Pharmaceutical Industry Pipe Tables

The pharmaceutical industry in the United States is rapidly expanding in order to accommodate the need for new pharmaceutical products approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).  In order to be approved by the FDA, the production facilities making these new products must be designed, built and commissioned to meet stringent criteria necessary to validate the process.  As such, the quality of the parts and construction of pharmaceutical piping systems has become increasingly important.  In 1997, ASME published the Bioprocessing Equipment Standard (ASME BPE) for design, materials, construction, inspection, and testing of equipment for use in the biopharmaceutical industry.  Now, engineers and quality control professionals have a measurable guideline for specifying and purchasing equipment.

It is equally important to be able to accurately simulate conditions in a pharmaceutical piping system using hydraulic network analysis software such as PIPE-FLO® Professional.  And to have an accurate model, it’s important to have precise surface finish and piping dimensions.  So for example, if a piping system design is specified using ASME BPE Sanitary Stainless Steel Tubing with an SF4 electropolished finish, then it is important that a pipe table is available with precision measurements.  The following information details the procedure of building a customized ASME BPE Tubing pipe table.

To start the Table Manager from the PIPE-FLO® program window, select the Tools menu and choose Table Manager.  The Table Manager should open up (see Figure 1).

Figure 1:  Table Manager Dialog Box

Click on the Pipe Tables button to open a blank Pipe Data dialog box as in Figure 2.

Figure 2:  Blank Pipe Data Dialog Box

To create the custom pipe table, click the New Table button and save the table with a file name of ASME BPE SS Tube SF4.  For the Standard field, enter ASME BPE, ASTM A269 / A270, and enter 1 for the Version

The pipe specification notes that for an SF4 surface finish, the maximum roughness is 20 µ-in ID, so in the Roughness field, enter 0.00002 (since this measurement is inches).  For the Hazen-Williams Coefficient, enter 150.

The information needed for the Size Data can be gathered from the Dimensional Tolerances listed in the ASME BPE tube specification (Figure 3 below).

Figure 3:  ASME BPE Tubing Dimensional Tolerances and Surface Finishes

To create a pipe table, the following data is required:  A Schedule, Nominal Sizes (both US and Metric), Inside Diameter, and Wall Thickness.  This information is entered at the bottom of the pipe table.  Tubing is different than most pipe materials in that it is usually specified by its outside diameter.  So the nominal sizes in this case actually equal the outside diameters.  Also in this case, the schedule is specified as the wall thickness. 

So, beginning with the smallest size, create a Schedule named 0.035”. Once you create a schedule, it will be available in the drop-down list for subsequent entries.  Next, specify Nominal Sizes of 0.25 inches and 6.4 mm.  Next, specify the Inside Diameter of 0.18 inches (outside diameter minus twice the wall thickness).  Finally, specify the actual Wall Thickness of 0.035 inches.  Click the Save button, and the size is stored up into the Table Data.  Proceed through the table in Figure 3 with the rest of the available sizes to complete the pipe table (Figure 4).

Figure 4:  Completed PIPE-FLO® Pipe Table for ASME BPE Stainless Steel Electropolished Tubing

Now, a pipe table has been created which contains the precise specifications for ASME BPE Stainless Steel Tubing with an SF4 Electropolished finish.  Click the Save Table button before closing the dialog box.  PIPE-FLO® will have to be restarted to properly read the newly created pipe table.

To download the completed ASME BPE SS Tube SF4 pipe table, click on the link below.