications.

In cold service, the use of a breather final coat over a vapor barrier will prevent liquid
water from penetrating the coating while allowing water vapor to pass through. When
used on a hot service, a breather coat will allow the escape of the minimal amount of
water vapor trapped inside. When additional strength or protection is required, glass


cloth membranes as well as metal mesh should be used to reinforce the weather barrier

The Inspector must check that all adhesives and sealants are supplied in their factory-
sealed containers. Any adhesive or sealant, which is exposed to temperatures outside
the recommended temperature ranges during storage, shall be removed from the site
and replaced with new material. In addition, the Inspector must not allow use of any
materials with expired shelf life.

Figure 57 shows location of a 6 mm sealant (caulking) for insulation of a branch

connection. The Inspector must confirm that all caulking is uniformly applied per
manufacturer’s instructions. The caulking has to have good adhesion to the underlying

Figure 57. Caulking application on insulation of branch connection


Accessories are used to tie or support insulation materials to the pipe or equipment such
as support rings, pins, clips, screws, studs, bands, wires, tapes (See Figure 58).

The Inspector should verify that all accessories used are of materials compatible with the
components to which they are attached, and if welded, are installed by the fabricator
prior to post-weld heat treatment unless specifically permitted otherwise by the Saudi
Aramco Engineer. For example, the Inspector must verify that screws shall not


penetrate the vapor barrier. In this case, the Contractor shall be required to submit a
proposed procedure for the use of screws for the Purchaser’s approval.

Figure 58. Example of accessories needed for vertical pipe insulation

Insulation types

In Saudi Aramco, there are two types of insulation systems.

◊ Hot Insulation system

◊ Cold Insulation system


Hot Insulation systems

The purpose for a hot insulation system is as follow:

◊ Heat conservation insulation

◊ Process Stability Insulation

◊ Personnel Protection Insulation

◊ Freezing insulation

Heat conservation insulation shall be used if normal operating temperatures exceed 60

degree C, unless the loss of heat is desirable. Design of heat conservation insulation
shall be based on local ambient climatic conditions.

Process stability insulation shall be used where control of process temperatures,

including impact due to sudden changes in ambient conditions. Design of process
stability insulation shall be based on anticipated extremes in ambient conditions.

Personnel protection insulation shall be used if normal temperature of a surface exceeds

60 Degree C and if surface is in area that is accessible to personnel. Accessible area is
defined as an area where personnel regularly perform duties other than maintenance
during plant operation. If corrosion under insulation is a concern, or if heat loss is
desirable, use of fabricated shields/ guards in lieu of insulation shall be used.

Freezing Insulation shall be used where protection from freezing is required. The design
of freezing insulation shall be based on local climatic conditions.

Cold Insulation systems types

The purpose for a cold insulation system is as follows:

◊ Cold Service insulation

◊ Condensation control insulation

Cold service insulation shall be based on maximum allowable heat gain. Cold service
insulation shall be sealed against atmospheric moisture intrusion.

Condensate Control insulation is used where required control of external surface

condensation. Design shall be based on the normal operating temperatures and local
climatic conditions.

For hot and cold insulation systems, the Inspector must check the following for
conformance to project specifications and Saudi Aramco standards. The Inspector
should refer to PIP INTG1000 for Insulation Inspection Checklist (See Addendum C):


◊ Insulation is not installed over nameplates, expansion joints, rotating joints and
other applications where the intended use would be compromised. Furthermore,
nameplates are attached with extended brackets to give adequate clearance for
full insulation thickness.

◊ Insulation and accessory materials are not formulated with asbestos per
requirements of PIP INSH1000 and PIP INSC 1000.

◊ For insulation of austenitic stainless steel, the leachable chloride content is less
than 50 ppm of any material that comes in contact with stainless steel.

◊ All curved segments, beveled lags and V-grooved insulation materials shall
assure complete inside and outside diameter closure around the piping.



