FAQs - Boilers and Pressure Vessels

These Technical Questions and Responses have been collected by ABSA Design Survey and have value to prospective submitters for clarification on processes, general policies, and some specific scenarios for design submissions. The following Technical Questions and Responses are related to Vessel registration requirements.

1. Questions regarding used pressure vessels requirements for registration
2. Questions regarding pneumatic actuators
3. Questions regarding heat exchangers
4. Questions regarding vessels with a vacuum design condition
5. Questions regarding comparisons between ABSA and other jurisdictions
6. Questions regarding non-ASME Code Boilers
7. Questions regarding non-expansible fluids in vessels
8. Questions regarding material test reports for vessel registration
9. Questions regarding code of construction edition and addenda for vessels
10. Questions regarding vessel repair
11. Questions regarding "UM" vessels
12. Questions regarding flanges to a vessel
13. Questions regarding vessels with a MAWP less than 103 kPag
14. Questions regarding the use of UCS-68(c)
15. Questions regarding vessel CRN expiration

1.  Questions regarding pressure vessels requirements for registration

1.Q1.  What are the requirements for registering a used pressure vessel being brought into Alberta?

1.R1.  All the information listed in the Pressure Equipment Safety Regulation (PESR), section 15, for any pressure vessel design submission must be submitted for the used vessel. If the original manufacturing drawings are not available, detailed as-built drawings must be prepared for submission. A suitable current condition report for the vessel verifying material thicknesses and addressing other modes of degradation to which the vessel might have been subjected must also be submitted. The Manufacturer’s Data Report, any applicable Manufacturers’ Partial Data Reports, and, if applicable, reports of any repairs or alterations, certified by an Authorized Inspector, are required.

1.Q2.  Is it permissible to bring into and operate a used pressure vessel that was manufactured of SA-212 Grade B steel? The vessel was not impact tested when it was manufactured.

1.R2.  A used pressure vessel made of SA-212 Grade B steel may be brought into and registered for operation in provided that its proposed design conditions meet the intent of the current ASME Pressure Vessel Code. Since the current Code requires a minimum design metal temperature (MDMT) for a pressure vessel, such an MDMT must be established for the used vessel using the current Code methodology. SA-212-B material would be considered a Curve A material for the purposes of Code paragraph UCS-66. Therefore, a maximum allowable working pressure (MAWP) that supports the MDMT without impact testing would have to be established. It is assumed that it is not feasible to impact test all the shell and head plates and weld joints to support an MDMT lower than that without impact testing.

2.  Questions regarding pneumatic actuators

2.Q1.  Is it required to register pneumatic actuators, such as are commonly used on control valves, as fittings?

2.R1.  Pneumatic actuators are exempt from registration because they are deemed to be a mechanical device that is exempt from the PESR per section 2(2)(j) of the Pressure Equipment Exemption Order (PEEO).

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3.  Questions regarding heat exchangers

3.Q1.  Is a new CRN required for a replacement tube bundle for a heat exchanger if the replacement is identical in all respects to the bundle it is replacing?

3.R1.  A new CRN is not required for a replacement-in-kind tube bundle. The new tube bundle shall be identified to the heat exchanger it goes into and shall be documented on an ABSA AB-40 Repair Report.

4.  Questions regarding vessels with a vacuum design condition

4.Q1. Does Alberta require vessel design registration for a vessel under full vacuum only, not internal pressure?

4.R1. Section 2(2)(d) of the PEEO stipulates that a pressure vessel that (i) is fully vented or that is operating with one or more pressure relief devices with a set pressure not exceeding 103 kilopascals and sized so that the pressure in the vessel cannot exceed 103 kilopascals, (ii) that is not a blow-off vessel for a boiler that forms part of a power plant, and (iii) that does not have a differential pressure on the pressure boundary exceeding 103 kilopascals is exempt from the PESR. Hence, provided that the vessel were protected from experiencing a working pressure exceeding 103 kilopascals, a vessel for vacuum service would not require registration of its design.

5.  Questions regarding comparisons between ABSA and other jurisdictions

5.Q1. It is understood that the Province of Saskatchewan does not require a boiler or pressure vessel design to be registered in Saskatchewan if the item is built and certified to a CRN in the province in which it is built or if it has an ASME Code Stamp and is registered with the National Board. For such cases, the Manufacturer’s Data Report must be filed with Saskatchewan and a fee paid. Will Alberta be taking the same approach?

5.R1. Alberta has no plans to eliminate the Alberta design registration process for any boilers or pressure vessels. The designs of all boilers and pressure vessels to be operated in Alberta must be registered in Alberta.

