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Recursively coupled thermal and mechanical FEM-analysis of lower plenum creep failure experiments
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Physics, Nuclear Power Safety.
2006 (English)In: Annals of Nuclear Energy, ISSN 0306-4549, E-ISSN 1873-2100, Vol. 33, no 2, 126-148 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Postulating an unlikely core melt down accident for a light water reactor (LWR), the possible failure mode of the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) and its failure time have to be investigated for a determination of the load conditions for subsequent containment analyses. Worldwide several experiments have been performed in this field accompanied with material properties evaluation, theoretical, and numerical work. At the Institute of Safety Research of the FZR a finite element model (FEM) has been developed simulating the thermal processes and the viscoplastic behaviour of the vessel wall. An advanced model for creep and material damage has been established and has been validated using experimental data. The thermal and the mechanical calculations are sequentially and recursively coupled. The model is capable of evaluating fracture time and fracture position of a vessel with an internally heated melt pool. The model was applied to pre- and post-test calculations for the FOREVER test series representing the lower head RPV of a pressurised water reactor (PWR) in the geometrical scale of 1:10. These experiments were performed at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. In this paper the differences between the results of a simple coupled and a recursive coupled FE-simulation are highlighted. Due to the thermal expansion at the beginning and the accumulating creep strain later on the shape of the melt pool and of the vessel wall are changing. Despite of the fact that these relative small geometrical changes take place relatively slowly over time, the effect on the temperature field is rather significant concerning the mechanical material behaviour and the resulting failure time. Assuming the same loading conditions, the change in the predicted failure time between the simple and the recursive coupled model is in the order of magnitude of the total failure time of the simple model. The comparison with results from the FOREVER-experiments shows that the recursive coupled model is closer to reality than the one-way coupled model.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 33, no 2, 126-148 p.
National Category
Physical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-37668DOI: 10.1016/j.anucene.2005.08.006ISI: 000234877500003ScopusID: 2-s2.0-28844495586OAI: diva2:434726
Available from: 2011-08-16 Created: 2011-08-16 Last updated: 2011-08-16Bibliographically approved

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Sehgal, Balraj R.
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