August 13, 2018
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has responded to stakeholder concerns about the recent vote to change the scope of Divisions I & II of Section VIII of the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC) by removing exclusions for pressure vessels less than 6” in diameter and water vessels designed for less than 210°F and 300 psi following a Town Hall meeting held August 2, 2018.
Stakeholders attending the meeting presented a number of concerns about the potential impacts of the change including that the scope changes were not supported by technical justifications, that there was no safety benefit to consumers, and that it would exorbitantly increase costs to manufacturers and consumers.
ASME Task Group leader Dr. Mark D. Lower, staff member at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), explained that the scope change has been under consideration for some time because (1) the exclusions are historical – dating back to 1934 – and no one can identify the original reason for them; and (2) ASME gets multiple inquiries about whether certain pressure vessels are covered by the BPVC, and the general response to all inquiries is that the application of the BPVC ultimately lies with the jurisdiction with authority. Dr. Lower reiterated on multiple occasions that ASME cannot require the stamp, and only the state or local authority can require and enforce an ASME stamp.
The next step is for ASME to re-ballot the issue to the Section VIII Committee for either re-affirmation or rejection, although a timeline is not yet available. Presentations and statements from the Town Hall meeting will be included in the re-ballot packet. Stakeholders are encouraged to send their statements on the issue to , Secretary of the Section VIII Committee.