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6.  Questions regarding non-ASME Code boilers

6.Q1. Is it permitted to register non-ASME Code boiler or pressure vessel designs for use in Alberta?

6.R1. Yes, the PESR, AR 49/2006, section 23, provides for the registration of boilers or pressure vessels designed to alternative design codes or standards as follows:

“23 The Administrator may accept designs of pressure equipment that are not designed in accordance with the codes and standards declared in force by this Regulation submitted for registration under section 40 of the Act if, in the opinion of the Administrator, they are of an equivalent standard of safety as those codes and bodies of rules declared in force by this Regulation and they meet the requirements for registration.”

Please note that the design submission for registration needs to include technical justification why the codes and standards declared in force were not used for the proposed design. The proposed technical justification needs to be acceptable to the Administrator. In addition, the equivalency of the standard of safety must be demonstrated in the submission for registration.

7.  Questions regarding non-expansible fluids in vessels

7.Q1. A filter housing (pressure vessel) in a lubrication system operates at a pressure in excess of 103 kPa. The lubricating oil is a non-expansible fluid at its design temperature and the piping and filter housing operate liquid-full. Is it required to register the designs of the filter housing and the piping system?

7.R1. Registration of pressure vessels and piping is only required when the vessel or piping contains or conveys an expansible fluid at a pressure in excess of 103 kPa. Determination of whether the lubricating oil is expansible or not must be at the design temperature of the lubrication system, not at its normal operating temperature. Refer to the definitions of pressure vessel and pressure piping system in the PESR. The regulation only pertains to pressure vessels or pressure piping systems containing or conveying expansible fluids.

7.Q2. A pressurized vessel in non-expansible fluid service is exempt from the requirements of the Pressure Equipment Safety Regulation (PESR) because pressure vessels under that regulation are, by definition in the regulation, in expansible fluid service. Does a pressurized vessel in non-expansible fluid service, therefore, not require a CRN?

7.R2. Since design registration, designated by the issuance of a CRN, is a requirement of the PESR, an item that is exempt from the PESR does not require a CRN.

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8.  Questions regarding material test reports for vessel registration

8.Q1. Does ABSA require material test reports (MTR’s) for pipe and fittings used in the construction of boilers and pressure vessels?

8.R1. ABSA does not require that MTR’s be provided for pipe and fittings used in the construction of boilers or pressure vessels except for pipe used as the shell of a boiler or pressure vessel or pipe caps used as heads on a boiler or pressure vessel. Otherwise, the requirements of the code of construction with respect to the provision of MTR’s apply. Note that individual manufacturers’ quality management systems or purchase contracts may require that MTR’s be provided for more items than the code of construction or ABSA require.

8.Q2. Is it mandatory that material test reports (MTR’s) for components of ASME Code boilers or pressure vessels state that the material was produced to an ASME (SA or SB) specification, or is it acceptable for the MTR to show an ASTM (A or B) specification number?

8.R2. The Forewords to the various sections of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code state the following:

“All materials allowed by these various Sections and used for construction within the scope of their rules shall be furnished in accordance with material specifications contained in Section II or referenced in the Guidelines for Acceptable Editions in Section II, Parts A and B, except where otherwise provided in Code Cases or in the applicable Section of the Code. Materials covered by these specifications are acceptable for use in items covered by the Code Sections only to the degree indicated in the applicable Section. Materials for Code use should preferably be ordered, produced, and documented on this basis; Guidelines for Acceptable Editions in Section II, Part A and Guidelines for Acceptable Editions in Section II, Part B list editions of ASME and year dates of specifications that meet ASME requirements and which may be used in Code construction.” (emphasis added)

This means that, while one should be in the habit of ordering material to the appropriate ASME SA or SB specification number. However, if the material provided is only documented as meeting an ASTM A or B specification number of a specified edition date and that specification number and date are included in the Guidelines for Acceptable Editions in Section II, Part A or B, the material is acceptable for Code construction within the limitations of the Code of construction. See the second last paragraph of the Foreword to any Section of the Code for additional detail. The above comments apply equally to non-ASTM material specifications that have been incorporated into Section II under SA or SB specification numbers.

9.  Questions regarding code of construction edition and addenda for vessels

9.Q1. Is it permissible to construct an ASME Code boiler or pressure vessel to an edition and addenda of the Code that is earlier than the current mandatory edition if the boiler or pressure vessel was ordered when the earlier edition and addenda were mandatory?

9.R1. It is permissible to construct a boiler or pressure vessel to the edition and addenda of the Code that were mandatory when the item was ordered. The Foreword to the Code states “Revisions … become mandatory six months after such date of issuance, except for boilers or pressure vessels contracted for prior to the end of the six-month period.” Thus it is the contract date that establishes the applicable edition and addenda of the code of construction. It would be wise, however, to verify that the purchaser is agreeable to not using the latest Code.

