The internal components of Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs), particularly nuclear fuel assemblies, must be able to withstand Flow Induced Vibrations (FIVs) during operating conditions and during extreme accident conditions, such as earthquakes. Nuclear fuel assemblies are composed of long slender tubes, filled with uranium pellets that are bundled together by periodic support provided by spacer grids. Spacer grids are square structures used to increase thermal mixing in the core and provide support to the fuel rods and guide tubes allowing for the installation and removal of nuclear fuel rods. Nevertheless, spacer grids constitute a nonlinear flexible boundary condition experiencing friction forces and impacts complicating the dynamics of the fuel rod-spacer grid system. In order to improve safety margins in the design of nuclear fuel assemblies, it is of great interest to understand the nonlinear behavior at the interface of the spacer grids with the fuel rods, investigating the complexity due to the nonlinear evolution of the system stiffness and damping properties. In particular, the effect of the constant evolution of the vibration amplitude as a function of the change of the excitation forces on the dynamics of the fuel rod response is still undetermined. Experiments were carried out in quiescent water and in air to understand the nonlinear vibration response of a single zirconium fuel rod supported by spacer grids. The vibration response under a step-sine harmonic excitation at different force amplitude levels in the frequency neighborhood of the fundamental mode was measured. The response of the rod displayed nonlinear phenomena such as the shift of the resonant frequencies, multiple solutions with some instabilities (jumps) and hysteresis, and a weak one-to-one internal resonance. Tests were performed on an empty rod and on a rod filled with tungsten pellets representative of nuclear fuel. The pellets were let free to move and were subsequently blocked axially to reproduce the effect of the beginning-of-life constraint in operational nuclear plants. The experimental data were processed by means of a simplified identification procedure to extract the damping parameters of the vibrating system. The equivalent viscous damping is found to increase and to be a function of the level of excitation and of the peak vibration amplitude.

Nonlinear vibrations of a nuclear fuel rod supported by spacer grids / Ferrari, G.; Franchini, G.; Balasubramanian, P.; Giovanniello, F.; Le Guisquet, S.; Karazis, K.; Amabili, M.. - In: NUCLEAR ENGINEERING AND DESIGN. - ISSN 0029-5493. - 361:(2020), p. 110503. [10.1016/j.nucengdes.2019.110503]

Nonlinear vibrations of a nuclear fuel rod supported by spacer grids

Franchini G.;Amabili M.
2020

Abstract

The internal components of Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs), particularly nuclear fuel assemblies, must be able to withstand Flow Induced Vibrations (FIVs) during operating conditions and during extreme accident conditions, such as earthquakes. Nuclear fuel assemblies are composed of long slender tubes, filled with uranium pellets that are bundled together by periodic support provided by spacer grids. Spacer grids are square structures used to increase thermal mixing in the core and provide support to the fuel rods and guide tubes allowing for the installation and removal of nuclear fuel rods. Nevertheless, spacer grids constitute a nonlinear flexible boundary condition experiencing friction forces and impacts complicating the dynamics of the fuel rod-spacer grid system. In order to improve safety margins in the design of nuclear fuel assemblies, it is of great interest to understand the nonlinear behavior at the interface of the spacer grids with the fuel rods, investigating the complexity due to the nonlinear evolution of the system stiffness and damping properties. In particular, the effect of the constant evolution of the vibration amplitude as a function of the change of the excitation forces on the dynamics of the fuel rod response is still undetermined. Experiments were carried out in quiescent water and in air to understand the nonlinear vibration response of a single zirconium fuel rod supported by spacer grids. The vibration response under a step-sine harmonic excitation at different force amplitude levels in the frequency neighborhood of the fundamental mode was measured. The response of the rod displayed nonlinear phenomena such as the shift of the resonant frequencies, multiple solutions with some instabilities (jumps) and hysteresis, and a weak one-to-one internal resonance. Tests were performed on an empty rod and on a rod filled with tungsten pellets representative of nuclear fuel. The pellets were let free to move and were subsequently blocked axially to reproduce the effect of the beginning-of-life constraint in operational nuclear plants. The experimental data were processed by means of a simplified identification procedure to extract the damping parameters of the vibrating system. The equivalent viscous damping is found to increase and to be a function of the level of excitation and of the peak vibration amplitude.
Nonlinear vibrations of a nuclear fuel rod supported by spacer grids / Ferrari, G.; Franchini, G.; Balasubramanian, P.; Giovanniello, F.; Le Guisquet, S.; Karazis, K.; Amabili, M.. - In: NUCLEAR ENGINEERING AND DESIGN. - ISSN 0029-5493. - 361:(2020), p. 110503. [10.1016/j.nucengdes.2019.110503]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11381/2905694
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