ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC)

Last update: Jan 16, 2017

The ASME International Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC) is a code published by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) which establishes safety rules and guidelines that apply to the design, fabrication, and inspection of boilers, pressure vessels, and nuclear power plant components during construction. The document consists of 11 sections and 15 subsections, each covering a different topic relating to boilers and pressure vessels. The code has been adopted, in part or in whole, by every state in the United States and every province in Canada, along with several of the United States’ municipalities and territories.

The ASME International Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code first began development in 1911 with the formation of the ASME Boiler Code Committee and was issued for the first time in 1914 and published for the first time in 1915. It was developed as a reaction to the outrage stemming from two shoe factories in Brockton and Lynn, Massachusetts in 1905 and 1906. It has grown extensively since then to encompass 28 books and several thousands of pages of materials.

The code covers an incredibly diverse range of topics including rules for the construction of both heating and power boilers, and the materials, both ferrous and nonferrous, that can be used for the same. It covers how to properly operate and care for both power and heating boilers and how to perform nondestructive examination (NDE) on them properly. It also discusses the construction of pressure vessels, including high, and fiber-reinforced plastic, pressure vessels, and the rules surrounding those as well. It talks about brazing and welding qualifications and the construction and service of transport tanks. Finally, it talks at length about the construction and inspection of components at a nuclear facility.

 

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