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September 2007

Process Industry Practices


Specification for Small Pressure Vessels and
Heat Exchangers with Limited Design Conditions


In an effort to minimize the cost of process industry facilities, this Practice has
been prepared from the technical requirements in the existing standards of major
industrial users, contractors, or standards organizations. By harmonizing these technical
requirements into a single set of Practices, administrative, application, and engineering
costs to both the purchaser and the manufacturer should be reduced. While this Practice
is expected to incorporate the majority of requirements of most users, individual
applications may involve requirements that will be appended to and take precedence
over this Practice. Determinations concerning fitness for purpose and particular matters
or application of the Practice to particular project or engineering situations should not
be made solely on information contained in these materials. The use of trade names
from time to time should not be viewed as an expression of preference but rather
recognized as normal usage in the trade. Other brands having the same specifications
are equally correct and may be substituted for those named. All Practices or guidelines
are intended to be consistent with applicable laws and regulations including OSHA
requirements. To the extent these Practices or guidelines should conflict with OSHA or
other applicable laws or regulations, such laws or regulations must be followed.
Consult an appropriate professional before applying or acting on any material
contained in or suggested by the Practice.

This Practice is subject to revision at any time.

Process Industry Practices (PIP), Construction Industry Institute, The

University of Texas at Austin, 3925 West Braker Lane (R4500), Austin,
Texas 78759. PIP member companies and subscribers may copy this Practice
for their internal use. Changes, overlays, addenda, or modifications of any
kind are not permitted within any PIP Practice without the express written
authorization of PIP.

March 1999
June 2000
Reference Section Correction
September 2007
Technical Revision

Not printed with State funds

September 2007

Process Industry Practices


Specification for Small Pressure Vessels and
Heat Exchangers with Limited Design Conditions
Table of Contents
1. Introduction................................. 2
1.1 Purpose............................................ 2
1.2 Scope ............................................... 2
1.3 Alternative Design Proposals........... 3

2. References .................................. 3
2.1 Process Industry Practices .............. 3
2.2 Industry Codes and Standards ........ 3
2.3 Government Regulations ................. 4

7. Fabrication.................................. 7

Butt Welds........................................ 7
Formed Head-to-Shell Welds .......... 7
Backing Strips .................................. 7
Liners ............................................... 7
Gasket Surfaces .............................. 7
Threaded Connections..................... 7
Tolerances ....................................... 7
Postweld Heat Treatment ................ 7

3. Definitions ................................... 4

8. Hydrostatic Testing.................... 8

4. General ........................................ 5

9. Purchaser Access ...................... 8


Jurisdictional Compliance ................ 5

National Board Registration ............. 5
Units of Measurement...................... 5
Language ......................................... 5
Documentation to be Provided
to the Manufacturer.......................... 5
4.6 Documentation to be Provided
by the Manufacturer ......................... 5

10. Manufacturers Nameplates ...... 8

11. Cleaning, Painting, and Shipping
Protection ................................... 8
11.1 Drying and Cleaning ........................ 8
11.2 Painting ............................................ 8
11.3 Protection of Machined Surfaces..... 9

5. Materials...................................... 6
5.1 Materials of Construction ................. 6
5.2 Swing Bolts ...................................... 6
5.3 Pressure-Resisting Bolting............... 6

6. Construction Responsibility...... 6

Process Industry Practices

Page 1 of 10

Specification for Small Pressure Vessels and
Heat Exchangers with Limited Design Conditions


September 2007


This Practice describes the general materials, design, fabrication, examination,
inspection, testing, and documentation requirements for pressure vessels with limited
design conditions.



This Practice designates minimum general requirements for the construction

of three classes of small pressure vessels (including heat exchangers) that
comply with the requirements shown in Table 1. See Section 5 for material
of construction limitations. This Practice is intended to apply to the
Manufacturers standard, pre-designed pressure vessels and heat exchangers
supplied as part of pre-engineered package units (e.g., refrigeration and aircompressor systems), off-the-shelf items and vessels (e.g., filters) built
from the Manufacturers standard parts. Use of this Practice for customdesigned vessels is limited to applications that have been reviewed and
approved in writing by the Purchaser. Special requirements are covered in
the Vessel Specifications (see Section 3 for definition).