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10.  vessel repair

10.Q1. Is it required for a manufacturer who is not the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to apply for a new CRN for a replacement part for a pressure vessel? The replacement part is to be identical to the OEM part.

10.R1. A replacement part that is of the same design and construction as the OEM part being replaced, i.e. a replacement-in-kind, does not require a new CRN. Note, however, that the replacement of a part of a pressure vessel is a repair and repairs must be documented on an AB-40 Repair or Alteration Report form.

10.Q2. Is it required to register all repair procedures through ABSA’s Design Survey Department?

10.R2. Not all repair procedures must be registered through Design Survey. Per section 40(3) of the PESR, “repairs … shall not be undertaken without the prior agreement of a safety codes officer.” If the safety codes officer is of the opinion that the repair procedure is complex enough to require the involvement of Design Survey, he or she will require the repair organization or the owner of the equipment to be repaired, as appropriate, to submit the procedure to Design Survey for registration.    Note: The above applies only to repair procedures; all alteration procedures must be registered through Design Survey.

11.  Questions regarding "UM" vessels

11.Q1. Is it required that a Code-stamped pressure vessel that falls within the parameters for miniature pressure vessels, as laid out in paragraph U-1(j) of ASME Section VIII, Division 1, be stamped with the “UM” Symbol?

11.R1. No, a Code-compliant pressure vessel that would qualify as a miniature pressure vessel in accordance with U-1(j) may be stamped with the “U” Symbol. The “UM” Symbol stamp is an option that a “U” Symbol stamp holder may apply for and use.

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12.  Questions regarding flanges to a vessel

12.Q1. A compressor has inlet and/or outlet bolted flange connections. In some cases the flanges supplied with the compressor for welding to the connecting piping or pulsation bottles are not standard ASME flanges, nor do they comply with the ASME flange design formulae for their rated pressure. May such non ASME Code flanges be welded to the registered connecting pressure piping or registered pulsation bottles? These flanges are essential to mate up with the compressor.

12.R2. Because the non-ASME flanges are essential for connecting pressure piping or pulsation bottles to the compressor but they do not satisfy either the pressure vessel or piping code, the flanges have been deemed to be a part of the compressor. They may be welded to the pulsation bottle or pressure piping, but the pressure vessel or piping design registration will terminate at the weld to the flange.

13.  Questions regarding vessels with a MAWP less than 103 kPag

13.Q1. May the design of a pressure vessel with an MAWP less than 103 kPa (15 psig) be registered for use in Alberta?

13.R1. The Pressure Equipment Exemption Order (PEEO), AR 56/2006, section 2(2)(d) exempts pressure vessels that are protected by one or more pressure relief devices set to open at a pressure not exceeding 103 kPa and sized so that the operating pressure cannot exceed 103 kPa, that is not a blowoff vessel for a boiler that forms part of a power plant, and that does not have a differential pressure across the pressure boundary exceeding 103 kPa. A pressure vessel meeting these criteria would not be registered.

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14.  Questions regarding the use of UCS-68(c)

14.Q1. A welded pressure vessel made of P-No. 1 Gr. No. 1 or 2 material has welded joints in the thickness range 1¼” > t ≤1½”. Per Note (2)(b) of Table UCS-56 in ASME Section VIII, Division 1, the Manufacturer elects to preheat the joints during welding to a temperature of at least 200 °F to avoid having to postweld heat treat the vessel. Subsequently it is decided to postweld heat treat the entire vessel according to the requirements of Table UCS-56. May the Manufacturer apply the 30°F reduction in the MDMT permitted by UCS-68(c) to this vessel?

14.R1. Alberta does not permit the application of the 30°F reduction in MDMT under the circumstances described in the question. That is to say that Interpretation VIII 1 01 19 is not permitted to be used for pressure vessels for use in Alberta.

15.  Questions regarding vessel CRN expiration

15.Q1. A pressure vessel or boiler design has been issued a CRN for Alberta. For how long is that CRN valid for new construction?

15.R1. If there had been no limitation assigned to the number of items that could be built to the CRN, the registered design remains usable for the manufacture of multiple copies of the pressure vessel or boiler until such time as something in the code of construction or in the Safety Codes Act or regulations changes to invalidate the design. For example, if the regulation were to be revised to require that all pressure vessels have hemispherical heads, all designs calling for other head forms would become invalid for construction after the date that regulation came into force.

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Updated Jan 31, 2012




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