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Title: Evaluation of coupling approaches for thermomechanical simulations

Many problems of interest, particularly in the nuclear engineering field, involve coupling between the thermal and mechanical response of an engineered system. The strength of the two-way feedback between the thermal and mechanical solution fields can vary significantly depending on the problem. Contact problems exhibit a particularly high degree of two-way feedback between those fields. This paper describes and demonstrates the application of a flexible simulation environment that permits the solution of coupled physics problems using either a tightly coupled approach or a loosely coupled approach. In the tight coupling approach, Newton iterations include the coupling effects between all physics, while in the loosely coupled approach, the individual physics models are solved independently, and fixed-point iterations are performed until the coupled system is converged. These approaches are applied to simple demonstration problems and to realistic nuclear engineering applications. The demonstration problems consist of single and multi-domain thermomechanics with and without thermal and mechanical contact. Simulations of a reactor pressure vessel under pressurized thermal shock conditions and a simulation of light water reactor fuel are also presented. Here, problems that include thermal and mechanical contact, such as the contact between the fuel and cladding in the fuel simulation, exhibit much strongermore » two-way feedback between the thermal and mechanical solutions, and as a result, are better solved using a tight coupling strategy.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1248174
Report Number(s):
INL/JOU--14-33431
Journal ID: ISSN 0029-5493; PII: S0029549315002757
Grant/Contract Number:
AC07-05ID14517
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nuclear Engineering and Design
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 295; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0029-5493
Publisher:
Elsevier
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; 22 GENERAL STUDIES OF NUCLEAR REACTORS; 97 MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING coupled multiphysics; fuel performance