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Shock and Vibration
Volume 4, Issue 5-6, Pages 311-325

Finite Element Modeling and Analysis of Nonlinear Impact and Frictional Motion Responses Including Fluid—Structure Coupling Effects

Yong Zhao

Engineering Mechanics Group Battelle, 505 King Avenue, Columbus, OH 43201, USA

Revised 6 May 1997

Copyright © 1997 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A nonlinear three dimensional (3D) single rack model and a nonlinear 3D whole pool multi-rack model are developed for the spent fuel storage racks of a nuclear power plant (NPP) to determine impacts and frictional motion responses when subjected to 3D excitations from the supporting building floor. The submerged free standing rack system and surrounding water are coupled due to hydrodynamic fluid-structure interaction (FSI) using potential theory. The models developed have features that allow consideration of geometric and material nonlinearities including (1) the impacts of fuel assemblies to rack cells, a rack to adjacent racks or pool walls, and rack support legs to the pool floor; (2) the hydrodynamic coupling of fuel assemblies with their storing racks, and of a rack with adjacent racks, pool walls, and the pool floor; and (3) the dynamic motion behavior of rocking, twisting, and frictional sliding of rack modules. Using these models 3D nonlinear time history dynamic analyses are performed per the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC) criteria. Since few such modeling, analyses, and results using both the 3D single and whole pool multiple rack models are available in the literature, this paper emphasizes description of modeling and analysis techniques using the SOLVIA general purpose nonlinear finite element code. Typical response results with different Coulomb friction coefficients are presented and discussed.