Steel castings of creep-resistant steels are critical components in the high and intermediate pressure turbine sections of fossil fuel-fired power plants. As plant efficiencies improve and emission standards tighten, steam parameters become more stringent, necessitating constant enhancement of material creep resistance. Steel foundries alone cannot conduct necessary material development at an appropriate scale, so all power plant component suppliers cooperate to define optimal chemical compositions, perform test melts, creep tests, microstructure investigations, and test pilot components, such as through the COST program developing new 9-12%Cr cast steel grades. This paper illustrates a steel foundry's role in COST, describing the transfer of these new cast steel grades from research into commercial production of heavy cast components, outlining incurred problems, process development cycles, comparisons with low-alloy steels, welding tests, base material/weld investigations, heat treatment optimization, and casting of pilot components/weldability test plates to verify castability of larger parts and make necessary adjustments. Parallel to ongoing COST creep tests, the steel grades were introduced into commercial large component production, involving solutions to process-related issues, with over 180 components successfully manufactured to date, while further COST program developments present ongoing challenges.

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