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Chapter 23, authored by J. Robert Sims, Jr., discusses Section VIII, Division 3 (Alternative Rules for the Construction of High-Pressure Vessels). It is intended to be used as a companion to the Code by Manufacturers and Users of high-pressure vessels and also provides guidance to Inspectors, materials suppliers, and others. The chapter's text is generally presented in the same order in which it appears in the Code. Comments are not given about each Paragraph, but Paragraph numbers are referenced as appropriate. The comments apply to the 2007 Edition. The ASME Subgroup on High-Pressure Vessels (SG-HPV) of Subcommittee VIII developed the Code. The comments herein are Bob's opinions; they should not be considered Code Interpretations or the opinions of the Subgroup on High-Pressure Vessels or any other ASME Committee.
This chapter provides commentary that is intended to aid individuals involved in the construction of high-pressure vessels, but it cannot substitute for experience and judgment. Bob covers general, material, and design requirements; supplementary requirements for bolting; special design requirements for layered vessels; design requirements for attachments, supports, and heating and cooling jackets; fracture mechanics evaluation; design using autofrettage; special design requirements for wirewound vessels and frames; design requirements for openings, closures, heads, bolting, and seals; scope, jurisdiction and organization of Division 3; fatigue evaluation; pressure-relief devices; examination, fabrication, and testing requirements; marking, stamping, reports, and records; and Mandatory and Nonmandatory appendices.
Appendix to Part 7 has been authored by Roger Reedy and is a new chapter included in this volume 2 of the third edition. Part 7 covers ASME Section VIII—Rules for Construction of Pressure Vessels with chapters dealing with Section VIII Division 1-Rules for Construction of Pressure Vessels, Section VIII: Division 2-Alternative Rules, and Section VIII, Division 3—Alternative Rules for Construction of High-Pressure Vessels. This Chapter written by Roger F. Reedy deals with items pertaining to Part 7 Safety of Personnel Using Quick-Actuating Closures on Pressure Vessels and Associated Litigation Issues.
The Appendix to Part 7 is new and was written because of the number of lawsuits against manufacturers of quick-actuating closures on pressure vessels. Often manufacturers are sued even though the closures had been operating with no accidents for 20 or 30 years. Because of Worker's Compensation rules, the owner of the equipment often cannot be sued, so the lawyers search for “deep pockets” to compensate their clients and themselves. In order to bring forth litigation, these lawyers would skillfully take words in the Code completely out of context. The Appendix is based on Roger's personal experience in a number of litigations involving quick-actuating closures during the last 25 years. He identifies each of the changes made to the Code rules in Section VIII, Division 1, from 1952 to the 2007 Edition of the ASME Code. In every case where Roger has testified as an expert witness, the manufacturer of the quick-actuating closure was not at fault, and the ASME Code rules had been properly followed. However, the attorneys for the injured party often misinterpret the Code rules to accuse the manufacturer of not having complied with the Code when the closure was made. Based on experience, Roger warns the writers of the ASME Code to assure that the rules are clear, concise and understandable to the common man. The most important point however, is for everyone to understand that in order to avoid severe accidents, users of quick-actuating closures must maintain the equipment and ensure that inferior components are not used as replacement parts, and that the design is not modified or changed. The other key element for safety is that owners of pressure vessels that have quick-actuating closures are responsible for training all employees regarding the proper care and use of the equipment. This training has been neglected by the employer in most accidents.