Pipe color coding is important both for logistical and safety considerations. Color codes are, in some cases, applied on pipes and other piping materials (such as pipe fittings, flanges, and valves) to facilitate the identification, in the storage warehouse or on the field during project execution, of components manufactured in different materials. This is the case of complex plants using, at the same time, carbon, alloy, stainless steel piping products. When a piping system conveys fluids of different types, color codes are applied to distinguish the piping components by media.

 

PFI ES-22 SPECIFICATION FOR PIPE COLOR CODING

The table shows the pipe color coding guidelines set by the PFI ES 22 specification. 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

Material Material Garde Band / Strip Color
Carbon Steel, Electric Resistance Welded Pipe A53 Gr. B/API 1 solid white
Carbon Steel, Smls, specified tensile strength under 70,000 psi (483 MPA) A53 Gr. B No Marking
Carbon Steel, killed steel A106 Gr. B 1 solid green
Carbon Steel, specified tensile strength 70,000 psi (483 MPA) and over A106 Gr. C 2 solid green
Carbon Steel, low temperature (impact tested) A333 Gr. 6 1 solid red

High Yield Carbon Steel Pipes

52,000 min. yield API 5L X-52 1 solid yellow, 1 solid green
60,000 min. yield API 5L X-60 1 solid yellow, 1 solid pink
65,000 min. yield API 5L X-65 2 solid yellow
70,000 min. yield API 5L X-70 1 solid yellow, 1 solid orange

Low Alloy Pipes

C-Mo steel A335 Gr. P1 1   solid orange
1 Cr-1/2 Mo Steel A335 Gr. P12 1   solid orange, 1 solid blue
1 1 /4 Cr-1/2 Mo Steel A335 Gr. P11 1   solid yellow
2 1/4 Cr-1 Mo Steel A335 Gr. P22 1 solid blue
5 Cr-1/2 Mo Steel A335 Gr. P5 1 solid blue, 1 solid yellow
9 Cr-1/2 Mo Steel A335 Gr. P9 2 solid orange

Ferritic and Martensitic Pipes and Tubes

Type 405 A268 TP405 1 solid green, 1 solid black
Type 410 A268 TP410 1 solid green, 1 solid red

Austenitic Stainless Steel Pipes

Type 304 A312 TP304 1 solid black
Type 304L A312 TP304L 2 solid black
Type 304H A312 TP304H 1 intermittent black
Type 309 A358 Gr309 1 solid black, 1 solid brown
Type 310 A358Gr310 1 solid green, 1 solid orange
Type 316 A312 TP316 1 solid gray
Type 316L A312 TP316L 2 solid gray
Type 316H A312 TP316H 1 intermittent gray
Type 317 A312 TP317 1 solid brown, 1 solid green
 Type317L A312 TP317L 1 solid brown, 1 solid red
Type 321 A312 TP321 1 solid pink
Type 321 H A312 TP321H 2 solid pink
Type 347 A312 TP347 1 solid brown
Type 347H A312 TP347H 2 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

ASME A13.1 PIPING COLOR CODING (BY TYPE OF FLUID)

The ASME A13.1 specification provides indications about the color coding of piping materials that transport different types of hazardous fluids. In this specification, fluids are classified in the following way:

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

Pipe color marking

The table shows the color to be applied on the outer surface of the pipe depending on the type of transported fluid. The Norm sets also requirements in terms of length and height of the color mark depending on the pipe outside diameter.

ASME A13.1 pipe color marking

The BS 1710 specification sets similar indications, with a slightly different pipe color marking approach.