Codes and Standards
What is a code? What is a standard? The earliest use of code is thought to have been developed for construction building ,sometime between 1955 B.C. and 1913 B.C., during the reign of King Hammurabi of Babylon. The code didn’t specify how to build a building - but laid out the consequences of not digging a well besides the building without safeguarding it. If someone fell in the well and gets killed, then the owner of the well or his child would be slain in retaliation.
Today’s codes are more elaborate, and less punitive. But like Hammurabi’s code, they express society’s will on a particular technical issue, specifying a desired outcome.
A code is a model, a set of rules, that knowledgeable people recommend for others to follow. It is not a law, but can be adopted into law.
A standard tends be a more detailed elaboration, the nuts and bolts of meeting a code.
One way of looking at the differences between codes and standards is that a code tells you what you need to do, and a standards tells you how to do it.
As noted in the definition for code, standards are frequently collected as reference information when codes are being prepared. It is common for sections of a local code to refer to nationally recognized standards. In many instances, entire sections of the standards are adopted into the code by reference, and then become legally enforceable.
Purpose of codes and standards
The fundamental need for codes and standards in design is based on two concepts.
1- Safety of life and property
2- Interchangeability & Compatibility.
Safety of life and property
The need for codes in the industry was not so apparent until the invention of Steam Engine.In 1698,Thomas Savery patented first steam engine,then afterwards numerous engines with improvements followed ,which led a revolution .A new beginning of industrialization began.
These early steam engines were using boilers which were designed with no specific code or standard requirements,inspection. These were the first pressure containing systems,the industries had to rely on acquired knowledge from expertise and experienced knowledge for safe operation.Their knowledge was inadequate and not safe as it was evidenced from the numerous explotions of the boilers.Refer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_boiler_explosions
Later individual companies formulates their own standards for safety and operation of the boiler design.But the legislations and the local government agencies were facing great difficulties in validating the inspection of boilers destined to go out of state use.
Henceforth the ASME was approached for the formation and regulation of the boiler code which at that time was a recognized engineering organization in USA.
Interchangeability & Compatibility.
When manufactured articles were made by artisans working individually, each item was unique and the craftsman made the parts to fit each other. When a replacement part was required, it had to be made specially to fit.
However, as the economy grew and large numbers of an item were required, the handcrafted method was grossly inefficient. Economies of scale dictated that parts should be as nearly identical as possible, and that a usable replacement part would be available in case it was needed. The key consideration was that the replacement part had to be interchangeable with the original one.
Standardization of parts within a particular manufacturing company to ensure interchangeability is only one part of the industrial production problem. The other part is compatibility. What happens when parts from one company, working to their standards, have to be combined with parts from another company, working to their standards? Will parts from company A fit with parts from company B? Yes, but only if the parts are compatible. In other words, the standards of the two companies must be the same.
Codes for Piping Systems.
For Piping Systems proper selection of of Material of Construction along with Specifications, Adherence to Codes and Standards is essential. Standardization reduces cost, confusion and inconvenience. Standards are published by Professional Societies, Committees and Trade Organizations. It is also accepted by Governments. The main objective is to have Standardization and Safety.
Codes and Standards, besides being regulations, might also be considered as Design Aids since they provide guidance from experts.
Earliest use of pressure piping codes dates back to be used in boiler construction and manufacturing beacuse of many boiler explotion resulted to to unsafe design and absence of any specific codes & standards as such.Henceforth the first set of guidelines to be published ,were for boilers specifically and named as Boiler Code accordingly.
On February 15, 1915, SECTION 1, POWER BOILERS, the first ASME boiler code, was submitted to council for ASME approval. Other code sections followed during the next eleven years were:
The history of the B31 Code
The history of the B31 Code is began during the same era when steam engines were extensively used which led to industralization.The code for Pressure Piping has emerged much the same way as the pressure vessel code. To meet the need for a national pressure piping code, the American Standards Association (ASA) initiated PROJECT B31 in March 1926, at the request of ASME and with ASME being the sole sponsor. Because of the wide field involved, Section Committee B31 comprised some forty different engineering societies,industries, government bureaus, institutions, and trade associations. The first edition of the B31 Code was published in 1935 as the American Tentative Standard Code for Pressure Piping.To keep the Code current with developments in piping design and all related disciplines, revisions,supplements, and new editions of the Code were published as follows: ASA (forerunner of ANSI) initiated project B31 to develop a pressure piping Code. The resulting document, "American Tentative Standard Code for Pressure Piping, ASA B31.1 was issued in 1935.
During the developement of the code the main objective was the protection of general welfare and the establishment of a government agency. The purpose of codes is to assist that government agency in meeting its obligation to protect the general welfare of the population it serves. The objectives of codes are to prevent damage to property and injury to or loss of life by persons. These objectives are accomplished by applying accumulated knowledge to the avoidance, reduction, or elimination of definable hazards.
As soon as a designer has been able to establish a solid definition of the problem at hand, and to formulate a promising solution to it, the next logical step is to begin the collection of available reference materials such as codes and standards. This is a key part of the background phase of the design effort. Awareness of the existence and applicability of codes and standards is a major responsibility of the designer.
One of the designer’s responsibilities in the background phase is to make certain that the collection of reference codes and standards is both complete and comprehensive. Considering the enormous amount of information available, and the ease of access to it, this can be a formidable task. However, a designer’s failure to acquire a complete and comprehensive collection of applicable standards is ill advised in today’s litigious environment. In addition, failure of the designer to meet the requirements set forth in the standards can be considered professional malpractice.
Designer here is referred to any person who is assigned to design the piping system ,meeting the minimum qualification and experience as adviced by the corresponding code
The most populer and comprehensive set of codes and standards used around the globe in mechanical design and construction are the ASME codes & standards.ASME is a not-for-profit professional organization.
Founded in 1880 as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME is a not-for-profit professional organization that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing and skill development across all engineering disciplines, while promoting the vital role of the engineer in society.
The organization’s stated vision is to be the premier organization for promoting the art, science and practice of mechanical and multidisciplinary engineering and allied sciences to the diverse communities throughout the world.
Its stated mission is to promote and enhance the technical competency and professional well-being of its members, and through quality programs and activities in mechanical engineering, better enable its practitioners to contribute to the well-being of humankind. As of 2006, the ASME has 120,000 members.
Core values include: