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3D metal printing and the ASME code

3D metal printing and the ASME code

3D metal printing and the ASME code


I was just wondering if anyone has any experience with using 3D metal printed parts in ASME B31.3 or Section VIII Division 1 work? Are there any special requirements regarding qualifying the material and allowable stress values? I'm trying to find any information but can't seem to find any.

RE: 3D metal printing and the ASME code

I looked into this a while back, and also couldn't find any information. I think that ASME needs to be proactive on this, as it is just a matter of time before this technology hits the mainstream market (it's already happening in aerospace). I don't think it will make sense for entire vessels (at least in the short term), but I'm thinking there could be a place for it when it comes to smaller components.

The question is how do you qualify the material. I know with some of the 3D printed plastic materials, there can be marked differences in material strength in different directions depending on how the layers are deposited (comparable to lamination). How would this be handled in ASME? Would the material be compared to a casting with the strength defined by the lowest strength direction? Would the output of the machine have to be mechanically tested on a regular basis to ensure consistent properties over time; or taken a little further, would every print have to have a run-off of some sort that would need to be sent for mechanical testing?

I remember talking to an AI a while back when it came to a weld repair and he stated that "we don't want to be building a vessel out of weld metal" (long story here). Well, some of the 3D printing technologies for metals look an awful lot like welding machines, I wonder how this will be perceived.

Anyway, I am also very interested to see how this technology is adopted.

RE: 3D metal printing and the ASME code

It would have to come before any committee in the form of a code case. I recently worked on a Grade 91 code case using powdered metal (PM) technology for valve bodies. It passed as a code case.

RE: 3D metal printing and the ASME code

There is high-level work being done through the ASME Board on Pressure Technology Codes and Standards on Additive Manufacturing (AM) - the official name for 3D-printing. Such issues as ensuring consistent materials properties, dimensioning and tolerances, and other issues all need to be addressed. Did you know that in general, AM materials are less dense than their equivalent cast or forged materials? Are the AM methods sufficiently consistent to ensure isotropic behavior, or does anisotrophy have to be considered? So many questions right now without a lot of answers.

However, be assured that at the highest levels (I was talking last week with both the current and immediate past President of ASME), there is a concerted effort to understand the impact of AM and pressure technology. If anyone has a specific interest in this topic, may I suggest that you get involved. (If anyone has a specific interest to be involved as a volunteer in this topic and doesn't know where to start in the vast world that is ASME, please click on my name, and my contact information will be there. I will try to hook you up with the appropriate people.)

RE: 3D metal printing and the ASME code


Do you have the code case number or a pdf copy of it? Was it for B31.1?


I will send you an email to hopefully get in contact with the right people!

RE: 3D metal printing and the ASME code

It was for BPV I, Code Case is 2770.

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