Vessels Not Included:

Vessels intended for Lethal Service (as defined in the Code)
Vessels for which design wall thickness would be governed by loadings
due to wind pressure or earthquake forces
Vessels that exceed the limitations of Table 1

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Vessels for which shock (thermal or mechanical) and/or cyclical loading is a

controlling design requirement and vessels in highly hazardous chemical
(e.g., ammonia) service are not permitted to be constructed under Class A
requirements (see Table 1).


Many recognized and generally accepted good engineering construction

practices are included herein. However, in light of the many diverse service
applications of vessels covered under this specification, these practices shall
be employed with engineering judgment and supplemented as appropriate
with requirements related to specific materials of construction, service fluids,
operating environments, and vessel geometries. Accordingly, provisions of
this Practice may be overridden or supplemented by an Overlay Specification
(see Section 3 for definition).

Process Industry Practices

September 2007


Specification for Small Pressure Vessels and
Heat Exchangers with Limited Design Conditions

Alternative Design Proposals

The Manufacturer shall provide a base bid in full compliance with the purchase
request for quotation. The Manufacturer may submit an alternative design if, in the
Manufacturers judgment, economy and/or improved schedule can be realized
without loss of capability or shortening the anticipated life of the vessel. The
Manufacturer shall comply with the following requirements when submitting an
alternative bid:
a. Alternative design quotations shall be accompanied by the base quotation and be
clearly noted as an alternative design.
b. Alternative designs shall be fully and clearly described and substantiated by
sketches or drawings. Specific exceptions to the Vessel Specifications or this
Practice shall be identified as such.
c. An alternative design shall not be used unless approved in writing by the


Applicable parts of the following Practices, industry codes and standards, and references shall
be considered an integral part of this Practice. The edition in effect on the date of contract
award shall be used, except as otherwise noted. Short titles are used herein when appropriate.
The documents listed in this Section are only those specifically referenced in this Practice. In
applications where there are laws or regulations issued by municipal, state, provincial, or
federal authorities covering low-pressure vessels, these laws or regulations shall be reviewed
prior to the initiation of design work since the requirements may be different or more
restrictive than the specifications covered in this Practice.

Process Industry Practices (PIP)

PIP VEDV1003 Vessel Drawing/Data Sheet and Instructions
PIP VEDST003 Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger Specification Sheet
PIP VEFV1100/VEFV1100M Vessel/S&T Heat Exchanger Standard Details
PIP VEFV1101 Vessel Nameplate Bracket


Industry Codes and Standards

For the documents listed in Table U-3 of the Code, the edition listed in
Table U-3 shall be used.
American Petroleum Institute
API 660 Shell-and-Tube Heat Exchangers for General Refinery Services

Process Industry Practices

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Specification for Small Pressure Vessels and
Heat Exchangers with Limited Design Conditions

September 2007

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code
Section VIII Pressure Vessels, Divisions 1
ASME PCC-1 Guidelines for Pressure Boundary Bolted Flange Joint
Tubular Exchanger Manufacturers Association (TEMA)
Standards of the Tubular Exchanger Manufacturers Association

Government Regulations
US Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration
OSHA 29 CFR 1910.119 Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous


For the purposes of this Practice, the following definitions apply:
Code: Section VIII, Division 1 ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code
Construction: An all-inclusive term comprising materials, design, fabrication, examination,
inspection, testing, certification, and pressure relief
Designer: The party responsible for defining and specifying the mechanical design
requirements (e.g., Vessel Drawing/Data Sheet) consistent with the Vessel Specifications or
User criteria for use by the Manufacturer. The Designer is frequently an engineering
contractor, but could be the User, third party consultant, or the Manufacturer.
Highly Hazardous Chemicals: See Appendix A of OSHA 29 CFR 1910.119 for list
Manufacturer (Supplier): The party entering into a contract with the Purchaser to construct a
vessel in accordance with the purchase order. In accordance with the Code definition, the
Manufacturer is the party that possesses a valid and current ASME Certificate of
Authorization to manufacturer pressure vessels with the U or UM ASME Stamp.
The Manufacturer may or may not be the Supplier.
Overlay Specification: Technical requirements that supplement or override the provisions of
this document, such as Vessel Specifications or a project specification
Purchaser: The party actually placing the order for the vessel or vessel components. This
may be the User or the Users designated agent.
User: The party responsible for establishing construction criteria consistent with the Code
philosophy and service hazards as described in the Purpose and Scope statements. This term
refers to the owner and/or operator of the equipment.