Cross-country pipelines are used outside the boundaries of process plants, and convey
liquid petroleum, petroleum products, liquid-gas mixtures, or natural gas. Depending on
the application, these pipelines connect one or more of the following:

◊ Wellhead


◊ Pumping or compressing facilities

◊ Oil termination and shipping facilities

◊ Refineries and chemical plants

◊ Temporary storage facilities

◊ Gas treating

◊ Gas metering and regulation

◊ Gas mains

◊ Gas service to end users


The types of components that are required for cross-country pipelines are generally the
same components required for plant piping. The size of pipe for cross-country pipelines
is usually (but not always) larger than the size used in plant piping; that is, diameters 750
mm (30 in.) and greater in most cases. Cross-country pipelines are also much longer
than plant piping and can run for many miles.

Cross-country pipelines require the following components that are in addition to the
components usually found in plant piping:

◊ Scraper launcher and receiver equipment at pump or compressor stations.

◊ Pressure relief systems at pump or compressor stations.



Cross-country pipelines transport liquids, gases, or liquid-gas mixtures between the

facilities previously cited. These pipelines provide a convenient method of transferring
material from one facility to another and from the source of crude oil or gas to the final
delivery terminals or end-users. This section discusses the following general types of
cross country pipelines:

◊ Underground

◊ Aboveground

◊ Submarine

Underground Pipelines

The most common type of cross-country pipeline is buried underground. A cross-country

pipeline is normally buried because it is:

◊ Usually the least expensive form of construction.

◊ Safer than aboveground construction.

Underground pipelines are buried by digging a trench, leveling the trench bottom,
installing appropriate bedding material to provide uniform support, placing the pipe in the
trench, and filling the trench back in. Sufficient cover must be used over the pipe to
restrain the line and protect it from external loads.

Note: For more information, refer to Inspect Backfill Operation Module

Additionally, consideration is always given to the potential end movements of buried

pipelines. If these movements exceed 50 mm (2 in.), a full thrust or drag anchor must be
provided. A thrust anchor is designed for the full axial forces that are expected at the
location. A drag anchor is not designed for the complete thrust load that is expected and
permits some movement of the pipe. In this case, the drag anchor installation must limit
the end movement of the pipeline to a maximum of 6 mm (0.25 in.).

Anchors are needed to limit movement at the ends of the pipeline, at changes in
direction or size, and at above- to below-ground transition points. Excessive movement
of a buried pipeline can cause shifting of the soil that supports the pipe, subsidence of
the cover, or damage to the pipe's external coating (if one is installed). In extreme cases,
excessive movement could cause pipe overstress, inadequate cover depth, or external
pipe corrosion.

Buried concrete blocks act as drag anchors to underground pipelines. These block
anchors must be sized to resist the applied loads considering the local terrain (for


example, soil or rock characteristics) and friction. Figure 59 illustrates typical concrete
block anchors for buried pipelines





Figure 59. Block anchor for underground piping


Aboveground Pipelines

Aboveground pipelines are cross-country pipelines that are constructed above the
surface of the ground. Aboveground pipelines are used when a buried pipeline is not
practical. The primary reasons for the use of aboveground pipelines include terrain
features, such as solid rock, that make underground piping expensive or impossible to
construct. It is not unusual to use sections of aboveground pipeline in an otherwise
buried system to avoid local terrain features.

Aboveground pipelines are supported by support structures and associated foundations

similar to plant piping. An aboveground pipeline with its associated supports and
foundations is usually more expensive than digging and filling trenches for an
underground pipeline. Differential thermal expansion is a more significant design issue
for aboveground pipelines than for underground pipelines because of direct exposure to
the sun for aboveground pipelines.

Aboveground pipelines may be either restrained or unrestrained. A restrained pipeline

has anchors or restraints installed to restrict its thermal expansion movements and limit
the loads that are imposed on any above-to-belowground transition points. An
unrestrained pipeline does not have anchors installed. Therefore, the pipe is
theoretically free to expand or contract due to changes in its metal temperature.

