This paper provides an overview of the significant revisions pending for the upcoming 2017 edition of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC) Section VIII Division 3, Alternative Rules for Construction of High Pressure Vessels, as well as potential changes to future editions under consideration of the Subgroup on High Pressure Vessels (SG-HPV). Changes to the 2017 edition include the removal of material information used in the construction of composite reinforced pressure vessels (CRPV); this information has been consolidated to the newly-developed Appendix 10 of ASME BPVC Section X, Fiber-Reinforced Plastic Pressure Vessels. Similarly, the development of the ASME CA-1, Conformity Assessment Requirements standard necessitated removal of associated conformity assessment information from Section VIII Division 3. Additionally, requirements for the assembly of pressure vessels at a location other than that listed on the Certificate of Authorization have been clarified with the definitions of “field” and “intermediate” sites. Furthermore, certain design related issues have been addressed and incorporated into the current edition, including changes to the fracture mechanics rules, changes to wires stress limits in wire-wound vessels, and clarification on bolting and end closure requirements. Finally, the removal of Appendix B, Suggested Practice Regarding Post-Construction Requalification for High Pressure Vessels, will be discussed, including a short discussion of the new appendix incorporated into the updated edition of ASME PCC-3, Inspection Planning Using Risk Based Methods.
Additionally, this paper discusses some areas in Section VIII Division 3 under consideration for improvement. One such area involves consolidation of material models presented in the book into a central area for easier reference. Another is the clarification of local strain limit analysis and the intended number and types of evaluations needed for the non-linear finite element analyses. The requirements for test locations in prolongations on forgings are also being examined as well as other material that can be used in testing for vessel construction. Finally, a discussion is presented on an ongoing debate regarding “occasional loads” and “abnormal loads”, their current evaluation, and proposed changes to design margins regarding these loads.