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Process Industry Practices

September 2007

Specification for Small Pressure Vessels and
Heat Exchangers with Limited Design Conditions

Vessel Specifications: This term shall be understood to include any drawings, specifications,
or service-specific data designated by Purchaser for a particular vessel or group of vessels.
The Manufacturer is responsible for notifying the Purchaser in writing of any apparent
conflicts between the Vessel Specifications and this Practice.



Jurisdictional Compliance
All aspects of the work shall comply with applicable local, county, state, and federal
rules and regulations. This includes, but is not limited to, the rules and standards
established by EPA and OSHA, if applicable.


National Board Registration

All Code U-stamped vessels shall be registered with the National Board of Boiler
and Pressure Vessel Inspectors (NB).


Units of Measurement
U.S. customary (English) units shall be regarded as standard; metric (SI) units may
be included for reference only and shall not be interpreted as a precise conversion.


The language of all documents shall either be English or include the English


Documentation to be Provided to the Manufacturer

Purchaser shall provide the Design Data information in accordance with


Documentation to be Provided by the Manufacturer


Manufacturers Standard Vessels

Manufacturers detailed fabrication drawings and certified design
calculations are preferred and shall be furnished when practicable. For
vessels supplied as part of pre-engineered package units (e.g., air compressor
and refrigeration systems, ION exchange systems, etc.), off-the-shelf items
and vessels fabricated from Manufacturers standard parts, Manufacturer
shall provide certified outline drawings only if detailed drawings are not
available. Outline drawings shall be legible and shall contain all dimensional
and other data necessary for complete assembly, installation, proper
operation and maintenance of the vessel. This data shall include pressure
bolting and gasket information with sufficient detail to order replacement


Custom-Designed Vessels (see Section 1.2.1)

Manufacturer shall provide detailed assembly and working drawings and
certified design calculations for all vessels furnished as custom-designed

Process Industry Practices

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Specification for Small Pressure Vessels and
Heat Exchangers with Limited Design Conditions

September 2007

items. Manufacturers drawings and calculations provided in accordance with

this Section shall be reviewed by Purchaser prior to the start of fabrication
unless a release to proceed is obtained from Purchaser in writing.
Drawings shall be complete and shall include all relevant design, materials,
fabrication, examination, and test requirements. Manufacturers drawings
shall also include the following special notes as applicable:
1. All austenetic stainless steel vessels - Chlorides or substances that
contain chlorine that will decompose to form chlorides (e.g., coatings to
prevent adhesion of weld spatter) shall not be applied to any part of the
2. Stainless steel vessels - Zinc-coated (galvanized or painted) components
shall not be in contact (welded, bolted, or loose) with any alloy parts of
the vessel.


A copy of the Manufacturers Data Report (Code Form U-1 or U-1A) shall
be furnished to Purchaser for all Code U-stamped vessels. For all Code
UM-stamped vessels, a copy of the Manufacturers Certificate of
Compliance (Code Form U-3) shall be furnished.


Materials of Construction
Materials of construction shall be carbon steel and austenitic stainless steel, except
for tubing for heat exchangers which may be copper or copper alloy. The use of other
materials shall be approved by Purchaser and noted on the Data Sheet. It is
recommended to avoid use of copper alloys in H2S (sour) service. Stainless steels
should be in solution annealed condition for corrosive services.


