Improved ASME Calculations Enhance Safety and Reduce Cost for the Piping Industry
Many plant explosions and accidents are caused by corrosion or erosion issues or defects in material. Others are due to operational or maintenance problems. Improving analysis and verification will not eliminate these accidents, but the small increased cost associated with improved analysis and verification procedures outlined in this article will reduce overall plant risk associated with overload and stress while reducing cost associated with layout, changes, and unneeded complexity.
This is an interesting time in the evolution of the ASME B31 codes. Some of the recent changes in the approach to the B31 code’s calculation of Stress Intensification Factors (SIFs), flexibility factors (k-factors) and Sustained Stress Indices (SSIs) hold the potential to significantly impact the safety and economics of future piping designs.
Economic pressure exists today to design, build and operate facilities more quickly and at less cost. Meanwhile, the safety technologies and experience associated with design, construction and operation are usually slowly developed assets resulting in an increasing mismatch between our objectives and our capabilities.
Fortunately, rapidly developing technologies and advances in ASME guidance are keeping pace with many of the economic forces so that modern designers, owners and operators can achieve the cost-effectiveness required by markets, while simultaneously improving safety and quality.
The January 2017 article discusses how the current B31 code approach to bends is not yet addressed by B31J. However, Paulin Research Group’s FEATools in conjunction with Intergraph’s CAESAR II does address this issue.
Read the complete article from Tony Paulin, PE, president of Paulin Research Group.