Adoption of composite reinforced pressure vessels (CRPV) into the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code represented advancement in the technology of pressure vessels. The advantage of this construction technique is that the weight of a CRPV for compressed gas service built may be reduced to about one-half conventional pressure vessel of the same capacity. The concept of hoop wrapping fibers in a plastic composite (>90% fiber fill) makes full utilization of the fiber strength as the fibers share the hoop load with a metal cylinder. With reduced hoop stresses in the metal, a substantial reduction in wall thickness is attainable.

The process of adoption of this technology presented several challenges and some robust administrative hurdles. These included coordination with ASME BPV Code Section X for the composite application and Section VIII for the steel design and overall acceptance of the Case.

The most vexing technical challenge was the inspection of an unfinished weld on the inside of the shell from the outside of the shell. The next challenge was to gain consensus on the testing criteria for the acceptance of finished vessels.

Case 2390 was drafted in the winter of 2000 and spring of 2001 and approved for publication after nine revisions with an approval date of October 9, 2002. The Case was subsequently adopted into the body of ASME BPV Code Section VIII, Division 3 [1] (VIII-3) in the 2010 edition.

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