Swing Bolts
Swing bolts (eye bolts) shall be of one-piece construction without welding. Hinge
pins shall be solid (not rolled) and of the same material as the swing bolts.


Pressure-Resisting Bolting
Pressure resisting bolting for Class A (except as otherwise permitted in this
paragraph), B, and C vessels shall be either low- or high-alloy steel. Carbon steel
SA-307, Grade B bolting is permitted on Class A vessels only and is limited to
nameplate temperatures not hotter than 450F (232C) and not colder than -20F


Construction Responsibility
Manufacturer shall be responsible for the design and construction of vessels in accordance
with this Practice. Mechanical design provided in the Vessel Specifications by Purchaser
shall not relieve Manufacturer of this responsibility.

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Process Industry Practices

September 2007


Specification for Small Pressure Vessels and
Heat Exchangers with Limited Design Conditions


Butt Welds
Except as permitted in Section 7.2, all longitudinal and circumferential welded joints
in pressure-resisting components (Code Categories A, B, and if butt-welded C and D)
shall be full penetration butt welds.


Formed Head-to-Shell Welds

For vessels in non-corrosive service not larger than NPS 12, welded joints attaching
formed heads to shells may be any fillet-welded lap joint in accordance with Code
Figure UW-13.1 and Code Table UW-12.


Backing Strips
For vessels larger than NPS 12 or any vessel in corrosive or cyclic service, permanent
weld-joint backing strips, including butt welds with one plate edge offset [Code
Figure UW-13.1, Sketch (k)], shall not be permitted.


Loose liners shall not be used.


Gasket Surfaces
All gasket seating surfaces shall be plane and true. Gasket seating surfaces of
fabricated flanges, fabricated lap rings, and bolted tubesheet joints (including passribs) shall be machined after welding and other fabrication steps that can cause
warpage or distortion from a plane and true surface. Nozzle flange gasket surface
finish shall be 125-255 AARH.


Threaded Connections
Threaded connections over 2 NPS (DN 50) shall not be used. Tapped holes in the
shell are not permitted. Threaded connections shall be couplings or branch
connections installed onto or through the shell or head. Flanged connection with
insulating gaskets can be provided with purchaser approval for dissimilar metals to
avoid galvanic corrosion.


Dimensional tolerances shall be in accordance with Manufacturers standard practice
and the applicable requirements of the codes and standards designated in Table 1 and
the notes thereto.


Postweld Heat Treatment

Carbon steel vessels in hazardous services (e.g., ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, caustic,
etc.), permitted for Table 1 Class B and C vessels only, shall be postweld heattreated.

Process Industry Practices

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Specification for Small Pressure Vessels and
Heat Exchangers with Limited Design Conditions


September 2007

Hydrostatic Testing
All vessels constructed to this Practice shall be hydrostatically tested in accordance with the
provisions of Paragraph UG-99(b) of the Code. All gasketed joints shall be assembled in
accordance with the procedures of ASME PCC-1.


Purchaser Access
Purchaser shall have free access to those parts of the Manufacturers plant concerned with
fabrication, examination, and testing of the vessel.


Manufacturers Nameplates
All vessels shall be furnished with the Manufacturers nameplate. The nameplate shall be
made of austenitic stainless steel and attached by an austenitic stainless steel nameplate
bracket in accordance with PIP VEFV1101. Nameplates for Class B and C vessels shall
satisfy Code requirements. Nameplates for Class A vessels shall include:
Maximum and minimum design temperatures and the coincident maximum allowable
design pressures
Manufacturers serial number
Year built
Manufacturers name


Cleaning, Painting, and Shipping Protection


Drying and Cleaning

After completion of the hydrostatic test, the vessel interior shall be completely
drained, thoroughly dried, and cleaned of foreign matter.


