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How is ASME B31.3 Developed and Maintained

ASME B31.3 is a consensus document. It is written by a Committee intended to be made up of a balanced representation from a variety of interests. These include members with the following perspectives:

  • Manufacturer (AK)

  • User (AW)

  • Designer/Constructor (AC)

  • Regulatory (AT)

  • Insurance Inspection (AH)

  • General Interest (AF)

The members of the Committee are not intended to be representatives of specific organizations; their membership is considered based on the qualifications of the individuals and the desire for a balanced rep-resentation of various interest groups. ASME B31.3 is written as a consensus code and is intended to reflect industry practice. This differs from a regulatory approach, in which rules may be written by a government body. Changes to the Code are prepared by the B31.3 Section Committee. Within the Section Committee, responsibility for specific portions of the Code are split among the following Subgroups:

  • SG-A, General Requirements: Chapters I, II (Parts 3 and 4), IV, and VIII Appendices G, M, and Q Coordination of Appendices E and F Technical Oversight of Code.

  • SG-B, Design: Chapter II (Parts 1,2, 5, and 6) Appendices D, H, V, and X

  • SG-C, Edit:

  • SG-D, Materials: Chapters II (302.3.1 through 302.3.4 only) and III Appendices A and C (metals only)

  • SG-E, Fabrication, Examination and Testing: Chapters V and VI

  • SG-F, Non-Metallic Piping: Chapter VII Appendices B and C (nonmetals only)

  • SG-G, High Pressure Piping: Chapter IX, Appendix K

  • SG-H, Ultra-High Purity Systems: Future Chapter X

An International Review Group (IRG) was formed in 2007 to facilitate participation of interested parties outside of the USA. The purpose of the group is to provide a direct means of technical input into the development of ASME B31.3 rules so that the Code reflects an ever more global perspective. To make a change to the Code, the responsible Task Group prepares the change and sends out a letter ballot for the Section Committee as a whole to vote on the change. Anyone who votes against the change, i.e., votes negatively, must state their reason for doing so, which is sent to the entire Section Committee. The responsible Task Group usually makes an effort to resolve any negatives. In fact, it is rare for any change to go forward with more than a couple of negative votes out of a Section Committee that consists of 50 or more individuals. Only two-thirds approval is required for the change to move forward to the next level of approval, the B31 Standards Committee. Any changes to the Code are forwarded to the B31 Standards Committee along with the written reasons for any negative votes and the Section Committee responses to those negatives. In this fashion, the Standards Committee is given the opportunity to see any opposing viewpoints. If anyone on the B31 Standards Committee votes negatively on a change on first consideration, the item is returned to the Section Committee with written reasons for the negative vote. The Section Committee must consider and respond to any negatives, either by withdrawing or modifying the proposed change or by providing explanations that respond to the negative. If the item is returned to the Standards Committee for second consideration, it requires a two-thirds approval to pass. Once an item is passed by the Standards Committee, it is forwarded to the Board on Pressure Technology Codes and Standards. The Board is the final level at which the item is voted on within ASME. Again, any negative vote at this level returns the item to the Section Committee and a second consideration requires two-thirds approval to pass. Although the Board on Pressure Technology Codes and Standards reports to the Council on Codes and Standards, the Council does not vote on changes to the Code. The final step is a public review process. The availability of drafts is announced in two publications, ANSI Standards Action and ASME Mechanical Engineering. Any comments from the public are considered by the Section Committee. These procedures provide for careful consideration and public review of any proposed change to the Code. #Little_PEng

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