Piping Material Specification is a key input to start piping design engineering, which is commonly referred either as PMS, Piping Spec, and Piping Class in the industries. However, all the names represent the same document.

It is a document which list out all the materials required to construct a piping system,

Such as Pipes, Fittings and Valves etc.

Process plant consists of various services which includes

1) Hydrocarbon

2) Chemicals

3) Steam

4) Potable water

5) Instrument Air

6) and Nitrogen  etc. for the requirement of Operation.

Each services is allocated with an individual piping class, based on the material expert recommendations. Hence the piping class, used for one service shall not be used for other services, as an unauthenticated use of piping class in a service may lead to severe damages for human lives and also for infrastructures.

For eg. In the above Picture, individual piping class has been allocated for services such as A, B, and C. 

The allocated piping class for all 3 services was technically evaluated to for the suitability of fluid properties. Hence, the piping class of other services such as B and C shall not suit for service A, as it was not technically evaluated with the fluid properties.

It may suit or may not, however as long as it was not technically compared or analyzed, it is deemed as an unsuitable piping class.

Hence , piping class of one service shall not be used for other services.

Document name of piping class, varies with companies and owner of the document. Most engineering companies, has their own standards and methods to categorize the piping class with respect to fluid or services.

In general, it is named either with Alphabets or with Numbers. At some case both numbers and alphabets are also used.

Selection of Piping class:

A piping class for a particular service is prepared based on the factors listed below:

1) Temperature and Pressure

2) Corrosive nature of fluid

3) Toxicity of fluid

4) Flammability of fluid

5) Joint types and

6) Corrosion allowance etc.


Above picture shows the fundamental structure of piping class. The 6 areas shown in the above picture are the standard element found in all piping class irrespective of country, company, and owners.

1) PT Rating 

It is nothing but a maximum and a minimum range of Pressure and temperature designed for a particular service. The materials used in a service never operate beyond the range indicate in the PT rating.

2) Corrosion allowance:

Allowance to increase the thickness of the pipes incase of corrosion.


3) Branch Table

It shows the type of fittings to be used for taking branches. Different size of branches has different types of fitting. Like smaller size calls for sockolets and bigger size calls for weldolets. However, the type of branch fitting is generally selected from Branch table shown below.

4) Piping Components:

Piping class list out all piping components such as pipes, elbow, tee, reducers, valves, gasket and bolts.

Includes below information’s:

      1) Size

      2) Material Standards

      3) Material descriptions

Refer below picture,

5) Special Assemblies:

The requirements of assemblies used for Vents, drains and instrument connections are also given in the piping class. While preparing a piping layout, design engineer should refer the Piping class and make sure that the design complies with PMS.

6) General Notes:

This chapter of PMS, gives a reference to all the miscellaneous items associated with the piping system such as 

– Welding and weld preparation

– RF pad

– Testing requirements

– Painting requirements

– Insulation requirements.


I hope the above information is helpful for beginners to learn more about Piping material specification.



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.


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