ASME Code Pressure Vessel Design

ASME codes are used for pressurized equipment – vessels, piping and fittings – in North America and many other countries. ASME codes cover the design, construction, maintenance and alteration of pressurized equipment. Most commonly used ASME codes are:

  • VIII-1 for vessels, towers and exchangers
  • I and IV for boilers and hot water heaters
  • B31.1, B31.3 and B31.5 for piping systems
  • B31.3 is also used for many fittings

These are design by rules codes which provide formula methods that work if the design falls clearly within the scope of the code.

For more complex or unusual designs, ASME VIII-2 rules based on design by analysis is used in conjunction with Finite Element Analysis (FEA) tools. This is discussed in the FEA Stress Analysis section.

ASME Samples

These are our most popular samples – from a companies first audit vessel, simple vertical and horizontal vessels, to a more complex heat exchanger. Design calculations and shop floor drawings are discussed. More samples can be found in the ASME Blog.

ASME Articles

Our most popular articles. Why is it harder to design a vessel for external (vacuum) pressure than internal pressure? When do design by rules need to be replaced by Finite Element Analysis (FEA) for reliability – in this case for an obround nozzle? How wind and seismic loads affect the shell thickness of a tower, and how to choose between different head types. More articles can be found in the ASME Blog.


This blog has more samples and articles, design guides and discussions related to ASME codes.

ASME Code Design at PVEng

We work to many ASME standards to design and validate pressure vessels, boiler, fittings and piping systems. We have experience designing thousands of vessels and fittings to multiple codes.

  • Pressure vessel design to ASME VIII-1 and VIII-2
  • Hot water heaters and boilers to ASME I and IV
  • Piping to B31.1, B31.3, B31.5 and others
  • Burst testing to multiple codes

We use Compress, PV Elite, Design Calcs, Nozzle Pro and our own in-house software.

Other Services

Finite Element Analysis (FEA) – We use FEA to design and validate fittings and vessels that cannot be designed by rule-based codes like VIII-1 or B31.3.

Pipe Stress Analysis – Pipe stress analysis is mandatory for British Columbia registration and it is recommended practice for many other systems.

Canadian Registration Number (CRN)We are Canada’s largest independent registrar of fittings, vessels and piping under the CRN program registering for more than a thousand customers.

About Us

Pressure Vessel Engineering has twenty years of successful experience in the pressure vessel field working for more than a thousand customers.

  • Ten Professional Engineers on staff licensed to stamp and sign off on designs for use in all Canadian jurisdictions.
  • Fast and professional assistance from our team.

Need help? Our contact information is to the right.