A study on mechanical properties and flow-induced vibrations of coil-shaped holddown spring

  • Kim K
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The fuel assemblies used in the OPR1000s in Korea employ four coil-shaped hold-down springs to exert compressive load at the top of fuel assembly so that the assemblies may not be damaged by preventing its hydraulic-induced lifting-off from its lower seating surface. However, the coolant flow generates the flow-induced vibration at the coil-shaped hold-down springs which may cause wear on the spring surfaces. A hold-own spring may be fractured if torsional stress acting on its worn area exceeds a stress limit, resulting in the loss of hold-down spring force of the fuel assembly. In this paper, flow-induced vibration tests were performed for standard and improved coil type hold-down springs to investigate the effects of these two hold-down spring designs on flow-induced vibration wear. In parallel, a wide spectrum of mechanical tests was performed to obtain vibration-related characteristics of these two hold-down springs, which can be used as input data for the fuel assembly static and dynamic analysis. It is found that the improved hold-down spring design is better against flow-induced vibration wear than the standard one. With the use of the three-dimensional Solidwork model, the stress-related design lifetime of the improved hold-down spring was estimated by extrapolating its wear data measured from the flow-induced vibration tests, which indicates that the improved HD spring design will maintain integrity during the fuel design lifetime in OPR1000s in Korea. ?? 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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