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Two-Phase Flow Simulations of Protective Gas Layer for Spallation Neutron Source Target

[+] Author Affiliations
Ashraf Abdou, Mark Wendel, Bernard Riemer

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN

Eric Volpenhein, Robert Brewster

CD-Adapco, Melville, NY

Paper No. IMECE2011-64346, pp. 421-428; 8 pages
doi:10.1115/IMECE2011-64346
From:
  • ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 6: Fluids and Thermal Systems; Advances for Process Industries, Parts A and B
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, November 11–17, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5492-1
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME

abstract

The Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) is an accelerator-based neutron source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The nuclear spallation reaction occurs when a proton beam hits liquid mercury. This interaction causes thermal expansion of the liquid mercury which produces high pressure waves. When these pressure waves hit the target vessel wall, cavitation can occur and erode the wall. Research and development efforts at SNS include creation of a vertical protective gas layer between the flowing liquid mercury and target vessel wall to mitigate the cavitation damage erosion and extend the life time of the target. Since mercury is opaque, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has been used to visualize the general behavior of a protective gas layer arising from various delivery and retention concepts as a guide for design of experimental efforts. Recent advancements in capacity for large scale CFD modeling via the high performance compute systems of ORNL now enable high-fidelity simulation approaching full geometric scale. Accordingly, in this study, CFD simulations of three dimensional, unsteady, turbulent, two-phase flow of helium gas injection in flowing liquid mercury over textured walls are carried out for target design purposes with the commercially available CFD code STARCCM+. The Volume of Fluid (VOF) model is used to track the helium-mercury interface. Different combinations of conical pits and V-shaped straight grooves at different orientations with respect to the gravity vector are simulated at the SNS proton beam window to increase the helium gas holdup. Time integration of predicted helium gas volume fraction over time is done for the design alternatives considered to compare the gas coverage and average thickness of the helium gas layer.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME

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