Most aboveground pipelines are designed as restrained systems, since the free thermal
movements can result in excessive loads being imposed on any above-to-belowground
transitions. In extreme cases, this could eventually cause the pipe to move off its
supports. The anchors that are used in restrained piping systems, and their associated
foundations, must be designed for the anticipated loads that are caused by pipe thermal
expansion/contraction and friction. Similar to buried pipelines, anchors are needed to
limit movement at the ends of the pipeline, at changes in direction or size, and at above-
to below-ground transition points.

Aboveground pipe anchors typically employ local reinforcement at their attachment to

the pipe, such as sleeves and ring girders (See Figure 60), to avoid local overstress in
the pipe. In addition, aboveground anchor structures are designed with sufficient
strength to prevent excessive deflection under the applied loads, which would render the
anchor ineffective.

Aboveground restrained pipelines must have thrust anchors on the ends that are
designed to resist the full axial forces due to differential thermal expansion and
contraction, and internal fluid pressure. The anchor structure must be designed to limit
the maximum pipe deflection under the applied loading to 6 mm (0.25 in.). Differential
thrust anchors are also provided on aboveground restrained pipelines where there is a
change in thrust due to a change in pipe diameter or wall thickness, unless the axial pipe
movement is calculated to be less than 6 mm (0.25 in.).

The Inspector must verify the spacing and type of support per the profile drawings, the
project specification or the scope of work. The Inspector must check that pipe support


elevations are maintained within ± 6 mm per SAES-L-450. Similarly, ring girders shall
be installed within ± 6 mm horizontal and vertical tolerances.


20", 22", 24", 26", 30", 31", & 32" O.D. PIPE


Figure 60. Ring girder (SASD AB-036774)


Submarine Pipelines

Submarine pipelines are cross-country pipelines that deliver oil or gas that is produced
offshore. They are submerged in water, rest on the marine bottom, or are trenched and
buried in the seabed. To counteract buoyancy, submarine pipelines may be coated with



1. Which general types of piping systems are used within Saudi Aramco?

2. The Piping Inspector shall be knowledgeable on which components of a piping

system ?

3. Pipe wall thickness is expressed by the term Schedule?

a. True ___________

b. False __________

4. The Inspector verifies which items that the pipe conforms to the project
specification and design drawings


5. Which Saudi Aramco standard prohibits the use of ERW pipe for hazardous

6. Which type of pipe is generally the lowest cost and the lowest quality?

7. Spiral welded pipe is used primarily for which type of pipeline services?

8. What is the joint quality factor for seamless pipe?

9. Pipe for plant applications shall be seamless or single – longitudinal seam

submerged arc welding and shall conform to which standards?

10. The higher the schedule, the thicker the pipe?

a. True _________
b. False ________



1. Pipe fittings are used extensively is process plants as well as other piping
systems, give three examples if their use?

2. The requirement for plugs of the round headed type can be found in which Saudi
Aramco Standard?

3. Which are the two primary design standards used for pipe fittings?

4. The Inspector shall be able to differentiate between standard types of fittings,

such as?


5. Give three examples of what the inspector must verify when inspecting elbows?

6. What is the purpose of a reducer?

7. Give three examples of Tees?

8. Give three techniques for connecting a fitting to a pipe?


9. In what situation would we use a lateral?

10. What are the reasons for using a pipe cap rather than a blind flange?



1. Which international standard defines seal welding?

2. What are the reasons for insuring thread engagement?

3. When the wall thickness ratio of pipes to be joined is less than or equal to 1.5,
joint design details shall comply to which international code?

