ASME Standards

RecASME Standard

Everything You Need to Know About ASME Standards and Certifications

The acronym ASME Standards stands for, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.  This fellowship develops codes and standards for nearly everything and anything to do with mechanical engineering. The association may also be described as an organization that promotes research and development.  In addition, it is also known as the organization of accepted engineering standards.

Founded in 1880 by several gentlemen with vested interests in boiler pressure vessels, the ASME today boasts over 130, 000 members spread out over 158 countries.  The Industry was rapidly expanding in different directions and innovation was hard-pressed to keep up with demand.

Alexander Holley, Henry Worthington, John Sweet, and Matthias Forney called the first meeting.  It was held in New York, out of a need to standardize boilers and similar equipment, as boiler explosions were becoming increasingly frequent.

However, there were no codes in place for the construction of boilers at this time anywhere in the United States, and ASME‘s recommendations were largely ignored.  Moreover, in 1905, when what came to be called the Grover Shoe Factory Disaster killed over 50 men, and wounded over 100 more, the need for standards became obvious.  Afterwards, in 1908, the state of Massachusetts established the Board of Boiler Rules.

The ASME Today

ASME, which stands for The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, provides various standards and codes that are internationally recognized for the design, manufacturing, testing, and maintenance of different types of mechanical systems.  These can be broadly split up into the following categories:

ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC)

This is the standard for the design, fabrication, and inspection of boilers and pressure vessels.  Also, from oil refineries to nuclear reactors, all come under the umbrella of this code.

ASME B31 Code for Pressure Piping

These codes outline the requirements for the design, fabrication, assembly, testing, and inspection of piping systems typically found in electric power plants, industrial institutions, and commercial buildings.

ASME Standards for Performance Test Codes (PTC)

These provide rules and procedures for planning, preparing, executing, and reporting performance tests.

ASME Standards for Fasteners (B1 – B99)

This code gives specifications for the manufacture, finish, and dimensions of threaded components such as bolts, screws, and nuts.

ASME B20.1-2018 Safety Standard for Conveyors and Related Equipment

This applies to the design, construction, installation, maintenance, inspection, and operation of conveyors and conveying systems.  Moreover, keep in mind, that each of these broad categories has many more detailed specifications under them.  However, it would not be possible to summarize them all here.  For a more detailed understanding, it’s recommended to directly refer to the ASME code book or their official website.  Please note that specific applications may require certain codes to ensure safe and efficient operation in their respective environments.

To this day, the ASME’s Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC), established in 1915, is the standard for almost anything fabricated of metal and subjected to high pressures, including piping, valves, valve flanges, fittings, and gaskets.  There are at this time over 600 printed recommendations including everything from valves to nuclear power plants.  The ASME develops and revises codes and certification recommendations constantly, seeking to both keep workers and the public safe and to keep abreast of technology.

ASME Recommendations

Open to public review and criticism, the ASME’s findings and recommendations are based on changing market needs.  It is also the opinions of subject matter experts and members of the public.  This who may review and comment on any decisions made by the society.

Just about any valve purchased in the United States has been milled and/or fabricated to ASME standards.  Without ASME certification, a valve’s integrity is anybody’s guess.   Also, of the most common standards involving valves, the ASME B16.34 is probably the most recognized.  This stamp certifies a valve meets the standards set concerning pressure and temperature ratings.

It also be used for dimensions for the following types of valves: flanged, wafer, threaded, or welded end.  It also can be used in all configurations, whether they be cast, forged, or fabricated.  This certification informs you or the engineer or technician purchasing valves that these conform to ASME recommendations.  It will also inform you that they have been considered legal, and the best choice for performance and safety.

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