What Are Common Design Standards for Petrochemical Valves – API Standards


API is the abbreviation for the American Petroleum Institute, founded in 1919, and was the first national-level business association in the United States. An important task of API is to standardize equipment used in the oil and gas industry to ensure the safety, reliability, and interchangeability of equipment used in the industry. Since API has a high reputation both domestically and internationally, many countries have adopted its petrochemical and oil production machinery technical standards. The US Department of Commerce and the US Trade Commission recognize it as a certification body for petroleum machinery. At present, we have members from all over the world in various fields including exploration and production, transportation, refining, and marketing. Today, APIs have developed into an organic component not only in the United States but also increasingly in the world’s petroleum industry activities.

In general, API standards are reviewed, modified, reconfirmed, or revoked at least once every 5 years. Sometimes the review cycle can be extended once, but not more than 2 years. When updating the standards of various professional committees, voting members designated or voluntarily registered from various countries can participate in the voting (by letter). If more than two-thirds of the votes are passed, it will be considered as approved. Unless authorized for reprinting and extension, the API standards will no longer be valid after 5 years from the date of publication.

API Standards


API publications are divided into more than ten categories, including 57 specifications, 550 standards, and thousands of recommended rules and regulations. The standard specifications mainly fall into several categories:

  1. Design and manufacturing of petroleum equipment;
  2. Use and maintenance of petroleum equipment;
  3. Drilling and oil production operations.

The certification outline logo of API also enjoys a high reputation internationally, which can be divided into four categories:

ICP – Personal Qualification Certification,

API QR – Quality System Certification,

Monogram – Monogram Outline Certification,

TPCP – Training Qualification Certification.

In the fields of petroleum, petrochemicals, and natural gas, its logo and quality system API Spec Q1 can not only earn recognition from ISO organizations but also receive free ISO 9000 certification through API quality system certification. The petroleum machinery products bearing the API logo are not only considered symbols of reliable quality and advanced level but have also become a certification for products to enter the international market.

API’s Product Specification System

API does not require mandatory laboratory testing for products applying for certification, but it proposes 57 detailed specifications for various equipment involved in the petroleum and natural gas collection and processing industries. For example, the 6D specification involves pipeline valves, including ball valves, gate valves, check valves, etc. These specifications specify the minimum requirements that products must meet. Although there is no mandatory testing, auditors personally appointed by API will carefully inspect the products submitted by the manufacturer, such as the Quality Manual, and have mandatory requirements for special process control (such as welding, heat treatment, and non-destructive testing) to ensure that the factory complies with API’s product specification system during production,

API 6D-1014 Specification for Pipeline Valves

API 6A-2010 Specification for Wellhead Units and Christmas Tree Equipment

API 527 Sealing Performance of Metal Metal Sealing Safety Valves

API 528 Nameplate for safety valve

API 529 Flange Connection Malleable Cast Iron Plug Valve

API 589 Fire Test for Valve Packaging Materials

API 594-2010 Wafer, Lug Wafer, and Double Flanged Check Valves

API 595 Flanged Cast Iron Gate Valves

API597 Flanged or Butt Welded Steel Reduced Mouth Gate Valve

API 598-2009 Inspection and Testing of Valves

API 599-2013 Flanged or Butt Welded Steel Plug Valves

API 600-2015 Steel Gate Valves with Flange or Butt Welding End Bolted Bonnet

API 602-2015 Steel Gate Valves, Globe and Check Valves for the Petroleum and Natural Gas Industry

API 603-2013 Corrosion Resistant, Flanged End Steel Gate Valves

API 604 Flanged Ductile Iron Gate Valves

API 607-2010 Fire Resistance Testing of Soft Seat Valves

API 608-2012 Threaded, Butt Welded, and Flanged Metal Ball Valves

API 609-2009 Butterfly Valves

Readjust of API 621 Metal Spherical Inspection Valve

API 623-2013 Steel Globe Valves with Bolted Bonnet and Butt Welding End

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