gas pipes e1548871976618

Pipe Color Coding Specs by Fluid Type (ASME A13.1, PFI-ES22, and ISO 14726)

gas pipes e1548871976618

Pipe Color Coding Specs by Fluid Type (ASME A13.1, PFI-ES22, and ISO 14726)

This article described the key specifications applicable to pipe color coding in the US, and Europe.
Pipe color coding is a system used to visually identify the contents, function, or classification of pipes within a facility or construction project. It helps workers and operators quickly recognize the purpose of a pipe and adhere to safety regulations. While color coding standards can vary depending on the industry, location, and specific requirements, there are some common color codes used across different applications, which are generally shared among national specifications.

ASME A13.1 SPEC: PIPING COLOR-CODING (USA)

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) developed the ANSI/ASME A13.1 standard for pipe color coding in industrial facilities. This standard provides guidelines for identifying pipe contents and functions based on color. Besides the color of piping materials, the ASME A13.1 standard sets also requirements in terms of length and height of the color mark depending on the pipe outside diameter.

According to the ASME A13,1 specification, fluids are classified into:

  1. Flammable: fluids and vapors that may ignite and burn in the air
  2. Fire-quenching: water, foam, and CO2 used in sprinkler systems and firefighting systems
  3. Toxic and corrosive: media that are corrosive or toxic
  4. Combustible (not flammable)
  5. Oxidizing (gas or liquid that may contribute to the combustion of other materials when combined with oxygen)
  6. Compressed air

Pipe color marking

Background Color

The background color of the pipe indicates the general category or type of fluid or gas carried within the pipe. According to ASME A13.1 for pipe color coding, the background color shall be:

  • Yellow: Flammable fluids and gases (e.g., natural gas, gasoline)
  • Orange: Toxic or corrosive fluids (e.g., acids, caustics)
  • Green: Potable water supply lines
  • Blue: Compressed air or other gases
  • Brown: Combustible fluids (e.g., oils, fuels)
  • Red: Fire protection systems (e.g., fire sprinkler lines, fire hydrants)
  • Purple: Reclaimed or recycled water
  • Gray: Non-potable water supply lines
  • White: Steam, steam condensate, or other substances
  • Black: Miscellaneous substances or products
ASME A13.1 pipe color marking
ASME A13.1 pipe color marking

Color Bands

Color bands or stripes are used to further specify the contents or function of the pipe. According to ASME A13.1 for pipe color coding, the color band shall be:

  • Red: Fire protection equipment (e.g., fire pumps, fire hydrants)
  • Yellow: Flammable fluids or gases
  • Orange: Toxic or corrosive fluids
  • Blue: Compressed air
  • Green: Potable water
  • Purple: Reclaimed water
  • Brown: Combustible fluids

 

EN 13480 SPEC: PIPING COLOR-CODING (EU)

The European Standard EN 13480 provides guidelines for pipe color coding in European countries. While similar to ANSI/ASME standards, there may be some variations in color codes and interpretations.

Common color codes per the EN 13480 European Specification for piping color coding include:

  • Yellow: Flammable fluids or gases
  • Red: Fire protection systems
  • Blue: Compressed air
  • Green: Potable water
  • Brown: Combustible fluids
  • White: Steam
  • Gray: Non-potable water
  • Orange: Toxic or corrosive fluids

 

PFI ES-22 SPEC.: PIPING COLOR CODING

PFI ES-22 stands for the “Pipe Fabrication Institute Engineering Standard No. 22.” This standard is published by the Pipe Fabrication Institute (PFI), an organization dedicated to advancing the quality and efficiency of pipe fabrication and installation in the industrial construction industry.

PFI ES-22 specifically addresses the “Color Coding Recommendations for Process Piping.” It provides guidelines and recommendations for the color coding of process piping systems to help identify the contents, function, or classification of pipes within industrial facilities. This standard aims to improve safety, facilitate maintenance, and enhance operational efficiency by ensuring clear and consistent identification of pipe contents.

Similar to other pipe color coding standards, PFI ES-22 may specify colors for different types of fluids or gases, such as flammable liquids, corrosive chemicals, compressed air, potable water, and more. The standard may also include recommendations for color coding schemes, such as background colors, stripe colors, or other markings, to further specify the contents or function of the pipe.

PFI ES-22 serves as a valuable reference for engineers, designers, fabricators, and operators involved in the design, construction, and maintenance of industrial piping systems. By adhering to the recommendations outlined in this standard, stakeholders can ensure consistent and effective pipe color coding practices that contribute to a safer and more efficient work environment.

Note that, in addition to the colors specified in the table, welded pipes shall show an additional white stripe.

