Structural Integrity Calculation Standards and Code_ASTER Simulations This is draft Engineering Doctorateexternal project for Sept 2009

This research project in the general area of computational mechanics applied to structural integrity assessment of reactor components focuses on 3D crack propagation modelling and aims to provide : - a comparison of modelling practices and assessment procedures applied by the nuclear industry in UK and France. - an evaluation of the performance of the open-source Finite Element Analysis code ASTER, which is freely available for download and is maintained by the company EDF, and extending the codes validation manual to include structural integrity problems specific to the UK industry (e.g. higher temperatures as in AGRs). - the development, within the FEA code ASTER, of potentially more effective strategies for the modelling of crack growth using a transport equation, instead of brute force automated mesh refinement around the crack. - applications of the above methods to an industrial problem. The methods will also be validated against benchmark experimental data. It is expected that the results of calculations performed will validate and further develop the guidance provided in the structural integrity code R6.

The incorporation of any new theory into the procedures utilised by the nuclear industry requires assessment of their performance with regard the low-temperature fracture assessment procedure, R6, and the high-temperature procedure, R5, for treating the effects of secondary stresses on structural integrity. It is proposed that results of the transport finite element analysis for crack propagation be compared against the current simplified R5 methods along with more traditional FE approaches using the ASTER code. Such methods include adaptive mesh refinement and element enrichment. Results are to be assessed, so that differences in secondary stresses arising from a crack and constraints can be ascertained. For high-temperature applications, methods are to be established for the determination of the relaxation of secondary stresses due to creep-crack growth, extending current methods in R5. The academic focus of the work is on the further development of effective strategies for the modelling of crack growth using a transport equation (TE) methodology applicable to the Nuclear Industry. There presently exist no studies utilising transport equations in this important area. In high temperature applications, crack growth is to be modelled utilising second-order TEs, which allow for geometric discontinuities.


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Topic revision: r1 - 2009-02-16 - 18:02:38 - DominiqueLaurence
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