4. Give three examples why pre-heat is used?


5. Give a reason or reasons why Positive Material Identification is used in Saudi


6. Name two types of weld configurations?

7. When inspecting a socket weld type at what distance must the pipe be withdrawn
and for what reasons?

8. What type of material is P1 according to ASME B 31.3?

9. What is the number of threads that should be engaged on a ten inch pipe?


10. When carrying out post weld heat treatment what is the holding time for Carbon


11. Threaded joints should be avoided in which type of corrosion?

12. Give four reasons for carrying out post weld heat treatment?



1. Flanged assembly is normally used for pipe sizes above?

2. A slip on flange has an oversized bore?

True ________

False _______

3. A flat faced flange is typically used for what types of material?

4. Give four examples what the inspector must be familiar with in relation to flanged


5. Which is the strongest type of flange?

6. Which type of flange is gasket on the same elevation as the surrounding flange

7. Give an example of three types of gaskets?

8. What Saudi Aramco Standard should be used for the selection of spiral wound

9. Which type of gasket material should be avoided with regard to health?

10. Which is the most used type of insulation type of gasket?

11. What type of stud bolts and nuts shall be used for sour wet services and is not
exposed to Hydrogen Sulfide?


12. Give three causes of flange leakage?



1. Guides are types of supports that limit the movement of the pipe. Give four
examples of their typical applications?

2. Which drawing specifies the minimum spacing of lines that are supported on
sleepers or pipe racks?

3. A piping system needs supports and restraints. Give four reasons for this?

4. Give three examples why we use rigid supports?


5. Give two examples for the purpose of a restraint in a piping system?

6. Guides are supports that limit the movement of the pipe. Give four examples of
typical application?

7. Give an explanation why anchors are commonly used in plant piping?

8. What is the most important consideration when for layout design of a piping


9. Carbon steel is manufactured to which international specifications and is

available in various grades and strength levels?

10. Give one example what factor restraint depends on?



1. Give four examples for the use of insulation?

2. What are weather barriers used for?

3 What is the main use of adhesives?

4. Give four examples for the purposes of hot insulation?

5. What must the inspector check regarding adhesives?


6. In what forms do jackets come in?

7. What shall happen to insulation that has become wet?

8. The insulation shall be applied in a single layer when the total thickness does not

9. Which Saudi Aramco Standard is used for noise control?

10. The inspector must verify that all insulation used in Saudi Aramco projects has
been tested for fire related values. To what international standard?




1. Give three general types of cross-country piping?

2. Give two reasons why cross country piping is buried?

3. What could extreme movement of the pipe cause?

4. If pipe buried pipe movement is more than 50mm a full thrust or drag anchor
must be used?

True ________

False _______

5. The inspector must check pipe supports to which Saudi Aramco Standard?


6. Concrete blocks can be used as an anchor?



7. Which Saudi Aramco Standard is used for pressure testing?

8. Which Saudi Aramco Standard is for the design of plant piping?

9. What does the Saudi Aramco L series specify?

10. What is the basic difference between ASME B31.3 and ASME B31.4?



ASME B31.3 Abbreviation for ASME/ANSI B31.3,Process Piping ,

published by the American Society of Mechanical
Engineers. ASME B31.3 is written for design and
construction of piping systems. However, most of the
technical requirements on design, welding, examination,
and materials also can be applied in the inspection,
rerating, repair, and alteration of operating piping systems.
requirements, certain heat treatments, and pressure tests,
the piping engineer/inspector shall be guided by API 570 in
lieu of strict conformance with ASME B31.3. As an example
of intent, the term principles of ASME B31.3 has been
employed in API 570 rather than the phrase in accordance
with ASME B31.3.

