This paper presents a full coupled approach between fluid dynamics and structure analysis. It is conducted in order to further improve the assessment of fluid structure interaction problems, occurring in the nuclear field such as the behavior of PWR fuel rods, steam generators and other heat exchangers tubes, fast breeder fuel assemblies. The coupling is obtained by implementing a beam mechanical model in user routines of the CFD code STAR-CD, and thanks to a moving grid procedure.
The configurations considered are rods in a cross flow. The model is first validated on a single rod case. The lock-in effect is pointed out and both amplitude and frequency responses of the single rod are positively compared to experimental data. Secondly, the mutual influence of two rods, either in-line or parallely set, is investigated. Different behaviors, bounded by critical distances between the rods are highlighted. Finally, the stability of a 3 × 3 bundle is calculated for different impinging velocities. Stable and unstable areas are found when varying the impinging velocity. Above a limit, the vibrations amplify up to a contact between rods, this bound is found slightly greater than literature values for close configurations.
It is therefore expected that further calculations, with model refinements, will bring valuable informations about bundle stability.