An experimental study of subcooled choked flow through steam generator tube cracks

Ram Anand Vadlamani, Purdue University


The Work conducted in this Research involved the simulation of Pressurized Water Reactor Conditions of Steam Generators to study the complex phenomenon of Subcooled Choked Flow or two-phase critical flow that occurs when water leaks from the primary side of a steam generator into the secondary side, thus making it highly relevant to Reactor Safety and Probabilistic Risk assessment methods. Slits of small L/D ratio were manufactured and tested on the Facility for Leak Rate Testing at pressures (6.89 MPa) and high temperatures (280°C) relevant to Pressurized Water Reactors over a range of subcooling. Small flow channel length was used (1.3mm) equivalent to steam generator tube thickness with the study of a variety of geometries with differences in surface roughness. Unique to literature, the samples had very small L/Ds and the study was a controlled parametric study of choked flow. The effect of L/D was examined, compared to recent studies conducted at Purdue University by Wolf and Revankar while contrasting with others in literature. Analytical models were applied highlighting the importance of non-equilibrium effects and contrasted with other studies of different L/Ds. RELAP5, a well developed code widely utilized in industry was studied to analyze its predictive capabilities and conditions for best estimate. L/D effects on mass fluxes were studied and it was observed that mass fluxes were affected to a very small degree by subcooling.




Revankar, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Mechanical engineering|Nuclear engineering

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