Research Papers: Design and Analysis

Collapse of Nuclear Reactor SG Tubes Pressurized From Outside: The Influence of Imperfections

[+] Author and Article Information
Lelio Luzzi

Department of Energy, Enrico Fermi Center for Nuclear Studies, CeSNEF, Politecnico di Milano, Via Ponzio 34/3, Milano 20133, Italy

Valentino Di Marcello1

Department of Energy, Enrico Fermi Center for Nuclear Studies, CeSNEF, Politecnico di Milano, Via Ponzio 34/3, Milano 20133, Italyvalentino.dimarcello@mail.polimi.it


Corresponding author.

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 133(1), 011206 (Dec 23, 2010) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002769 History: Received November 04, 2009; Revised September 21, 2010; Published December 23, 2010; Online December 23, 2010

Some innovative nuclear power plant proposals consider for the design tubes of considerable thickness subjected to external pressure (e.g., steam generators tubes). The collapse of thick tubes is expected to be dominated by yielding but, because of the decreasing nature of the postcollapse evolution, interaction with buckling is likely to be significant enough to demand consideration. At the present, few studies have been carried out both experimentally and numerically, as witnessed by the really conservative attitude that codes assume for thick tubes. A numerical investigation has been performed in this context at the Politecnico di Milano, which was originally intended as a support for requesting a relaxation of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) regulations. Actually, in 2007, ASME code case N-759 was approved, permitting significant thickness saving in the tube design. Nevertheless, the numerical investigation was pursued to assess the influence of different parameters, such as eccentricity, initial stresses, and material hardening, on the collapse of tubes with diameter to thickness ratios D/t<20. Results are thought to be useful under at least two respects: first, providing some understanding on the collapse behavior in a thickness range so far unexplored; second, giving an indication on the assumptions on which computer codes ought to be based when numerical analyses are required.

Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

IRIS reactor pressure vessel module

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Figure 2

ASME allowable hoop stress compared with theoretical failure limit

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Figure 3

Computed ultimate hoop stress compared with ASME reference values and theoretical failure limit

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Figure 4

Tube section with eccentricity and ovality: possible relative geometries

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Figure 5

Effect of a 30% eccentricity on the collapse pressure

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Figure 6

Perfectly plastic and linearly hardening models

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Figure 7

Influence of hardening on the collapse pressure



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