Due to the increasing demands for light oil in newly industrializing countries and depletion of conventional oil resources, upgrading of heavy oil and coal-to-liquid processes have been a focus in recent years. The efficiency of these processes depends on temperature and pressure conditions, where a higher temperature, around 500°C, is likely to be used. However, 2¼Cr-1Mo-V steels which have been widely used for heavy-wall pressure vessels for many years cannot be applied to a high temperature process around 500°C since the design temperature of this material is limited to 482°C by ASME Code Section VIII, Division 2 .
On the other hand, 9Cr-1Mo-V steels (Grade 91), which has an excellent performance at high temperature in mechanical properties and hydrogen resistance, has been used for tubing and piping materials in power industries and it can be a candidate material for the high temperature processes. However it has not been used for pressure vessels in refining industries.
In order to manufacture heavy-wall pressure vessels using 9Cr-1Mo-V steels, essential techniques including manufacture of large forged shell rings, thick wall welding and overlay welding have been developed.