Steels at present included in Sections III and VIII of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code severely limit its application for high-pressure design. An extension of the well-known AISI 4300 series low alloy steels has long been known as “Gun Steel.” These alloys, which are generally superior to AISI 4340, offer good harden-ability and toughness and have been widely used under proprietary names for pressure vessel application. The ASTM Specification A-723 was developed to cover these nickel-chromium-molybdenum alloys for pressure vessel use, and is being adopted by Section II of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code for use in Section VIII, Division 2, and in Section III in Part NF for component supports. The rationale of the specification is discussed, and examples of the mechanical properties obtained from forgings manufactured to the specification are given. These include the results of both room and elevated temperature tension tests and Charpy V notch impact tests. New areas of applicability of the Code to forged vessels for high-pressure service using these materials are discussed. Problems of safety in operation of monobloc vessels are mentioned. Procedures for in-service inspection and determination of inspection intervals based on fracture mechanics are suggested.

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