CUI Corrosion under insulation, which includes stress corrosion

cracking under insulation.

deadlegs Components of a piping system that normally have no

significant flow. Examples include blanked branches, lines
with normally closed block valves, lines which have one end
blanked, pressurized dummy support legs, stagnant control
valve bypass piping, spare pump piping, level bridles, relief
valve inlet and outlet header piping, pump trim bypass lines,
high point vents, sample points, drains, bleeders, and
instrument connections.

defect In NDE usage, a defect is an imperfection of a type or

magnitude exceeding the acceptable criteria.

design temperature The temperature at which, under the coincident pressure,

the greatest thickness or highest rating of a piping system
component is required. It is equivalent to the design
temperature, as defined in ASME B31.3 and other code
sections, and is subject to the same rules relating to
allowances for variations of pressure or temperature or
both. Different components in the same piping system or
circuit may have different design temperatures. In
establishing this temperature, consideration shall be given
to process fluid temperatures, ambient temperatures,
heating/ cooling media temperatures, and insulation.


imperfection Flaws or other discontinuities noted during inspection that

may be subject to acceptance criteria on
engineering/inspection analysis.

injection points Locations where relatively small quantities of materials are

injected into process streams to control chemistry or other
process variables. Injection points do not include the
locations where two process streams join (mixing tees).
Examples of injection points include chlorine in reformers,
water injection in overhead systems, polysulfide injection in
catalytic cracking wet gas, anti-foam injections, inhibitors,
and neutralizers.

in-service Refers to piping systems that have been placed in

operation as opposed to new construction prior to being
placed in service.

inspector An authorized piping inspector.

jurisdiction A legally constituted government administration that may

adopt rules relating to piping systems.

mixing tees A piping component that combines two process streams of

differing composition and/or temperature.

NDE Nondestructive examination.

NPS Nominal pipe size (followed, when appropriate, by the

specific size designation number without an inch symbol).

on-stream Piping containing any amount of process fluid.

owner-user An operator of piping systems who exercises control over

the operation, engineering, inspection, repair, alteration,
testing, and rerating of those piping systems.

PT Liquid penetrant testing.

pipe A pressure-tight cylinder used to convey a fluid or to

transmit a fluid pressure, ordinarily designated pipe in
applicable material specifications. (Materials designated
tube or tubing in the specifications are treated as pipe when
intended for pressure service.)

piping circuit Complex process units or piping systems are divided into
piping circuits to manage the necessary inspections,
calculations, and record keeping. A piping circuit is a
section of piping of which all points are exposed to an


environment of similar corrosivity and which is of similar

design conditions and construction material. When
establishing the boundary of a particular piping circuit, the
Inspector may also size it to provide a practical package for
recordkeeping and performing weld inspection.

piping engineer One or more persons or organizations acceptable to the

owner-user who are knowledgeable and experienced in the
engineering disciplines associated with evaluating
mechanical and material characteristics which affect the
integrity and reliability of piping components and systems.
The piping engineer, by consulting with appropriate
specialists, should be regarded as a composite of all
entities necessary to properly address a technical

piping system An assembly of interconnected piping, subject to the same

set or sets of design conditions, used to convey, distribute,
mix, separate, discharge, meter, control, or snub fluid flows.
Piping system also includes pipe-supporting elements, but
does not include support structures, such as building
frames, bents, and foundations.

PWHT Post weld heat treatment.

repair A repair is the work necessary to restore a piping system to

a condition suitable for safe operation at the design
conditions. If any of the restorative changes result in a
change of design temperature or pressure, the
requirements for rerating also shall be satisfied. Any
welding, cutting, or grinding operation on a pressure-
containing piping component not specially considered an
alteration is considered a repair.

rerating A change in either or both the design temperature or the

maximum allowable working pressure of a piping system. A
rerating may consist of an increase, decrease, or a
combination. Derating below original design conditions is a
means to provide increased corrosion allowance.

small bore piping (SBP) Less than or equal to NPS 2.

soil-to-air (S/A) interface An area in which external corrosion may occur on partially
buried pipe. The zone of the corrosion will vary depending
on factors such as moisture, oxygen content of the soil, and
the operating temperature. The zone generally is
considered to be from 12 inches (30 cm) below to 6 inches


(15 cm) above the soil surface. Pipe running parallel with
the soil surface that contacts the soil is included.

spools A section of piping encompassed by flanges or other

connecting fittings, such as unions.

temper embrittlement A loss of ductility and notch toughness in susceptible low-

alloy steels (e.g., 1 ¼ Cr and 2 ¼ Cr) due to prolonged
exposure to high temperature service (between 700C to
1070F (371 to 577 C)).

thickness measurement locations (TMLs)

Designated areas on piping systems where periodic

inspections and thickness measurements are conducted.

