Designing according the ASME BPVC VIII-1 code

Division 1

About the course

Design-by-Rules. The ASME VIII-1 design code is the most widely used design code for pressure vessel design. Often the rules are applied using automated software packages such as Compress or PVElite and the engineer can lose the overview of the calculation being performed.   This course aims to explain the fundamental equations and principles in the design by rules approach. For example: What is the area replacement rule? How is the Taylor and Forge method applied for flanges? What is the minimum ligament length between nozzles and why? What inter-stiffener distance is required to prevent collapse under vacuum? 
Topics include many design features such as design of shells and heads under internal and external pressure, nozzles & openings, flange connections, heat exchanger, tubesheets, saddles and skirts. 
As well as explaining the rules and how to apply them, you will be challenged on why a rule is formulated in a particular way.
The course consists of 8 online, self-study modules combined with 3 online live sessions with the instructor. All training content is provided through your EngineeringTrainer account.
After the course you maintain 1-year unlimited access to the course and the discussions forum. This allows you to perform modules again when you need to refresh the knowledge for your projects.

Download course program


8 modules

5 hrs/wk


3 weeks


Course Objective

To explain the fundamental equations and principles, thereby creating a solid understanding of the ASME BPVC VIII-1 design code.” 

The 3-week program

  1. Instructor & student introductions

  2. Course details & schedule

  3. Using the Course Forum

  4. Certificate requirements

  5. Learning objectives

  6. Q&A

  1. Introduction and Agenda

  2. ASME VIII-1 Code Coverage: Outline and Build-up

  3. Materials Aspects and Codes

  4. ASME Section 2 part D: Material Tables

  5. Weld Joint Efficiency in ASME Section 8, division 1

  6. Non Destructibe Testing related to Joint Efficiency Factor

  7. Design Loads – Part 1, 2 & 3

  8. U-stamping for Pressure Vessels

  9. Code Design Stresses and Allowables

  10. Fatique Design in ASME VIII-1 

  11. Brittle Fracture: Physical Concepts

  12. Analyzing Brittle Fracture as per the ASME BPVC VIII-1

  13. Module 1, Excercises 1: Weld Joint Efficiencies

  14. Module 1, Excercise 2: Determining the MDMT

  1. Stress-Strain Relationships and Concepts

  2. Material Stresses for Cylindrical Shells

  3. Load Cases and Failure Modes

  4. Maximum Allowable Values for the Design Stress

  1. Introduction and Agenda

  2. Cylindrical Shells under Internal Pressure

  3. Spherical Shells and Formed Ends

  4. Cones and Conical Sections under Internal Pressure

  1. Introduction and Agenda

  2. Introduction to Buckling for Pressure Vessels

  3. Buckling Examples and Illustrations

  4. Axial Compression Loads as per ASME VIII-1

  5. Compressive Stress: Allowable Value

  6. Cylindrical Shells under External Pressure

  7. Thin Walled Shells: Buckling Evaluation

  8. Buckling Critical Length as per ASME VIII-1

  9. Thick walled Shells: Buckling Evaluation

  10. What are Stiffener Rings?

  11. Using Stiffener Rings as per ASME VIII-1

  12. Vessel Heads under External Pressure – Part 1 & 2

  1. Summary Lecture

  2. Discussing questions from Course Forum

  3. General Q&A

  1. Introduction and Agenda

  2. Shell Openings: An Introduction

  3. Area Replacement Rule as per ASME VIII-1

  4. Area Replacement Rule: Step 1, 2, 3 & 4

  5. Ligament Efficiency Rules as per ASME VIII-1

  6. Ligament Efficiency Rules: Diagonal Lines

  1. Introduction and Agenda

  2. Flat Plates, Covers, Flanges and Design Rules in ASME VIII-1

  3. Bolted Connections as per ASME VIII-1

  4. Gasket Selection for Flanges

  5. Bolt Evaluations for Flanges

  6. Design of Bolted Flanges and Associated Calculations

  7. Calculation Steps for Bolted Connections – Part 1 & 2

  8. Equivalent Pressure Rule for Flange Evaluation

  1. Introduction and Agenda

  2. Types of Heat Exchangers and Analysis Methods

  3. Tubesheet Properties: Calculating Effective Values

  4. Tubesheet Thickness and Related Calculations

  5. Alternative Methodes for Tubesheet Design

  1. Rectangular Vessels as per ASME VIII-1

  2. Openings in Non-Circular Vessels

  3. Half-Pipe Jackets as per ASME VIII-1

  1. Summary Lecture

  2. Discussing questions from Course Forum

  3. General Q&A

  1. Congratulations

  2. Course evaluation survey

  3. Your Personal Certificate

  4. Rate this course

  5. Related resources & follow up


After this course, you…
  • Have a good overview of the structure and applicability of the AMSE VIII-1 code,
  • Understand the design rules for most standard components and know the design basis for these rules,
  • Have performed multiple tutorials to reinforce how to apply the rules,
  • Are able to identify the limits of the code rules.

Intended for

  • Those designing pressure vessels with ASME BPVC VIII Div. 1,
  • Engineers which need to have a solid understanding of the approaches used in the code,
  • Those that wish to understand the backgrounds and design basis for the code rules.

Prerequisites and level

  • Technical background

  • Level: Intermediate

Selected course format


Price on request
  • Face-to-face with instructors
  • On-site or in Rijswijk
  • Printed course materials
  • Lunch included
  • For teams


700 / user
  • Self-learning modules
  • Online discussion forum
  • Live sessions with instructor
  • For individual learning


900 / user
  • Self-learning modules
  • Online discussion forum
  • Live sessions with instructor
  • 1-year access


  • Video lectures,

  • Calculation exercises,

  • Instructor-led live sessions with lectures, group discussions, exercises and Q&A’s,

  • Discussion forum with other participants & instructor.

Exercise files can be downloaded, these can include .pdf files with the exercise questions or other file types. Videos will not be available for download, but can be accessed directly with your account on the portal. If slides are used in the videos or live sessions these can be viewed separately as well through the portal, but are not available for download.

You receive 12-months unlimited access to the course. This allows you to watch content again if this is beneficial for your work projects.

Yes, live sessions are included in this course that allow you to interact with the instructor and ask questions. Additionally, questions can be submitted in the learning portal by the participants which are addressed in the live sessions.

No software is required for participants of this course.

Self-paced Modules

If your computer and internet connection are able to play videos online and have MS Teams calls you will be able to follow the course. Note that almost all browsers are supported, except for Internet Explorer.

Live sessions

Live events are provided by means of Microsoft Teams. Hence it required to have an MS Teams account. Additionally, a webcam and microphone are mandatory for the live events. Separate earplugs are recommended as to avoid sound echo.

Yes, this course qualifies for PDH hours as per the NCEES CPC Guidelines.

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