Advanced 9–12%Cr martensitic stainless steels to enable extension of steam turbine operating temperatures beyond 565°C have been under development since the 1980s. Steam turbines with operating temperatures approaching 600°C based on the first generation of these improved alloys, which exploited optimised levels of Mo, W, V, Nb and N, entered service in the 1990s. Around the same time a second generation of advanced alloys was developed incorporating additions of Co and B to further enhance creep strength. These alloys have recently been exploited to enable steam turbines with operating temperatures of up to 620°C and this new generation of steam turbines is now beginning to enter service. This paper describes the background to the development of these alloys and the experience gained in their application to the manufacture of high temperature rotor forgings and castings.

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