WFMT or WFMPT Wet fluorescent magnetic particle testing.





Industry Standards for Piping Systems and Their Components

This section summarizes the scope of the following codes and standards that apply to
Saudi Aramco piping systems and components:
◊ ANSI/ASME codes
◊ ANSI/ASME B31, Code for Pressure Piping
◊ ANSI/ASME B31.3, Chemical Plant and Petroleum Refinery Piping
◊ ANSI/ASME B31.4, Liquid Transportation Systems for Hydrocarbons, Liquid
Petroleum Gas, Anhydrous Ammonia, and Alcohols
◊ ANSI/ASME B31.8, Gas Transmission and Distribution Piping
◊ ANSI and API standards and publications

ANSI/ASME B31.3, Chemical Plant and Petroleum Refinery

ANSI/ASME B31.3 establishes requirements for the safe design, construction,
inspection, and testing of chemical plant and petroleum refinery piping. This code
applies to all piping within the property limits of facilities that process or handle chemical,
petroleum, or related products. It applies to piping for all fluids, including the following:
◊ Gas, steam, air, and water
◊ Fluidized solids
◊ Petroleum products
◊ Raw, intermediate, and finished chemicals
◊ Refrigerants

ANSI/ASME Code B31.3 excludes systems that operate above 0 but below 103 kPa (15
psig) (within specified service and temperature restrictions), piping within a fired heater
enclosure, process equipment (for example, pressure vessels, heat exchangers, etc.),
and other specified items. Piping components that are included in this code are pipe,
fittings, valves, flanges, gaskets, and bolting.

ANSI/ASME B31.4, Liquid Transportation Systems for

Hydrocarbons, Liquid Petroleum Gas, Anhydrous Ammonia, and
ANSI/ASME B31.4 establishes requirements for the safe design, construction,
inspection, testing, operation, and maintenance of piping that transports the following


◊ Condensate
◊ Crude oil
◊ Liquid alcohol
◊ Liquid anhydrous ammonia
◊ Liquefied petroleum gas
◊ Liquid petroleum products
◊ Natural gas liquids
◊ Natural gasoline

This code excludes systems that operate at or below 103 kPa (15 psig), below -29°C (-
20°F), or above 121°C (250°F); auxiliary piping sys tems for specified services;
equipment items; and other specified components and systems.

ANSI/ASME B31.8, Gas Transmission and Distribution Piping

ANSI/ASME B31.8 establishes requirements for the safe design, construction,
inspection, testing, operation, and maintenance of gas transmission and distribution
piping. This code applies to:
◊ Gas transmission and distribution systems, including gas pipelines, gas
compressor stations, gas metering and regulation stations, gas mains, and
service lines up to the outlet of the customer’s meter set assembly.
◊ Gas storage equipment of the closed-pipe type, fabricated or forged from the
pipe or fabricated from the pipe fittings, and gas storage lines.
◊ Pipe, valves, fittings, flanges, bolting, gaskets, regulators, pressure vessels,
pulsation dampers, and relief valves.

ANSI/ASME B31.8 excludes systems operating at or below - 29°C (-20°F) or above

232°C (450°F), equipment items, piping beyond the c ustomer’s meter set, and other
specified components and systems.

