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Title: Correlation between simulations and cavitation-induced erosion damage in Spallation Neutron Source target modules after operation

An explicit finite element (FE) technique developed for estimating dynamic strain in the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) mercury target module vessel is now providing insight into cavitation damage patterns observed in used targets. The technique uses an empirically developed material model for the mercury that describes liquid-like volumetric stiffness combined with a tensile pressure cut-off limit that approximates cavitation. The longest period each point in the mercury is at the tensile cut-off threshold is denoted its saturation time. Now, the pattern of saturation time can be obtained from these simulations and is being positively correlated with observed damage patterns and is interpreted as a qualitative measure of damage potential. Saturation time has been advocated by collaborators at J-Parc as a factor in predicting bubble nuclei growth and collapse intensity. The larger the ratio of maximum bubble size to nucleus, the greater the bubble collapse intensity to be expected; longer saturation times result in greater ratios. With the recent development of a user subroutine for the FE solver saturation time is now provided over the entire mercury domain. Its pattern agrees with spots of damage seen above and below the beam axis on the SNS inner vessel beam window and elsewhere.more » The other simulation result being compared to observed damage patterns is mercury velocity at the wall. Related R&D has provided evidence for the damage mitigation that higher wall velocity provides. In comparison to observations in SNS targets, inverse correlation of high velocity to damage is seen. In effect, it is the combination of the patterns of saturation time and low velocity that seems to match actual damage patterns.« less
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  1. ORNL
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Nuclear Materials; Journal Volume: 450; Journal Issue: 1-3
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL); Spallation Neutron Source
Sponsoring Org:
SC USDOE - Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
mercury; spallation; target; cavitation; simulation; erosion