Research Papers: Fluid-Structure Interaction

An Experimental Model Study of Steam Generator Tube Loading During a Sudden Depressurization

[+] Author and Article Information
Ouajih Hamouda

Mechanical Engineering Department,
McMaster University,
1280 Main Street West, JHE-316,
Hamilton, ON L8S 4L7, Canada
e-mail: hamoudo@mcmaster.ca

David S. Weaver

Fellow ASME
Mechanical Engineering Department,
McMaster University,
1280 Main Street West, JHE-316,
Hamilton, ON L8S 4L7, Canada
e-mail: weaverds@mcmaster.ca

Jovica Riznic

Fellow ASME
Operational Engineering Assessment Division,
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC),
280 Slater, P.O.B. 1046, Station B,
Ottawa, ON K1P 5S9, Canada
e-mail: jovica.riznic@canada.ca

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Pressure Vessel and Piping Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF PRESSURE VESSEL TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received July 18, 2015; final manuscript received November 28, 2015; published online April 28, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Jong Chull Jo.

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 138(4), 041302 (Apr 28, 2016) (11 pages) Paper No: PVT-15-1162; doi: 10.1115/1.4032198 History: Received July 18, 2015; Revised November 28, 2015

This paper presents the results of an experimental model study of the transient loading of steam generator tubes during a postulated main steam line break (MSLB) accident in a nuclear power plant. The problem involves complex transient two-phase flow dynamics and fluid-structural loading processes. A better understanding of this phenomenon will permit the development of improved design tools to ensure steam generator tube integrity. The pressure and temperature were measured upstream and downstream of a sectional model of a tube bundle in cross-flow, and the transient tube loads were directly measured using dynamic piezoelectric load cells. High-speed videos were taken to observe and better understand the flow phenomena causing the tube loading. The working fluid was R-134a and the tube bundle was a normal triangular array with a pitch ratio of 1.36. The flow through the bundle was choked for the majority of the transient. The transient tube loading is explained in terms of the associated fluid mechanics. An empirical model is developed that enables the prediction of the maximum tube loads once the pressure drop is known.

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Fig. 1

(a) Experimental apparatus for simulating a steam generator blowdown and (b) test section design

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Fig. 2

Sample transient blowdown pressures

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Fig. 3

Transient pressure drop measured across the tube bundle

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Fig. 4

Illustration of instantaneous pressure measurements at t = 0.25 s

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Fig. 5

Transient pressure ratio across the tube bundle for three experiments with similar initial conditions

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Fig. 6

Sample tube load transient

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Fig. 7

Critical HEM and HFM pressure estimates based on p = 430 kPa at t = 0.25 s and p = 285 kPa at t = 0.66 s

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Fig. 8

Comparison of the effect of the initial liquid level on tube loading

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Fig. 9

Comparison of tube bundle load with different numbers of tube rows

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Fig. 10

Comparison of measured tube load and pressure drop across the tube bundle

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Fig. 11

Graphical representation of drag load coefficient: tube loading (top), pressure drop (center), and numerically determined drag coefficient (bottom)

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Fig. 12

Comparison of measured tube loading and computed pressure loading

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Fig. 13

Tube bundle drag load coefficient

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Fig. 14

Comparison of computed pressure loads and measured loads



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