ANSI and API Standards and Publications

The industry codes that are noted above, and the Saudi Aramco standards and
specifications that will be discussed later, include references to ANSI, API, and other
industry standards and publications. By reference, these publications become integral
parts of the industry and Saudi Aramco design standards. These publications provide
additional detailed requirements for specific piping system components, such as valves
and flanges, and for particular piping system applications, such as offshore production
platform piping or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) installations. These ANSI and API
standards are not discussed since they provide detailed information that is beyond the
scope of this course. Participants are referred to the ANSI/ASME B31 Codes and
relevant Saudi Aramco standards and specifications as necessary for additional


Saudi Aramco Standards for Piping Systems and Their

The “L series” of the Saudi Aramco Engineering Standards (SAES's) is the primary
group of standards that specify additional Saudi Aramco engineering requirements for
piping systems that are within the scope of the ANSI/ASME B31 Codes. These SAES's
also include other pressure piping services that are excluded from the Code. The
SAMSS's are primarily “purchase type” documents that are included in the purchase
order for an item to further specify its technical requirements. They are not discussed in
this course, and the Participants are referred to the Saudi Aramco Material System
Specifications Manual as required for information. The following material highlights
several of the SAES's that are relevant to piping system design.

SAES-A-004, Pressure Testing

SAES-A-004 provides the general principles that apply to pressure testing of plant
equipment and plant piping. This standard applies to newly installed and existing
equipment and piping. The standard specifies that a pressure test be performed as
◊ Before the equipment or piping is placed into service.
◊ After repairs or alterations that affect the strength of the equipment.
◊ At scheduled intervals.
◊ Whenever considered necessary or advisable by the responsible manager.

This standard provides conditions, limits, and exceptions for pressure testing.

SAES-A-005, Safety Instruction Sheet

SAES-A-005 outlines the procedure for preparing Safety Instruction Sheets (SIS's) for
new plants, for additions to existing plants, and for re-rating existing equipment. SIS's
provide information in a consistent format on safe operating limits, protection devices,
and special safety precautions. This information is primarily used by operations,
maintenance, and inspection personnel. Critical plant piping and cross-country pipelines
must have SIS's.

SAES-H-002, Internal and External Coatings for Steel Pipelines

and Piping
SAES-H-002 provides the mandatory internal and external coating selection and
installation requirements for steel pipelines and piping, including the associated fittings
and appurtenances.


SAES-L series, Saudi Aramco piping Standards

SAES-L-052 Hot Tap Connections

SAES-L-100 Applicable Codes and Standards for Pressure Piping Systems

SAES-L-101 Regulated Vendors List for Pipes and Fittings

SAES-L-102 Regulated Vendors List for Valves

SAES-L-105 Piping Material Specifications

SAES-L-108 Selection of Valves
SAES-L-109 Selection of Flanges, Stud Bolts and Gaskets

SAES-L-110 Limitations on Pipe Joints and Components

SAES-L-120 Piping Flexibility Analysis

SAES-L-125 Safety Instruction Sheet for Piping and Pipelines

SAES-L-130 Material for Low Temperature Service

SAES-L-131 Fracture Control of Line Pipe

SAES-L-132 Material Selection for Piping Systems

SAES-L-133 Corrosion Protection Requirements for Pipelines/Piping

SAES-L-136 Pipe Selection and Restrictions

SAES-L-140 Thermal Expansion Relief in Piping

SAES-L-150 Pressure Testing of Plant Piping and Pipelines

SAES-L-310 Design of Plant Piping

SAES-L-350 Construction of Plant Piping

SAES-L-410 Design of Pipelines

SAES-L-420 Scraper Trap Station and Appurtenances

SAES-L-440 Anchors for Buried Pipelines

SAES-L-450 Construction of On-Land and Near-Shore Pipelines

SAES-L-460 Pipeline Crossings Under Roads and Railroads

SAES-L-610 Nonmetallic Piping

SAES-L-810 Design of Piping on Offshore Structures

SAES-L-850 Design of Submarine Pipelines and Risers