What is ASME?
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) is a nonprofit professional organization which sets guidelines and standards for many industries.
The organization was established in 1880 to create better industry standards as pressure vessels and boilers were frequently failing in the early 19th century.
Pressure vessels are still one of the focuses of the ASME to this day, with many regulations set in place for the safety of workers and others.
The ASME continues to set standards for many relevant industries and other organizations. This includes everything from pressure vessels to nuclear components.
The foundational mission behind the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) was to establish industry-wide standards for the operation and identification of boilers and pressure vessels.
ASME’s Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC) was created to prevent the multitude of issues operators can face if the devices are not maintained properly.
One of the main components to ASME certification is marking the certified vessels with a metal nameplate. The plate contains information regarding the specific equipment, as well as a stamped certification symbol. This mark indicates the vessel is compliant with all relevant ASME standards.
Data plates are most commonly welded to boilers and pressure vessels to provide a very sturdy and permanent hold.
ASME guidelines sometimes work in conjunction with other industry standards. For example, wire rope and chain slings found at most construction sites are required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to include identification marking.
This guideline fits neatly alongside ASME/ANSI standards (B30.9). These standards incorporate a wide range of sling tag restrictions and best practices.
Pressure Relief Valves
These standards apply to pressure release valves must be marked with required information in a permanent form.
This can be marked directly on the valve, or on a durable nameplate. If nameplates are used, they are commonly attached via a chain or wire. In some cases, industrial grade adhesive backing is usable, depending on the size of the valve.
Information required on pressure valves includes:
- “Certified by” the manufacturer’s name
- Part Number
- Valve size, Pressure, flow capacity
- Year built
- ASME Certification Mark and Designator
Elevator Data Code Plates (ASME A17.1)
The ASME does not solely focus on one industry. Their guidelines impact many different types of engineering related safety applications.
In their A17.1 guidelines, the ASME lays out specific requirements for elevator safety. All elevators must be marked with a date code plate with current information regarding the lift.
This information is used primarily for inspections, but can also assist first responders in emergency situations.
Elevators are also commonly marked with other safety information such as capacity limitations or directions for passengers if an emergency occurs.
Marking Processes for ASME Plates
Etching uses a chemical process to create a slight indentation in a metal surface. This marking will provide several years of durability in most industrial environments.
The etched design can be filled in with color to provide a standout appearance, however this fill is much more susceptible to wear faster than the physical marking.
As ASME guidelines state, the ASME Certification Mark must be stamped onto the nameplate. The Certification Designator can be stamped or applied using other marking methods.
A custom stamp can be used to produce the overlay data plate design template. Hand stamps can then be used to embed the specific information for the specific machine/nameplate.
One of the most commonly used processes for ASME data plates, photo anodization is a fully customizable marking solution.
This process creates an incredibly durable design as the information is embedded between layers of aluminum material.
The finished plate is corrosion resistant, and will last upwards of 20 years outdoors.
Photo anodization is fully custom, and can include any type of information. If the specific vessel data is known ahead of time, it can be included. If not, blank spaces are typically added for later marking.
Since any design can be produced, photo anodized data plates can also include the ASME Certification Designator if applicable. However, the Certification mark must still be stamped in manually.
While it may seem like ASME guidelines are a hassle, they are extremely beneficial to organizations.
Data plates provide added clarity for both operators and inspectors as they perform their work. ASME tags also serve to maintain a safe work environment, no matter the industry or application.