A multi-stage approach of simulating turbulence-induced vibrations in a wire-wrapped tube bundle for fretting wear prediction

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Institutes & Expert groups

  • UGent - Universiteit Gent
  • Argonne National Laboratory
  • TAMU - Texas A&M University

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MYRRHA (Multi-purpose hYbrid Research Reactor for High-tech Applications) is a prototype of a Generation IV reactor that will be constructed in Mol, Belgium. It is a liquid metal fast reactor, using lead-bismuth eutectic (LBE) as a coolant. Flow-induced vibrations resulting in fretting wear could be of concern due to the high density of LBE. Additionally, a wire is wrapped around each fuel rod to preserve their mutual distance in the hexagonal array, which affects the flow pattern. In this research turbulence-induced vibrations are investigated. Large-eddy simulation is a sound technique to acquire turbulent loads, but it is computationally demanding to combine this in a two-way coupled fluid–structure interaction (FSI) simulation. However, because accurate prediction of the vibration of cylinders subject to liquid flow typically requires a two-way simulation due to the added-mass effect, a methodology consisting of multiple steps is proposed. First, the modal characteristics of the pin are determined in a fully coupled FSI simulation of a bare bundle. The material properties used in this model are modified to take into account the effect of the wire, which was determined experimentally beforehand. The resulting characteristics are then used to construct a realistic structural model, employed in a one-way simulation with turbulent loads from a large-eddy simulation of a wire-wrapped bundle. In this structural model contact with neighboring rods and the hexagonal duct is detected, providing realistic boundary conditions to the rod and allowing to extract contact forces. These forces are further post-processed together with the sliding displacement to calculate work rates, which is an important parameter for fretting wear prediction. Two pins of a 19-pin bundle were investigated, the central pin and a pin located in one of the corners. The simulation is repeated for multiple friction coefficients, and its impeding effect of friction on sliding motions was confirmed to moderate fretting.


Original languageEnglish
Article number103460
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Fluids and Structures
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2021


  • Fluid–structure interactions, Computational fluid dynamics, Flow-induced vibrations, Turbulence-induced vibrations, Tube bundles, Fretting wear

ID: 7536363