PFI Standard ES-22 Standard: Pipe Color Coding Recommendations

Carbon Steel Pipes

MaterialMaterial GardeBand / Strip Color
Carbon Steel, Electric Resistance Welded PipeA53 Gr. B/API1 solid white
Carbon Steel, Smls, specified tensile strength under 70,000 psi (483 MPA)A53 Gr. BNo Marking
Carbon Steel killed steelA106 Gr. B1 solid green
Carbon Steel, specified tensile strength 70,000 psi (483 MPA) and overA106 Gr. C2 solid green
Carbon Steel, low temperature (impact tested)A333 Gr. 61 solid red

High Yield Carbon Steel Pipes

52,000 min. yieldAPI 5L X-521 solid yellow, 1 solid green
60,000 min. yieldAPI 5L X-601 solid yellow, 1 solid pink
65,000 min. yieldAPI 5L X-652 solid yellow
70,000 min. yieldAPI 5L X-701 solid yellow, 1 solid orange

Low Alloy Pipes

C-Mo steelA335 Gr. P11   solid orange
1 Cr-1/2 Mo SteelA335 Gr. P121   solid orange, 1 solid blue
1 1 /4 Cr-1/2 Mo SteelA335 Gr. P111   solid yellow
2 1/4 Cr-1 Mo SteelA335 Gr. P221 solid blue
5 Cr-1/2 Mo SteelA335 Gr. P51 solid blue, 1 solid yellow
9 Cr-1/2 Mo SteelA335 Gr. P92 solid orange

Ferritic and Martensitic Pipes and Tubes

Type 405A268 TP4051 solid green, 1 solid black
Type 410A268 TP4101 solid green, 1 solid red

Austenitic Stainless Steel Pipes

Type 304A312 TP3041 solid black
Type 304LA312 TP304L2 solid black
Type 304HA312 TP304H1 intermittent black
Type 309A358 Gr3091 solid black, 1 solid brown
Type 310A358Gr3101 solid green, 1 solid orange
Type 316A312 TP3161 solid gray
Type 316LA312 TP316L2 solid gray
Type 316HA312 TP316H1 intermittent gray
Type 317A312 TP3171 solid brown, 1 solid green
 Type317LA312 TP317L1 solid brown, 1 solid red
Type 321A312 TP3211 solid pink
Type 321 HA312 TP321H2 solid pink
Type 347A312 TP3471 solid brown
Type 347HA312 TP347H2 solid brown

Nickel-Alloy Pipes

Nickel 200 1 solid black, 1 solid pink
Incoloy 800 1 solid black, 1 solid orange
Incoloy 800H 1   solid gray, 1 solid red
Incoloy 825 1   solid gray, 1 solid blue
Inconel 600 2 solid blue
Inconel 625 1 solid blue, 1 solid pink
Hastelloy Alloy 8-2 1 solid red, 1 solid orange
Hastelloy Alloy C-276 1 solid red, 1 solid blue
Hastelloy Alloy C-22 2 solid red
Hastelloy Alloy G 1 solid red, 1 solid yellow
Carpenter Alloy 20 C 8-3 1 solid black, 1 solid blue
Monel 400 1   solid black, 1 solid yellow

 

ISO 14726 SPEC.: PIPELINES COLOR CODING (EU)

ISO 14726 is an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard that provides guidelines and recommendations for the identification and color coding of pipelines in various industrial and commercial applications. Specifically, ISO 14726 addresses the identification of piping systems by color coding for the purposes of safety, maintenance, and operational efficiency.

Key features of ISO 14726 for pipe color standards include:

  1. Color Bands: ISO 14726 specifies the use of color bands or stripes applied to pipes to indicate the type of fluid or gas carried within the pipe. Each color represents a specific category of contents, such as water, steam, compressed air, hazardous chemicals, or fire protection systems.
  2. Background Colors: In addition to color bands, ISO 14726 may recommend background colors for pipe markings to further differentiate between different types of fluids or gases. Background colors provide visual cues that aid in the quick identification of pipe contents.
  3. Text and Labels: ISO 14726 may also recommend the use of text or labels alongside color bands to provide additional information about the pipe contents, operating conditions, or safety precautions.
  4. Size and Placement: The standard may include guidelines for the size, placement, and spacing of pipe markings to ensure visibility and legibility under various lighting and environmental conditions.
  5. Compliance and Maintenance: ISO 14726 may provide recommendations for the ongoing maintenance and inspection of pipe markings to ensure they remain visible, intact, and compliant with regulatory requirements over time.

ISO 14726 is typically referenced by engineers, designers, facility managers, and safety professionals involved in the design, construction, and maintenance of industrial piping systems on a global scale. By adhering to the guidelines outlined in this standard, stakeholders can establish consistent and effective pipe-marking practices that contribute to a safer and more efficient work environment.

