Advanced Methodology for Grid-to-Rod Fretting Modeling

The research project provides for the advancement of knowledge of and methodology for fretting phenomena modeling specific to nuclear fuel rod systems to preclude component failures. Grid-to-rod-fretting (GTRF) remains the most common cause of fuel rod failures and associated performance issues in pressurized water reactors (PWR). GTRF denotes the deterioration of the surface integrity of nuclear fuel rods and supporting spacer grid systems attributed to the cumulative effects of surface contact dynamics. Flow-induced vibration and the evolving rod-grid support conditions during the design life produce complex relative motions between the contact surfaces of the spacer grid and fuel rod, leading to fretting wear damage. Understanding of fretting wear mechanisms during reactor operation and development of wear modeling approaches that incorporate the varying contact conditions and material states are needed in order to develop appropriate simulation capabilities to predict and preclude GTRF failure during reactor operation.

Faculty Supervisor:

Helmi Attia


Alix de Pannemaecker


AREVA Resources Canada Inc


Engineering - mechanical


Environmental industry


McGill University



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