ASME B31.3 is an international piping code for process piping.

Most of us are familiar about the purpose of ASME B31.3, but not familiar about how it was formed?.

The piping design engineers generally refer ASME B31.3 atleast once in day or a week, to verify certain requirements of piping to conclude on design requirements.

Apparently, ASME B31.3 is the mother tongue for the Piping Design Engineers.


Lets understand the background of ASME B31.3,

ASME B31.3 is the international piping code published under the B31 Committee. B31  is a committee organized and administrated by ASME ( America society of mechanical engineers) to collaborate, serve and meet the engineering requirements of various process industries. The International Piping codes for many other services are also brought under B31 committee as part of standardization of piping codes under one group. 


In 1967 – 1969, the American standards Association, became the United states of Americas Standard Institute and later named as American National Standards Institute(ANSI). Then the Piping codes were designated after ANSI as ANSI B31.3. Even the standard committee which is now known as B31 committee was also named as American National Standard committee B31.

In 1978, to bring certain structure to the codes, B31 committee was re-organized as a committee operating under ASME procedures with ANSI accreditation, to work for the demand of engineering requirements and to make a continuous effort to improvise piping codes. It was then name as ASME Code for pressure piping B31, in 1978.

Currently, B31 Code became the code for pressure piping, developed by American Society of Mechanical Engineers – ASME, covers Power Piping, Fuel Gas Piping, Process Piping, Pipeline Transportation Systems for Liquid Hydrocarbons and Other Liquids, Refrigeration Piping and Heat Transfer Components and Building Services Piping. 

 ASME B31, includes the list of following piping codes:

B31.1 – Power Piping

B31.2 – Fuel Gas Piping

B31.3 – Process Piping

B31.4 – Pipeline Transportation Systems for Liquid Hydrocarbons and Other Liquids

B31.5 – Refrigeration Piping and Heat Transfer Components

B31.8 – Gas Transmission and Distribution Piping Systems

B31.8S – Managing System Integrity of Gas Pipelines

B31.9 – Building Services Piping

B31.11 – Slurry Transportation Piping Systems

B31.12 – Hydrogen Piping and Pipelines

B31G – Manual for Determining Remaining Strength of Corroded Pipelines

Lets see a quick look back about ASME B31.3,

It was all started when Americal Standard Association, initiated a Project named “B31” in March 1926, on the request of ASME, to establish a certain guidelines for pressure piping in various process industries.

·         The first issue was published in 1935, as the American Tentative Standard Code for Pressure Piping.

·         The revisions of the first issue was published from 1942 to 1955 as America Standard code for Pressure piping ASA B31.1

·         To distinguish between the technical requirements of different types of piping, it was then decided to issue separate codes for various industries.

·         In 1959, the first petroleum refinery piping code section was designated as ASA B31.3 -1959.

·         But it does not call out the requirements of other process industries which are equivalent to petroleum refinery sectors.

·         It was then decided to bring most of the piping requirements under ASME B31.3, to have one guidelines for a similar applications in different industries.

·         Over the period of time, many such industrial requirements were added, such as chemical plant piping, non-metallic pipings, cryogenic piping, high pressure piping, high purity piping in to ASME B31.3.

·         In order to represent the application of codes to majority of pressure piping, the title of the code was changed to ASME B31.3 Process piping, in 1996 Edition.

·         This is not an end of change, ASME B31.3 goes out to a continuous revisions year on year, to capture the need of best industrial practices.

·         This is one of the reason to refer the “Latest edition of ASME B31.3”for any piping engineering activities.

The Latest edition of ASME B31.3 WAS 2018 Version.


Subash Chandran

Hi, I'm Subash Chandran, an aspiring piping design engineer with 15 years of experience and obsessed with piping design. This site is dedicated to educate the aspiring piping design engineers like me, to help them understand the knowledge required to work in live-projects. I will keep posting more contents about piping design and wish to build this platform to be useful for all engineers who wants to pursue piping design engineering.

44 comments on “A Short History of ASME B 31.3

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