It’s important to note that while ISO 14726 provides international guidance for pipe color coding, regional standards, and regulations may also apply in specific industries or jurisdictions. As such, it’s essential to consult relevant standards and regulatory requirements when implementing pipe marking and identification systems.

 

BS 1710 SPEC.: PIPING COLOR CODING (UK & IRELAND)

BS 1710 is a British Standard that provides guidelines and recommendations for the identification and color coding of pipelines, ducts, and services in industrial and commercial facilities. It is widely used in the United Kingdom and other countries as a reference for pipe marking and identification.

BS 1710 specifies the colors and markings to be used on pipes to indicate the contents, function, or classification of the piping system. The standard aims to enhance safety, facilitate maintenance, and improve operational efficiency by ensuring clear and consistent identification of pipe contents.

Key features of the BS 1710 standard for pipe color standards include:

  1. Color Bands: BS 1710 utilizes color bands or stripes applied to pipes to indicate the type of fluid or gas carried within the pipe. Each color represents a specific category of contents, such as water, steam, compressed air, hazardous chemicals, or fire protection systems.
  2. Background Colors: In addition to color bands, BS 1710 may specify background colors for pipe markings to further differentiate between different types of fluids or gases. Background colors provide visual cues that aid in the quick identification of pipe contents.
  3. Text and Labels: BS 1710 may also recommend the use of text or labels alongside color bands to provide additional information about the pipe contents, operating conditions, or safety precautions.
  4. Size and Placement: The standard may include guidelines for the size, placement, and spacing of pipe markings to ensure visibility and legibility under various lighting and environmental conditions.
  5. Compliance and Maintenance: BS 1710 may provide recommendations for the ongoing maintenance and inspection of pipe markings to ensure they remain visible, intact, and compliant with regulatory requirements over time.

BS 1710 is typically referenced by engineers, designers, facility managers, and safety professionals involved in the design, construction, and maintenance of industrial piping systems. By adhering to the guidelines outlined in this standard, stakeholders can establish consistent and effective pipe-marking practices that contribute to a safer and more efficient work environment.

It’s worth noting that while BS 1710 is widely recognized and used, other standards such as ANSI/ASME A13.1 in the United States and ISO 14726 internationally also provide guidelines for pipe marking and identification.

FACILITY-SPECIFIC STANDARDS

Some industries or facilities may have their own specific color coding standards based on internal policies, safety regulations, or industry best practices. These standards may vary from the ANSI/ASME or European standards but are typically designed to achieve similar objectives of identifying pipe contents and functions accurately.

It’s essential to consult relevant standards, regulations, and facility-specific guidelines when implementing pipe color coding to ensure consistency, accuracy, and compliance with safety requirements. Additionally, proper labeling and signage should accompany pipe color coding to provide clear identification and enhance safety awareness in industrial environments.

 

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About the Author

Picture of Fabrizio S.

Fabrizio S.

Fabrizio is a seasoned professional in the international trading of materials for projects, including piping, steel, and metal commodities with a distinguished career spanning over two decades. He has become a pivotal figure in the industry, renowned for his expertise in bridging the gap between EPC contractors, end users, manufacturers, and stockists to facilitate the seamless delivery of complex piping product packages across the globe. Starting his journey with a strong academic background in business administration and international trade, Fabrizio quickly distinguished himself in the field through his adept negotiation skills, strategic vision, and unparalleled knowledge of the project materials market. His career trajectory has seen him collaborate with leading names in the construction, oil & gas, and petrochemical industries, earning a reputation for excellence in executing large-scale projects (EPC Contractors, Oil & Gas End Users). At the core of Fabrizio's success is his ability to understand the intricate needs of EPC contractors and end users, aligning these with the capabilities of manufacturers and stockists. He excels in orchestrating the entire supply chain process, from product specification and procurement to logistics and on-time delivery, ensuring that each project phase is executed flawlessly. Fabrizio's role involves intense coordination and communication, leveraging his extensive network within the industry to negotiate competitive prices, manage complex logistical challenges, and navigate the regulatory landscape of international trade. His strategic approach to package assembly and delivery has resulted in cost efficiencies, timely project execution, and high satisfaction levels among stakeholders. Beyond his professional achievements, Fabrizio is an active participant in industry forums and conferences, such as Adipec, Tube, and similar, where he shares insights on market trends, supply chain optimization, and the future of project materials trading. His contributions to the field are not only limited to his operational excellence but also include mentoring young professionals entering the trade. Fabrizio is one of the co-founders of Projectmaterials, a B2B marketplace targeting the above markets. https://www.linkedin.com/in/fvs20092023/

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