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18th Edition, January 1, 2014

Complete Document

Boiler, pressure vessel, and pressure piping code

Includes all amendments and changes through Update 2, August 2016

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Product Details:

  • Revision: 18th Edition, January 1, 2014
  • Published Date: August 2016
  • Status: Active, Most Current
  • Document Language: English
  • Published By: CSA Group (CSA)
  • Page Count: 182
  • ANSI Approved: No
  • DoD Adopted: No

Description / Abstract:


This is the eighteenth edition of CSA B51, Boiler, pressure vessel, and pressure piping code. It supersedes the previous editions published in 2009, 2003, 1997, 1995, 1991, 1986, 1981, 1975, 1972, 1969, 1965, 1960, 1957, 1955, 1951, 1945, and 1939.

In keeping with CSA’s goal of harmonizing its standards with those of other countries to the greatest extent possible, CSA’s Technical Committee on Boilers and Pressure Vessels and its Subcommittees have, in the course of developing this Standard, worked closely with the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors in the United States and with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) committees responsible for producing the National Board Inspection Code and ASME’s Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code.

There are three parts to this Standard:

Part 1 contains requirements for boilers, pressure vessels, pressure piping, and fittings. It is intended mainly to fulfill two objectives: first, to promote safe design, construction, installation, operation, inspection, testing, and repair practices, and second, to facilitate adoption of uniform requirements by Canadian jurisdictions.

Part 2 contains requirements for high-pressure cylinders for the on-board storage of natural gas, blends of natural gas and hydrogen (hydrogen blends), and hydrogen as fuels for automotive vehicles. It has been harmonized with International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Standard 11439:2013, Gas cylinders — High pressure cylinders for the on-board storage of natural gas as a fuel for automotive vehicles. In addition, the CSA Subcommittee responsible for developing Part 2 has consulted with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) committee responsible for developing ANSI Standard NGV 2-2007, Compressed Natural Gas Vehicle Fuel Containers, and the draft American National Standard/CSA Standard for Compressed Hydrogen Gas Vehicle (HGV) Fuel Containers. The members of these two committees are dedicated to harmonizing their standards as far as circumstances allow.

Part 3 contains requirements for compressed natural gas and hydrogen refuelling station pressure piping systems and ground storage vessels. These requirements have been allotted a separate part of the Standard to emphasize the differences between them and the requirements in Part 1, thereby facilitating their application.

This Standard has undergone substantial technical and editorial revisions since the previous edition in 2009. Significant changes to Part 1 include the following:

(a) The following definitions have been added to Clause 3:

(i) air heater coil;

(ii) historical steam boiler;

(iii) owner;

(iv) pressure relief device (PRD); and

(v) thermal expansion relief valve.

(b) General requirements: Clauses 4.1.1, 4.1.4, 4.2.4, 4.2.8, 4.6.5, 4.7.1, 4.7.2 Note 1, 4.8.2, 4.8.3, 4.9.3 Note, and 4.10 have been updated, and Clauses 4.1.9, 4.1.10, 4.2.5, and 4.2.6 have been added.

(c) Boilers and related components: Clauses 6.2.1 and 6.7 have been updated, and Clauses 6.2.2 and 6.5.1 Note 3 have been added.

(d) Pressure vessels — applicable codes and standards: Clauses 7.1.2 and 7.1.4 have been added.

(e) Piping and fittings: Clause 8.1(c) has been updated.

(f) Repairs and alterations: Clause 11.5 has been added.

(g) Pressure relief devices: Clause 12 has been added.

(h) In-service inspection: Clause 13 has been added.

(i) Categories of fittings: Table 1 Note 2 has been updated.

(j) Maximum servicing intervals: Table 5 has been added.

(k) The sample forms in Annex D have been updated to include cast aluminum.

(l) Requirements for a crush test for manifold vessels have been added to Annex G (Clause G.3.7).

(m) Provisions applicable to overpressure protection devices have been revised (Annex H).

(n) Requirements for historical boilers have been added (Annex I).

(o) Requirements regarding the use of finite elements analysis (FEA) to support a pressure equipment design submission have been added (Annex J).

The users of this Standard should note that it is a recommendatory document only and does not have the force of law except where it has been officially adopted by a Canadian jurisdiction. Users should also note that adoption does not necessarily mean that the Standard has been adopted unchanged. For example, a jurisdiction may decide to make an informative annex normative.

In addition, owners and users of cylinders designed to the requirements of Part 2 should note that the safe operation of such cylinders requires, first, compliance with the service conditions specified by the manufacturer, and second, use of the cylinders only during the service life specified by the manufacturer. Each cylinder is marked with an expiry date, and owners and users are responsible for ensuring that a cylinder is not used after that date.

The Technical Committee intends to meet periodically to review this Standard and, if necessary, to revise it to meet changing conditions and maintain uniformity of practice throughout Canada.

The Technical Committee supports the use of the National Board Inspection Code. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to be aware that applicable local regulations can take precedence over the requirements of that Code.

This Standard was prepared by the Technical Committee on Boilers and Pressure Vessels, under the jurisdiction of the Strategic Steering Committee on Mechanical Industrial Equipment Safety, and has been formally approved by the Technical Committee.


(1) Use of the singular does not exclude the plural (and vice versa) when the sense allows.

(2) Although the intended primary application of this Standard is stated in its Scope, it is important to note that it remains the responsibility of the users of the Standard to judge its suitability for their particular purpose.

(3) This Standard was developed by consensus, which is defined by CSA Policy governing standardization — Code of good practice for standardization as “substantial agreement. Consensus implies much more than a simple majority, but not necessarily unanimity”. It is consistent with this definition that a member may be included in the Technical Committee list and yet not be in full agreement with all clauses of this Standard.

(4) To submit a request for interpretation of this Standard, please send the following information to inquiries@csagroup.org and include “Request for interpretation” in the subject line:

(a) define the problem, making reference to the specific clause, and, where appropriate, include an illustrative sketch;

(b) provide an explanation of circumstances surrounding the actual field condition; and

(c) where possible, phrase the request in such a way that a specific “yes” or “no” answer will address the issue.

Committee interpretations are processed in accordance with the CSA Directives and guidelines governing standardization and are available on the Current Standards Activities page at standardsactivities.csa.ca.

(5) This Standard is subject to review five years from the date of publication. Suggestions for its improvement will be referred to the appropriate committee. To submit a proposal for change, please send the following information to inquiries@csagroup.org and include “Proposal for change” in the subject line:

(a) Standard designation (number);

(b) relevant clause, table, and/or figure number;

(c) wording of the proposed change; and

(d) rationale for the change.