11.2.1 All required coatings shall be as indicated in the Design Data information.
Only surfaces that are required by the Design Data information to be painted
and that will be inaccessible after assembly (e.g., mating surfaces between
lap-joint flanges and associated nozzle necks, shells, lap rings, or stub ends,
bolt holes, and welded joints) shall be painted prior to assembly and
hydrostatic testing. Otherwise, all painting shall be performed after
hydrostatic tests.
11.2.2 All PWHT vessels shall have the following notice painted on two sides of the
shell and insulation covering, if present, in 3-inch (75 mm) high letters
visible in the shipping position from grade:

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Process Industry Practices

September 2007

Specification for Small Pressure Vessels and
Heat Exchangers with Limited Design Conditions

11.2.3 All vessels with nonmetallic linings shall have the following notice painted
on two sides of the shell and insulation covering, if present, in 3-inch (75
mm) high letters visible in the shipping position from grade:

Protection of Machined Surfaces

11.3.1 All gasket seating, threaded, or other machined surfaces shall be protected
for shipment as follows: Assembled Joints - Bolted flanged joints, plugged couplings, and
other connections specified to be furnished with service covers
shall be shipped assembled, if practicable. Exposed Surfaces - For carbon and low-alloy steels, all exposed
machined or threaded surfaces shall be cleaned with solvent and
coated with temporary rust-preventative grease. The following
products are acceptable: Ashland Oil-Tectyl 858C, Sanchem
No-Ox-Id-A, Exxon-Beacon 325, Houghton-Rust Veto Heavy.
Other equivalent products are acceptable. Shipping covers shall be
furnished in accordance with Section 11.3.2.
11.3.2 All flange faces other than those furnished with permanent blinds shall be
covered with 1/2 inch (13 mm) thick wood or 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick steel
plate no smaller than the flange OD. These covers shall be secured with a
minimum 25% complement of carbon steel bolts, but no fewer than four
evenly spaced. All flange faces covered by permanent blinds or metal covers
shall be protected with a full face non-asbestos gasket between the cover and
the flange.
11.3.3 Welding stub ends shall be provided with bevel protectors.

Process Industry Practices

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Specification for Small Pressure Vessels and
Heat Exchangers with Limited Design Conditions

September 2007

Table 1 Specification Requirements for Each Class of Vessels

Vessel Class(1)
Maximum Size


Class A(2)(3)

Class B

Class C(4)

6 inches
(150 mm) ID

5 cu ft (0.14 cu m) in volume and

250 psig (1.7 MPa)
3 cu ft (0.08 cu m) in volume and
350 psig (2.4 MPa)
1.5 cu ft (0.04 cu m) in volume and
600 psig (4.1 MPa)
Straight-line interpolation is permitted

24 inches
(600 mm) OD

300 psig
(2 dMPa)

Maximum External Pressure

Maximum Temperature

300 psig
(2.1 MPa)

15 psi (100 kPa)(Full Vacuum)


650 F (343 C) (See Section 5.3 for additional limitations.)


Carbon Steel

Minus 20 F (Minus 29 C)

Copper, and
Copper Alloy

Minus 155 F (Minus 104 C)

Construction Standard


ASME Code Stamp

Not Required

ASME Code Section VIII, Division 1

U or UM Stamp Required


U Stamp

1. When the Vessel Specifications do not designate the Vessel Class, the Manufacturer shall select the Class that covers
all of the design parameters and minimum construction requirements included in the Vessel Specifications.
2. Plate coil type heat exchangers are included in this Class without size limitations.
3. See Section 1.2.3.
4. Filter presses and plate-and-frame, spiral-plate, and spiral-tube heat exchangers, without size limitations, are included in
this Class.
5. Carbon content shall not exceed 0.10% and thermal treatments are not performed (see Code Paragraph UHA-51).
6. See Sections 7.1, 7.2, and 7.3 for weld joint requirements.
7. Applicable requirements of the Standards of the Tubular Exchanger Manufacturers Association (TEMA), Class B, shall
also apply for custom-designed tubular heat exchangers. All hydrocarbon heat exchangers, however, shall meet TEMA
Class R standards. For Manufacturer's standard exchangers, requirements for compliance with TEMA Standards shall
be as specified in the Vessel Specifications.
8. Applicable requirements of API 660 may be used to supplement ASME and TEMA requirements if specified in the
Vessel Specification.

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Process Industry Practices