Understanding Australian Pipe Marking Standards (AS 1345-1995)

AS 1345-1995 is the Australian pipe marking standard providing a consistent system for identifying the content of pipes and ducts in the workplace. By understanding and following applicable labeling standards, workers are able to quickly identify a pipe’s contents and take the proper safety measures.

The standard was developed by Standards Australia—basically the Australian equivalent of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Like ANSI, Standards Australia is the country’s leading standards development body and a member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Similarly, Standards Australia are not responsible for enforcing or regulating standards, only developing consensus standards that may or may not be adopted as law.

AS 1345 was created (like ANSI/ASME A13.1) to establish consistency across industries through the use of colors, symbols, and other general requirements.

AS 1345 Colors for Pipe Labels

Sample Australian Pipe Marking FormatWith a standardized color-coding system for pipe markings, trained employees can quickly determine what kind of substance is flowing through the pipe. In the AS 1345-1995 standard, this is known as the base identification color. As defined in the standard, the color requirements are as follows:

  • Green: Water; Drinking water, wastewater, cooling water, storm water, recycled water, etc.
  • Silver-Grey: Steam; Live steam, process steam, exhaust steam, space heating steam, etc.
  • Brown: Oils, flammable liquids, and combustible liquids; Fuel and lubricating pols, oils used for food processing, petrol oil, etc.
  • Sand/Yellow-Ochre: Gases; Fuel gases, process gases, liquefied gases under pressure, medical gases, etc.
  • Violet: Alkalis/Acids; All corrosive liquids and gases.
  • Light Blue: Air; Compressed air, ventilation, instrument air, etc.
  • Black: Miscellaneous; Chemical mixtures, sewage, process wastes, etc.
  • Red: Fire Protection; Water dedicated for fire services, fire extinguishing foam, etc.
  • Orange: Electrical; Electrical supply circuit, used for conduits.
  • White: Communications; Conduits with extra low voltage supply, telephone circuits, etc.

Supplementary Colors 

Another color band or panel are used to indicate any additional attributes of the pipe’s contents.  For instance, a dark blue band may indicate materials for human consumption, like potable water. A yellow panel on the other hand, is used with a corresponding safety symbol to identify the hazardous contents:

  • General Hazard: Use of hazard stripes
  • Radiological Hazard: Toxic symbol
  • Biological Hazard: Biohazard symbol

These supplementary color markers can be printed as a panel on the label or be used as a wrap-around band to help specify the contents of a pipe and possible risk level.

Following All Pipe Marking Requirements

Australian Pipe Marking size requirements

Markers must first and foremast include a word (or words) that indicate the contents of the pipe, duct, or conduit, printed in either white or black letters. The base identified color should be surrounded by a white contrasting border, and an arrow within the border is used to specify the direction of flow.

Pipe markers are only effective if they are easily seen. Except for uninterrupted lengths of pipes (up to 50 meters), AS 1345 states:

“Identification markings comprising either bands of base identification colour or pipe markers as required shall be located adjacent to all junctions, valves, service appliances, bulkheads, wall penetrations and the like, and at spacings not greater than 8 meters along the service.”

To ensure visibility, AS 1345 also establishes size requirements for both the text used on the pipe label and the label itself:

Pipe DiameterMinimum Label Size Minimum Text Height
< 40 mmContinuous band around pipe> 4 mm
40 – 75 mm25mm12mm
> 75 mm2” x 12”1.25”


Labels should also be applied at an angle so they are easily visible from employee’s direct line of sight. Pipes running along the ceiling for instance should have a label on the underside of the pipe, while pipes at floor level should be marked on top where they can be quickly seen.

Creating Pipe Labels

Any facility looking to completely re-label their pipes or kick of a pipe labeling project can feel a bit overwhelmed, and ordering from catalogs can be a real headache. LabelTac printers offer workplaces a solution to create durable, chemical-resistant labels at a fraction of the cost. Make sure you have the right size and color every time you label a pipe, duct, or conduit. With the LabelSuite software and easy-to-use interface, it’s simple to design a label that meets industry standards and looks professional. We offer LabelTac supplies in a variety of materials so you can print the right labels for any application, whether you need to label a pipe in a walk-in freezer or a duct outside in a construction site.

Pipe marking—in any type of industry—is critical to keeping workers safe. When workers know what contents is running through a pipe or air duct, they have a better understanding of what safety and health precautions they must take.

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