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Pressure Vessel Fabrication as per ASME (BPVC) Section VIII


A pressure vessel is a contained unit where pressure acts from inside or outside the enclosed volume. Pressure vessels & boilers are extensively utilized in industries such as oil & gas, chemicals, petrochemicals, distillation towers, refineries, nuclear, pharmaceutical, natural gas storage systems, and hot water storage tanks, etc. However, due to the constant subjection to pressure and temperature fluctuations, it is very critical to prioritize safety in pressure vessel manufacturing.

Owing to their various usage across diverse industries it is crucial that pressure vessel fabrication, design should & testing procedures are regulated by a few legislation standards like ASME, BS, and API. 

In this paper, we would understand the Importance of (BPVC) Boiler and Pressure Vessel design Code from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Section VIII Division I, and its contribution to the safety of pressure vessel manufacturing.

Pressure Vessel Fabrication Process

Pressure vessels are widely used in both private and industrial sectors, the diverse use requires various types of steel being used, e.g. stainless steel, carbon steel, carbon manganese steel, etc. Pressure vessel fabrication is a detailed process that involves accurate cutting, molding, welding, and assembling of metals for vessel fabrication. Before the fabrication process begins some important design actions should be taken care of which involve:

  • Design Concept – Define the scope of the project with all the technical specifications. Specify the shape, size & dimensions of the vessel. Pressure vessel fabricators will also choose the material of components required for manufacturing as per the intended purpose.
  • Stress & Strain Analysis – Mechanical calculations should be performed to determine the strength of the material that is to be used in pressure vessel fabrication. 
  • Fabrication Drawings – Generate Fabrication Drawings or Assembly Drawings which consist of material parts, manufacturing standards, viewing sections, welding / bolting information, and specific instructions and serve as a guide for perfect execution of the fabrication process.

Building Materials that are used for fabrication generally comprise plates, pipes, forgings, structural shapes, welding rods or wire, etc. These components are molded and forged of the raw material as per the specified vessel requirements, followed by the machining of some parts if required. The welded components of the pressure vessel are assembled and followed by cooling and sandblasting before applying primer and paint.


ASME Codes and Their Impact on Pressure Vessel and Boiler Manufacturing

About ASME 

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), a non-profit professional association that was established in 1880, is dedicated to fostering collaboration, knowledge exchange, and skill development among all engineering specialties. For the advancement of technical knowledge and a safer world, ASME codes and standards, publications, conferences, continuing education, and professional development programs serve as a basis. In 2020, ASME established the holding company, Global Knowledge Solutions LLC, and the International Society of Interdisciplinary Engineers (ISIE) LLC, a new for-profit subsidiary to house business ventures that will introduce cutting-edge goods, services, and technologies to the engineering community. 

In order to expedite the engineering community’s digital transformation, ASME established a second for-profit subsidiary in 2021 called Metrix Connect LLC. This company serves as the official agent for media items bearing the Mechanical Engineering trademark. 


The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) provides a set of standards and codes that regulate the design and construction of boilers and pressure vessels called the ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC).  

The document is written and updated by volunteers who were hand-picked for their technical proficiency. The ASME serves as an accreditation authority and grants permission to unbiased outsiders (such as verification, testing, and certification organizations) to examine and verify compliance with the BPVC. 

(BPVC) The boiler and Pressure Vessel design Code from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) is precisely intended to guide mechanical engineers in the design, construction, and maintenance of pressure vessels. BPVC outlines industry standards and codes for crucial design specifications such as secure operating pressure, temperature & heat issues, safety parameters, corrosion reduction, and crash modes.

The ASME Section VIII is divided into three divisions, each division defines the standard terms and specifications required for pressure vessel manufacturing.

1. DIVISION I – Division I mainly includes appendixes, some mandatory and some non-mandatory, that detail additional design guidelines, nondestructive analysis techniques, and review approval standards for pressure vessels. It also contains rules that apply to the use of the single ASME certification mark with the U, UM, and UV designators. This division is further divided into three subsections, as below:

  • Subsection A – States all describes all customary requirements regarding construction materials to be used, designs, openings and pillars, markings and reports, overpressure protection, temperature stabilization, etc.
  • Subsection B – Principally includes all specifications associated with pressure vessel manufacturing. This subsection also includes distinct recommendations for ASME vessel fabrication techniques such as welding, forging, and brazing. So that we can get a clear idea of the materials to be used, fabrication sequence, design, inspection, and other factors to be followed while applying any of these techniques.
  • Subsection C – This subsection specifically points to the properties of materials used for pressure vessel manufacturing. This subsection covers all the obligatory specifications to be followed when building a pressure vessel from typical materials like low alloy and carbon steels, high alloy steels, cast iron or non-ferrous metals, etc.

2. DIVISION 2 – This division includes all obligatory requirements regarding the design, fabrication, engineering, and testing of pressure vessels, which require to endure internal or external pressure. This division also contains requirements for the materials used, design, and nondestructive examination procedures for pressure vessels. Compared to Division 1, Division 2’s standards are far more meticulous but allow for higher stress intensity values. The rules put forth in Division 2 can also apply to human occupancy pressure vessels, primarily in the diving industry. Like Division 1, Division 2 contains guidelines that apply to the use of the single ASME certification mark as it applies to the U2 and UV designators.

3. DIVISION 3 – Division 3 administers rules for pressure vessels that operate at pressures, either internal or external, exceeding 10,000 psi. Division 3 does not establish maximum pressure limits for either of the preceding Section VIII divisions nor does it establish a minimum pressure limit for itself. Like the previous two divisions, it also provides rules that prescribe the use of the single ASME certification mark with the U3 and UV3 designator.

Why Should You Consider ASME Pressure Vessels for Your Facility

  • SAFETY – Compliance with ASME Code ensures that the pressure vessels are manufactured by meeting stringent criteria and quality guidelines. ASME’s Code comprehensively addresses the issues encountered while the fabrication of a pressure vessel in its 12 sections and regulates the entire process for the production of safe and efficient pressure vessels.
  • QUALITY – Quality delivers Safety. ASME’s regulatory codes help to enhance the security, safety, and operational competencies of pressure vessels. An ASME complaint pressure not only validates the quality and efficiency of the equipment but also contributes to environmental sustenance.
  • HOMOGENEOUS – These are standardized codes and regulations which are accepted and followed globally therefore the ASME code enables consistency across international markets and industries.


INDOVANCE Inc specializes in delivering ASME’s BPVC complaint boilers, pressure vessels, and tank design and drafting services to global clients since 2003. Having successfully produced & delivered mechanical designs and fabrication drawings for several types of pressure vessels across various projects and industries, TEAM INDOVANCE is experienced, skilled, and well-versed with the ASME’s standards and multiple codes. INDOVANCE recognizes and understands critical safety hazards associated with pressure vessel design. We are a process-driven ISO 9001:2015 certified delivery center and are committed to delivering accurate, high-quality, and safe design solutions. 

INDOVANCE Inc  with its exclusive delivery hub in India is a global CAD technology partner serving the needs of the AEC industry since 2003. At INDOVANCE we focus on the unique need of each project or client and believe in addressing the real challenges and guarantee that the process will be well-coordinated, smooth, efficient, and hassle-free.  

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