Torsional Fatigue Test Applicable to Helical Spring Material Used in Candu Fuel Channel Spacers Conference Paper uri icon

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abstract

  • Abstract In a particular nuclear application, separation between structural components is maintained by a helical spring such that the separating load bears across the diameter of the spring coils. Relative motion between the structural components due to changing load and temperature is accommodated by rolling of the spring. This rolling motion while under radial load results in cyclic loading of the spring material. Fatigue analysis of the cyclic loading must take into consideration the material degradation due to the unique operating environment, so testing of ex-service material is required. Standard fatigue test specimens are not possible due to the small dimensions of the spring component. Cyclic stress may be applied to the material via a reciprocating rolling motion as per the operating conditions but this approach has practical limitations with respect to cycle frequency and uncertainty in stress response. A fatigue test system has been developed in which cyclic stress is achieved by applying torsional load with respect to the axis of the helical spring. This load translates into a pure bending state of stress in the cross-section of the coils. The relationship between applied load and stress is achieved analytically through curved beam analysis. Some practical considerations in the test setup are discussed along with supporting analysis, and results obtained with specimens taken from pre-service components are presented. The outcome of the tests is compared to applicable data and it is concluded that the test method is effective in producing valid fatigue data.

publication date

  • July 13, 2021